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AFGS French Canadian Hall of Fame


The American-French Genealogical Society during its 25th anniversary introduced the AFGS French-Canadian Hall of Fame.
The hall of fame recognizes 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 inducted in the Class of 2005
French-Canadian Hall of Fame Inductions and Special Achievement Awards were Presented During Annual Gala

Class of 2005
Paul J. Choquette, Jr. President and CEO of Gilbane Building Company

Clem Labine Former Major League Pitcher

Hon. Francis Lanctot  Former Mayor Woonsocket, Rhode Island

Hon. James R. Langevin Member of Congress Second District, Rhode Island


Paul J Choquette Jr.

 

Paul J. Choquette, Jr.

Paul J. Choquette, Jr. is chairman of Gilbane Inc. He was previously the chairman and chief executive officer of Gilbane Building Company, a position to which he was elected in 1997 after having been president from 1981. He is the sixth consecutive family member to lead the company since its founding in 1873. Mr. Choquette also serves as chairman of the board of Gilbane Properties, Inc., a real estate development sister company of Gilbane Building Company.

Mr. Choquette joined the company in 1969, serving as general counsel. He was elected vice president in 1971 and served in that office until his appointment as executive vice president in 1975.

Prior to joining Gilbane, Mr. Choquette was associated with the law firm of Edwards & Angell in Providence, Rhode Island, and served as legal counsel to Rhode Island Governor John H. Chafee for two years. He received his bachelor’s degree from Brown University in 1960 and an LL.B. degree from Harvard Law School in 1963.

He is co-chairman with the Governor of Rhode Island of the Economic Policy Council. He is a governor of Lifespan, Inc., a holding company for the four main hospitals in Rhode Island.

Mr. Choquette serves as a member of the board of directors of Carlisle Companies, Inc. He also served on the Fleet Financial board of directors from 1982 until its acquisition by Bank of America this year. During his tenure on the board, it grew from $3 billion in assets to more than $200 billion.

He is a trustee emeritus of Brown University and serves on numerous Brown committees.

He is past president and current director of The Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce and past chairman of the New England Council. He is a Distinguished Eagle Scout and past president of the Northeast Region, Boy Scouts of America. He continues to serve on the board of the Narragansett Council in Rhode Island.

Mr. Choquette, a football and track star at Brown, is a member of the Brown University Hall of Fame and the Providence Gridiron Club Hall of Fame. He is also an inductee in the Rhode Island Class, International Scholar-Athlete Hall of Fame. In 1985, he received the NCAA Silver Anniversary Award and in 1991 he received the Distinguished American Award from the Rhode Island Chapter of the National Football Foundation. He is a director of the National Football Foundation and College Hall of Fame, active in its “Play it Smart” program geared to serve inner-city youth.


Clem Labine
Clement W. (Clem) Labine

Clement Walter Labine, born in Lincoln, Rhode Island, enjoyed a 13-year major league baseball career. He was a Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher during their glory years of 1950 to 1957. When the team moved out west to Los Angeles, Clem moved with them and pitched for the Los Angeles Dodgers from 1958 to 1960.

He was one of the famed “Boys of Summer” from the Dodger teams that won five National League Championships (1950, ‘52, ‘53, ‘55, ‘56, and ‘59) and two World Series (‘55 and ‘59) during the 1950s.

A right-handed sinkerball pitcher, Clem pitched in his first major league game on April 18, 1950. He closed a supurb career by playing with the Detroit Tigers in 1960, Pittsburgh Pirates in 1960 and ‘61, and the New York Mets in 1962.

During the 1955 championship season, when the Brooklyn Dodgers won their first-ever World Series over the New York Yankees, Clem led the Dodger relief corps with 13 wins and 11 saves against only 5 losses. His Earned Run Average during the 1955 season was 3.24. Although never a threat at bat, Clem’s only three hits in the 1955 season were all home runs.

Clem holds the Brooklyn Dodger record for the most games pitched (62) and the most games finished (47) in a single season--both in 1956. During the 1956 and 1957 seasons he had the most saves of any pitcher in the National League. He currently holds the record for the most World series games pitched (11) by a Dodger player, which he accomplished during the 1952, 1955, 1956 and 1959 seasons.

Over his 13-year career, Clem won 77 games, saved 96 games, and lost 56. In 1957 he was chosen for the National league All-Star team and pitched one inning in the game at Sportsman Park in St. Louis. Over the course of his career in Brooklyn, Clem retired Dodger-killer Stan Musial 49 consecutive times.

