SUMMERSIDE - It was back in December 1758, during the deportation of French pioneers from Isle-Saint Jean (now P.E.I.), that nearly 2,000 Acadians trying to cross the Atlantic Ocean perished from hunger, disease and drowning.
The SociÉtÉ Saint-Thomas-d'Aquin (SSTA) resolved to identify Dec. 13 as the Acadian Remembrance Day of this tragic event.
The SSTA is inviting Islanders to gather at Port-la-Joye - Fort Amherst National Historic Park on Route 19, near Rocky Point, Sunday at 1 p.m. to commemorate this event. Following speeches and a procession to the OdyssÉe Monument, the SSTA will lay a wreath of flowers in memory of all those who lost their lives as a result of the Deportation. Those wishing to do the same are welcome to do so. Following the hour-long ceremony, snacks and hot beverages will be served inside the Parks Canada visitor reception centre.
The SSTA will mark this day every year to commemorate the heavy loss of life that resulted from the Deportation.
Port-la-Joye- Fort Amherst has been chosen because of its historic significance and because it is where the OdyssÉe Monument is located, a permanent reminder of the Deportation.
Each year during the ceremony, an official declaration recalling this somber episode in Acadian life on P.E.I., will be read.