Lewiston dignitaries surround the Paysan Québécois statue circa 1976. According to notations on the back of the image, the picture was taken during an exhibition of the statue at the Blaine House in Augusta. Le Paysan Québécois (the Quebec Farmer) was created by Jean-Julien Bourgault as part of Maine’s celebration of the National Bicentennial in 1976. The wood sculpture, which evoked the ancestors of Maine’s large Franco-American population, was first displayed at the State House in Augusta and can now be seen at the Franco-American Collection at the University of Southern Maine’s Lewiston-Auburn Campus in Lewiston. From left are Rita Pinette Croteau, Raymond Duprey, Loretta Pinette Duprey, Lewiston Mayor Lillian Caron and the Dominican Rev. Robert Comtois. Franco Philes runs every Saturday featuring a photo from the Franco-American Collection at the University of Southern Maine’s Lewiston-Auburn College in Lewiston.

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