Valentine Lacasse

Ottawa and Countryside

Valentine Lacasse was the second woman to be awarded the Mérite agricole franco-ontarien. She dedicated her whole life to helping others. When her sister-in-law died, she left her job as a store clerk to provide assistance to her brother, a grower and father of five young children. She also helped around the house and the farm. Married later to a widower who also had five children, she moved to Wendover and eventually gave birth to three children. Despite all the family and domestic responsibilities, she was actively involved in the community, organizing fundraising activities such as bingos, raffles and parish dinners.

In 1937, Lacasse founded the first farm women’s circle in her parish. As her husband was a member of the UCFO, she decided to form such circles so women could communicate and get to know and help each other. She founded a second farm women’s circle in Clarence Creek, followed by a third one in Rockland and another one in Plantagenet. Throughout her life, she contributed remarkably to the development, well-being and vitality of the rural Francophone population in Ontario, especially Franco-Ontarian women.

Her motto was “love the Lord, the land and your home”, and her saying was “a women’s will is God’s will”.