During his World Series performances in 1953, ‘55, ‘56, ‘59 and 1960 (Pittsburgh Pirates), Clem pitched in 13 games, won 2, saved 2, lost 2, had 1 shutout, and sported a 3.16 ERA. He is probably best remembered for his heroic 10-inning shutout Dodger victory against the New York Yankees in Game 6 of the 1956 World Series.

Clem was honored for his pitching career with the Dodgers by being elected to the Brooklyn Dodgers Hall of Fame in 1986.

After his baseball career ended, Clem worked as an executive for a clothing manufacturer and worked briefly in the banking industry.


Francis Lanctot
Francis L. Lanctot

Francis Lanctot became interested in government at an early age. His father, Eugene, was elected to the Rhode Island House of Representatives in 1932, three weeks before Francis was born. Eugene Lanctot served in the General Assembly for 22 years.

He made his first bid at public office in 1961 when he ran for a seat on the Woonsocket City Council. He lost. He ran again in 1963 and lost. He lost again in 1965 and 1969. Finally in 1971, Francis broke his losing streak and was ultimately elected to eight consecutive two year terms.

Francis enjoyed a successful career with the John Hancock Mutual Life Insurance Company in Boston. He traveled around the country as an educational consultant for the company and was promoted to district manager of the company’s Woonsocket Office. His position at John Hancock consumed much of his time, and for that reason, he chose not to seek relection to the Woonsocket City Council in 1987.

However, Francis was not pleased with the direction the city was headed and decided to run for mayor in 1989. He won and served three consecutive two-year terms.

The state and city were in dire financial condition when Francis assumed office. The governor closed the state’s credit unions and banks shortly after taking office and Francis demonstrated his leadership by working to keep the city out of bankruptcy.

During his administration the site of the proposed Museum of Work and Culture was changed from its orginal site near the Globe Bridge to its present location.

In October 1990, the owner of the Stadium Theatre made a proposal for the city to purchase the building and convert it to a performing arts center. Francis was definitely intrested but the city was not in a financial postion to purchase the building at that time. However, he appointed a Save Our Stadium Committee to explore the feasibility of the project.

The day after Mayor Lanctot left office in December 1995, he began work as the volunteer executive director. Scores of volunteers joined the effort to save the historic building and more than $3 million was raised to restore the theatre to its original beauty.

Mayor Lanctot assisted in the production of the “Tribute to the Greatest Generation,” on May 30, 2004 at th Stadium Theatre. Many World War II veterans were recognized and honored for their service by more than one thousand attendees.

Francis is a member of the June Rockwell Levy Charitable Foundation, a trust that has contributed millions of dollars over the years to non-profit organizations.

 

James R Langevin
James R. Langevin

Born April 22, 1964, Congressman James Langevin has dedicated his life to public service.

At the age of sixteen, Jim was injured while working with the Warwick Police Department in the Boy Scout Explorer program. A gun accidentally discharged and a bullet struck Jim, leaving him paralyzed. The tremendous outpouring of support from his community inspired Jim to give something back. He ran as a State Delegate to Rhode Island’s Constitutional Convention in 1986 and served as its Secretary. Two years later, he won election to the Rhode Island House of Representatives, where he established a reputation as a hard-working reformer committed to good government.

In 1994, Representative Langevin defeated a Republican incumbent to become the nation’s youngest Secretary of State. He took on the challenge of reforming Rhode Island’s outdated election system., established the state’s Public Information Center and, with Brown University, published “Access Denied,” which examined the General Assembly’s compliance with the Open Meetings Law and documented routine and widespread violations.

In 1998, Jim easily won re-election to his second term as Secretary of State, and in 2000, he made a successful run for the U.S. House of Representatives.

During his first term, Congressman Langevin was a lead sponsor of historic election reform legislation and was able to incorporate the tested reforms he implemented in Rhode Island. Langevin has also been a strong advocate for access to affordable health care, quality public education for every child, and sensible fiscal policies designed to encourage job and economic growth for all Americans.

Langevin has served on the House Armed Services Committee since his first term. In 2003, he was also asked to serve on the newly-created House Select Committee on Homeland Security. He continues to serve on this committee, which has since become permanent, and is the Ranking Member on its Subcommittee on Prevention of Nuclear and Biological Attack.

Congressman Langevin serves on a number of Boards, including PARI Independent Living, Tech Access, The Warwick Shelter and the Festival Ballet. Langevin is also a member of the Knights of Columbus, Lions Club and Save the Bay.

He graduated from Rhode Island College, then went on to earn a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.


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.

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Updated 16 October 2005

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