Mr. Speaker, one of the proudest accomplishments of Trois-Pistoles and Les Basques is without a doubt the Trois-Pistoles French Immersion School. It is celebrating its 87th year of operation, making it the oldest immersion school in North America.
Every summer the principal, André Beaudin, and his team welcome approximately 600 young English speakers from across the country, who are housed by 100 or so host families, for an unforgettable experience.
When they arrive and they are spoken to in French, the kids often look like deer in the headlights, according to the Nicholas Moroz, president of the CAFEL, but they emerge from the experience with greater confidence in themselves and their abilities, not to mention a host of new memories.
Whenever I can, I have the pleasure of welcoming them when they arrive and seeing them off when they leave every year. This time, it will be bittersweet, because André is retiring this summer, after 10 years as principal of the school. His generosity of spirit and his sense of humour are equally legendary, and we are sorry to see him go.
His successor, Kathy Asari, will be taking over soon. She will have some seriously big shoes to fill.
Thank you, André, for all that you have done. Enjoy your well-deserved retirement.