Joe Landry and Angelique Vincent Cross, Feast of St. Anne, at St. Anne’s Church, Summerside, near Bayfield, 1910. Courtesy of PomquetHéritage. Restoration: Jeff Parker.
The Acadians and the Mi’kmaq would celebrate the Feast of Saint Anne (July 26) together at Summerside. Antigonish County. Saint Anne was the patron saint of the Mi’kmaq and the clans throughout the region would assemble to worship though storytelling, song and dance. Some families came at least a month in advance and erected birchbark tents as temporary dwellings (see Stanley-Blackwell, 2004, p. 139).
“The Feast of St. Anne was accompanied by waving flags, bell ringing, intoned psalms and chants, bonfires, banqueting, and firing guns, all symbols of joy. Into the 1920s, some of the older Mi’kmaw residents turned out in their traditional attire : the women were outfitted in their pointed caps and jackets embellished with ribbon trim while the men wore blue broadcloth coats with beaded epaulettes and woven belts. The celebration’s crowning moment was the solemn procession of chiefs, priests, young men and young girls dressed in white dresses and veils carrying aloft a statue of St. Anne. They were led along a route ornamented with flags and arches by a cross-bearer. Young children threw flowers before the image of their patron saint. The occasion was also highlighted by the election of a new chief when circumstances dictated, who was blessed by the bishop” (ibid, p. 139).
In conversation with Lorraine Fennell, Pomquet Museum, June 23, 2014.
Lorraine’s mother, May (Doiron) Bouchard, knew Angelique Vincent – Gelique as she was known. She did not know Gelique to smoke a pipe so she guessed that this was a joke when posing for the photo.