Mr. Speaker, we were saddened to learn of the death of Father Marcel de la Sablonnière. “Père Sablon”, as he was called informally by everyone who knew him, died on Saturday, at the age of 81.
Père Sablon got involved in amateur sport early on and worked hard to make it accessible to disadvantaged children. Through the determination with which he promoted sport and its virtues for young people, Père Sablon encouraged young people to strive for excellence. During his fundraising campaigns, he would often say “Let us give them a passion and make sure they have a good start”. Many owe it to him to have had a good start in life.
For nearly five decades, with generosity and dedication, Père Sablon worked as the director of Montreal's Centre de loisirs Immaculée-Conception. A pioneer in outdoor recreational activities, he helped build centres such as the Auberge du P'tit Bonheur, Camp Jeune-Air and many others.
People will always remember Père Sablon's charisma, ability to bring people together and great foresight.