American French Genealogical Society
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AFGS 25th Anniversary

AFGS 25th Anniversary

25th Silver Anniversary Gala at the Crown Plaza April 12, 2003

News Release 03-12-03

American-French Genealogical Society

Celebrates Silver Anniversary

French-Canadian Hall of Fame Inductions and Special Achievement Awards to be Presented During April Gala

Woonsocket, RI  (March 12, 2003)The American-French Genealogical Society is celebrating its 25th anniversary.  The society was founded in Pawtucket by a handful of people interested in discovering their French-Canadian roots.   Today, the Society has attained international standing with more than 1,500 members throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Africa and Australia. 

The AFGS research library includes more than one million marriage records dating back to the early 1600s.  There are over 2,300 reels of microfilm that contain actual birth/baptism, marriage and death records for the entire province of Quebec dating back to the founding of each parish up to 1940.

The AFGS will celebrate this important milestone in its history with a gala celebration at the Crowne Plaza at the Crossings in Warwick on Saturday, April 12, 2003.  The evening will feature a reception starting at 6 P.M., dinner and awards presentation at 7 p.m. and entertainment by the Studio C band from 8 p.m. to midnight.

The celebration includes the introduction of the AFGS French-Canadian Hall of Fame.  The hall of fame will recognize individuals of French-Canadian ancestry who have made significant contributions to their community, or who have achieved success in their life’s endeavors.  Four individuals will be inducted in the Class of 2003.

Marie Louise Bonier, who researched the early French-Canadian settlers in Woonsocket.  Her book, Debuts de la colonie Franco-Americaine de Woonsocket, Rhode Island, was published in 1920.  The English translation was released in 1997. 

Alphonse Desjardins, who in 1900, created the first credit union in North America, the Caisse populaire, which provided French Canadians in Quebec with loans at fair interest rates. His system was later brought to United States, with the first credit union being formed in Manchester, New Hampshire.

René Jetté, historian, genealogist, and demographer, has written more than 20 repertoires on French-Canadians, including the popular Dictionnaire généalogique des familles du Quebec des origins a 1730.

Ben Mondor, Chairman and owner of the Pawtucket Red Sox, is a former Woonsocket mill owner who successfully renovated and operated textile mills in the area for many years.  Mr. Mondor purchased the bankrupt baseball team in 1977 and has made it one of the most successful operations in professional baseball.  He created the Pawtucket Red Sox Charitable Foundation to assist numerous charitable organizations around New England.

Tickets for the AFGS Silver Anniversary Gala are $45.00 per person and are available from the AFGS by calling (401) 765-6141.  Deadline is March 28.       

 The American-French Genealogical Society, founded in 1978, is a non-profit organization devoted to assisting people of French-Canadian ancestry in the research of their family history.   

Letter From AFGS Silver Anniversary Committee
American French Genealogical Society
Silver Anniversary Committee

PO box 830
Woonsocket, RI 02895-0870
Normand T. Deragon

Roger Bartholomy
Sylvia Bartholomy
William Beaudoin
Robert Bellrose
Terry Bellrose
Diane Cardin
Lee Dursin
Roy Forgit
George Perron
Susan Rivet

Library is located in the
lower level of the
First Universalist
78 Earle St.
Woonsocket, RI



January 2003

Dear Members. Friends and Benefactors:

On Saturday. April 12, 2003. the AFGS will host a Silver Anniversary Gala at the Crowne Plaza at the Crossing Hotel in Warwick, RI. A reception with hors d'oeuvres and cash bar will begin at 6:00 p.m. followed by dinner at 7:00 p.m. Dance music will be provided by "Studio C" from 8:00 p.m. to midnight. Tickets for the event are $45.00 per person. Invitations to the gala will be mailed soon.

The Society is introducing what we expect will be annual awards to individuals of French or French-Canadian ancestry who have made significant contributions to their community or have attained distinction in their endeavors. We have also created an AFGS Hall of Fame in which persons of French or French-Canadian ancestry will be inducted annually. The names of this year's winner's and inductees will be announced in March.

We are seeking sponsors for the souvenir dinner program, The attached form has details about advertising or listing in the program. For more information, please contact me by phone at (401) 334 -1672, or by e-mail at

Normand T. Deragon
Silver Anniversary Committee

Please print out this form, fill it in and send it to the society if you would like to participate in this souvenir program 

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Updated 05 April 2003

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