The annual induction dinner for the Glengarry Agricultural Wall of Fame takes place on Friday, April 26, at the Metcalfe Centre in Maxville. The evening begins with a social hour at 6:30 p.m. followed by dinner and presentations at 7:30 p.m. This year’s inductees are Benoît Duchesne, Carmin Howes, Brian MacNaughton and Carman Rowe. The Review will present profiles of each of the inductees during the next few weeks.
Benoît Duchesne was born on September 17, 1914 and grew up in Ste-Anne-de-Prescott. He attended Rigaud College for two years before marrying Geneviève Beaulieu on October 24, 1942. They settled in Glen Sandfield for five years before moving to Dalkeith. They raised five children: Micheline, Hubert, Louise, Roch and Darquise.
Farming soon became a thriving business for Benoît. Thinking ahead to the future, he bought two neighbouring farms. In 1959, he started investing in tile drainage. Making sure the farm would prosper, he built an addition to the existing barn, installed an automatic milking system and started buying registered milking cows. He was a member of the Eastern Ontario Cattle Breeding Association. In 1965, William Stewart, Minister of Agriculture approached Duchesne to form a committee which became known as the Ontario Milk Marketing Board; Duchesne served as a director. In 1966, he bought a milk quota and started shipping milk to Montreal. In 1971, he formed an association with his wife and his older son Hubert, and Duchesne Farm Ltd. was created. In 1989 he received an “Award of Merit” from the Glengarry Soil and Crop Association after 40 years of membership.
Duchesne also served as school trustee for Glengarry District High School in 1968. He retired from farming in 1976, but stayed close to the farm so he could visit every day! His two sons still earn a living from agriculture. Duchesne passed away in 2002.
Tickets for the Wall of Fame dinner are $35 per person. Admission for children costs $15. Members of the Agricultural Wall of Fame who have tickets to sell are: Robert D. MacDonald (613-525-3471); Dougall MacLeod (613-525-2327); Warren MacIntosh (613-527-5355); Jack Fraser (613-527-2572); Ray Howes (613-528-4320); Clark McCuaig (613-347-2653); Walter McIntosh (613-528-4694); Carolyn McRae (613-347-2698) and Sharon McDonell (613-347-3981).