Evangeline holds meeting in French

The Evangeline Parish Police Jury on Tuesday held its annual “all French” meeting, in which the proceedings were conducted in the French language.

Police Jury President Bryan Vidrine announced that the jury “supports our local Cajun and Creole culture” and “wants to keep the tradition going on for future generations.” The unique all-French meeting has been taking place since the mid 1980s.

The French program included the Pledge of Allegiance and invocation. Emily Miller sang the National Anthem in French.

State Representative Mike Huval of St. Martinville commended jurors for their efforts in promoting Cajun and Creole culture in South Louisiana.

“Keep on doing what you’re doing even if part of your conversation is in English,” Huval said.

A.J. Credeur, a police juror from neighboring Acadia Parish also complimented the Evangeline jurors for promoting their French heritage.

“Don’t ever be ashamed to speak French,” Credeur said. “I wish our parish would do what you’re doing. “

Margaret “Chicken” Aucoin of Louisiana Folk Roots announced formation of a group known as “Evangeline Parish Friends of French,” with the goal of promoting French culture and language, including French immersion. The Police Jury passed a resolution supporting the group’s efforts.

Amanda Lafleur Giambrone, professor of French at LSU and co-author of the “Dictionary of Louisiana French” also thanked the Police Jury for its efforts.

“My heart is touched when I read and hear about your annual French meetings,” she said. “This is our tradition.”

Brenda Monier spoke about the importance of having a French Immersion program in Evangeline Parish.

“Our language will die if we don’t keep it going,” Monier said. “We are looking to have a summer immersion for young people to attend. If there is enough interest from parents, we will look at trying to have a program in our schools.”

In other business, the Police Jury approved adding the sales of vehicles in municipalities to be included in the new parishwide 2 percent sales-and-use tax.

The Police Jury also reappointed Gene Morein as commissioner to the Te Mamou Water District for another five-year term, and reappointed Tiqua Manuel to another two-year term on Mamou Fire District No. 1 Board.