I am an Anglophone not originally from this area married to a Franco Ontarian who’s family has been in the Cornwall area for quite some time.
Seeing the monument unveiled today and the recognition for the importance of the contribution from the Franco community to the Cornwall area since the arrival of Europeans here was very moving. I believe that it is vital for my children to grow up knowing their heritage and how it has enriched the lives of not only our area but all of Canada. I was happy to see one gentleman wearing the sash of a Voyageur.
As with many families of mixed Anglo and Franco parents, my wife Julie and I have wanted to raise our children bilingually since we first discussed marriage. Our case turned out to be perhaps a little more challenging than most.
Both of our children were born deaf. Thankfully they have both had devices called Cochlear implants surgically placed in their heads that allow them to hear and listen to speak. My wife and her parents were devastated when the doctors and therapists said that we should only focus on learning one language at first and possibly ever.
The reason was because of the difficulty for our children to learn to listen. We all resolved ourselves to the fact of our children were never likely to learn both languages of their heritage. We were just happy that they could hear.
Well it is my great pleasure to share with you that both my son Marc (6) and daughter Jenna (4) are now both learning to speak french as well as english. The joy this has brought to our extended family is immeasurable. The fact that my children will grow up not only knowing their heritage but being able to experience both cultures is such a gift. Having their mother, aunt and Grandmother all being French teachers is an advantage.
So many thanks to all those who made today a reality. Thank you for helping us celebrate all that makes us different yet the same as members of a community so great as Cornwall!
James, Julie, Marc and Jenna Borer
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