Remembering loved ones
Community mourns the loss of elder Isabelle Paul, safety officer Connie Paul-Osborne
Can you believe it’s November already? In Mi’kmaq, this month is Keptekewiku’s or the Frost Month.
This MemberNews is dedicated to some wonderful people who have recently departed. As we have always done, the community of Membertou has come together to support our friends and families.
Last month, we said nmu’ltes to one of our most beloved elders, Isabelle Paul. She was a kiju (grandmother), great-grandmother, mother, and just one of the greatest people to be around.
At nearly 81 years, her wit was razor sharp and she could have an entire room of people holding their sides in laughter.
In 2016, Paul received the Grand Chief Membertou Lifetime Achievement Award at our annual awards banquet. She was joined by daughter Bridget, granddaughter Marcella and great-granddaughter MacKenzie.
A fluent Mi’kmaq speaker, she then shared some thoughts that had us all in stitches.
I’ll miss getting the random messages from Marce asking if I can “taxi Gram down the road” to bingo. A very lovely soul, Isabelle Paul will live on forever in our hearts.
On a more personal note, I must take a moment to remember my lifetime neighbour — Connie Paul-Osborne, also known as Momma.
Paul-Osborne wasn’t just a neighbour, she was like a second mother to me and she always treated me like a son. She is from a wonderful family, some of whom I even refer to affectionately as “auntie.”
She has a spot in my heart that will always be occupied, and I will remember her radiant smile, warm and whacky sense of humour, and the love and heart she showed to everyone.
Officially she was Membertou’s safety and emergency management co-ordinator. Her job was to keep us all safe at work and in the community and she ensured that we all made it home to our families.
My heart goes out to her family — her son and one of my best friends in the world, Brendan, her hilarious and awesome daughter Annette, partner Terry, grandkitty Mittens and puppy Ginger.
Sankeweye’n Iapjiw, Momma. Kesalul.
The more I tried to find the proper words for this article, the more stumped I became. One would think the words and expressions would just flow out. Instead I sat at my desk just remembering the memories, smiling and laughing to myself.
* * * * * Recently I attended L’nutaq’l: Mi’kmaq Music Showcase and what a time. The eight-act show featured music performed all in Mi’kmaq, and a tribute to Joey Gould.
My hat is off to the Treaty Education crew of Jaime Battiste, Celeste Sulliman and Loni Vicaire, and the sponsors who helped make L’nutaq’l a reality.
And in the spirit of remembrance, I must say wela’lio’q to the men and women who served our great nation.
On Remembrance Day, I will remember my grandfather Pius Marshall (Korean War) and my great-uncle Charles Gould (Second World War) and all the men and women who’ve defended our nation and home.
Please keep our “smaknisk” in your heart this weekend.
Membertou will host Remembrance Day events on Sunday at St. Ann’s Church. The service will be followed by the Sydney Kiwanis Cadets parade and then some hospitality at the Membertou Trade and Convention Centre. We would be more than happy to see you.
Until next month, nitaptuk! Nmu’ltes and Happy Remembrance Day.
Isabelle Paul accepting her Grand Chief Membertou Lifetime Achievement Award with daughter Bridget, granddaughter Marcella and great-granddaughter MacKenzie.
The Relatives performing at the very first L’nutaq’l Mi’kmaq music showcase in Membertou.
Connie Paul-Osborne, back middle, with her mother Viola, and sisters Joyce, Emily and Gloria and nephew Cary.