Ida Drouin-Préseault

Ottawa and Countryside

Ida Drouin-Préseault was the first woman to be awarded posthumously the Mérite agricole franco-ontarien. She attended the École modèle de Plantagenet and became an elementary school teacher at the age of 16. She taught school for nine years, then married David Préseault and became a farmer in Lefaivre – At that time, a married woman could not teach. She helped her husband with all of the farm chores, while also fulfilling the women’s duties of that time, such as gardening, sewing, weaving, bread-making, butter-making and other tasks necessary to sustain a family of eight.

Drouin-Préseault was engaged in many different organizations such as the Fédération ontarienne de l’agriculture. From 1946 to 1961, she was the provincial secretary of the Association des fermières, an organization she actively promoted throughout Northern Ontario. She contributed to the creation of farm women’s circles in the Middle North and the Far North of Ontario. She also corresponded with women around the world through the Association des femmes du monde, and helped raise awareness of Ontario’s agriculture and Francophones.

Deeply involved in the town of Lefaivre, Drouin-Préseault participated in many fundraising campaigns for different charities, and sat for many years on the committee of the Institut des aveugles (the blind people institute). She devoted her whole life to the development, well-being and prosperity of the rural Franco-Ontarian population, especially Franco-Ontarian women.