The Alexandre-Taché Award recognizes one having contributed to the Francophone collectivity in Manitoba or that has worked towards the development and expansion of Francophonie in Manitoba (whether locally or abroad), or that has distinguished oneself outside of Manitoba, and by the same fact, has honoured one's compatriots. Université de Saint-Boniface awards this prestigious honour during the university convocation held normally in June.
Nomination Form (French Only)
1987 ....... Sénateur Joseph Guay
1988 ....... Lionel Fréchette (posthumous)
1989 ....... Fernand Mario
1990 ....... Maurice Gauthier
1991 ....... Laurent Desjardins
1992 ....... Lucille Maurice
1993 ....... André Martin et Marie-Josèphe Ragot (posthumous)
1994 ....... Augustine Abraham
1995 ....... Lucien St-Vincent
1997 ....... Antoine Gaborieau
2000 ....... Sœur Jacqueline St-Yves
2001 ....... Lucien Guénette
2003 ....... Père Gérald Labossière
2004 ....... André Fréchette
2006 ....... Guy Roy
2008 ....... Normand Boisvert
2010 ....... Roland Mahé
2012 ....... Origène Fillion
2014 ....... Lorette Beaudry-Ferland
2016 ....... Luc Côté (posthumous)
Who Was Alexandre Taché?
Alexandre-Antonin Taché was born in Fraserville, Rivière-du-Loup, Quebec, on July 23rd, 1823. His parents were Charles Taché and Louise-Henriette Boucher de La Broquerie. Alexandre studied at Petit Séminaire de Saint-Hyacinthe from 1833 to 1839, and then moved on to Grand Séminaire de Saint-Sulpice in Montreal. From 1842 to 1844, he served as regent at Collège de Chambly. In 1844, he returned to Saint-Hyacinthe, where he worked as a teacher. His religious studies completed, Taché joined the Longueuil Missionary Oblates of Mary Immaculate on October 5th, 1844. He didn’t stay there long, because on June 24th, 1845, he was sent, along with Father Pierre Aubert O.M.I., to do missions in the Red River colony, where they arrived on August 25th, 1845.
Collège was founded in 1818 by Monsignor Norbert Provencher as a school to teach Latin to young boys of the Red River colony. After arriving in St. Boniface on August 25th, 1845, Brother Alexandre Taché, who was only 21 years old and merely a subdeacon, and Father Pierre Aubert pioneered the Oblates missionary work in the Northwest, which would become Western Canada. Mgr. Provencher ordained Alexandre Taché deacon on August 31st, and priest on October 12th. He was named bishop in 1850 and accepted his episcopal seat in St. Boniface in 1854.
Run in turn by the Oblate Fathers, the Brothers of the Christian Schools, and the secular clergy, Mgr. Alexandre Taché entrusted Collège to the Jesuit priests in 1885. They managed the institution for 82 years, until 1967. On November 10, 1969, the archbishopric passed Collège and its management to a new administrative council, comprised mostly of secular members appointed by Francophone organizations in the Manitoban community.
After Manitoba received its provincial status, Mgr. Taché remained very active in the political arena. He participated in the distribution of electoral districts, which determined the representatives sent to the Legislative Assembly. He also drafted most of the 1871 bill on the school system.
The Oblates were also actively involved in institutions dedicated to promoting, recruiting and training Oblates. In 1905, the Oblates founded Juniorat de la Sainte-Famille in St. Boniface. To ensure basic training for prospective Oblates, Mgr. Alexandre Taché opened a novitiate in St. Laurent in 1887.
From 1870 to 1880, Mgr. Taché worked to bring Catholic Francophone immigrants to the West. He supported the creation of the Société de colonisation du Manitoba.
When the Manitoban government abolished the Catholic and Protestant public school systems in 1890, Mgr. Taché, whose health was increasingly declining, led a resistance movement. He remained active in this movement until his death in 1894.