Antoine Labelle, 1833-1891
Date of Issue
September 16, 1983
Perforation or Dimension
British American Bank Note Company.
Designed by Jacques Hamel
François-Xavier Antoine Labelle was born at Sainte-Rose in Laval county, Lower Canada, who had studied at seminaries in Sainte-Thérèse and Montreal, was ordained a priest in 1856. Being intelligent and sensitive, he was greatly disturbed by the economic and religious crises that were predominant at that time. He deplored poverty and was concerned about the attraction that the cities of the south and the United States seemed to hold for his compatriots. He visited the logging districts northwest of Montreal with a view to establishing future parishes, and then set to work: in 1868 he arrived in Saint-Jérôme where he would remain a parish priest for the rest of his life. In 1876, the parish welcomed its first train, thanks to Labelle's efforts to promote railway construction. In 1879 Labelle founded the "Société de la colonisation" during the development of the back country, and invited colonists to settle as far as Manitoba. He methodically developed agricultural techniques, studied mining, and encouraged the dairy industry and animal husbandry. Subsequently Mercier, the premier of Quebec, named him deputy minister for settlement. Labelle became a Monsignor in 1889, but at the age of 58, after two trips to Europe to recruit colonists, he died following surgery. Quebec illustrator Jacques Hamel has rendered the portrait of Curé Labelle flanked by representations of his beloved colonists, their cleared land, and the "petit train du nord", which linked the settlements to Montreal and the south.
Canada Post Corporation. [Postage Stamp Press Release], 1983.
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