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by Isabel Mosseler
August 05 2020
It came as a delightful and complete surprise to both Marcel and Jane Labbé when a parade wound its way towards their former home on Church Street in Sturgeon Falls last Friday, July 31, to honour the couple on their 70th wedding anniversary. A steady stream of vehicles festooned with balloons and signs, led by the WN Fire Department, WN Mayor Joanne Savage and the Knights of Columbus walking on foot and bearing standards, passed by the gaily-decorated garage of the family home, now owned by their daughter.
Marcel and Jane, aged 95 and 93, sat in their chairs to receive heartfelt acknowledgments, not only for the longevity of their marriage but also for their countless contributions to the community. Marcel served 31 years on Sturgeon Falls municipal council (pre-amalgamation); Jane was the founder of the West Nipissing Food Bank (along with Gail Koster), a founding member of Community Living and the first community daycare; and the two of them worked tirelessly on the steering committee to establish the arena, pool and recreation centre in Sturgeon Falls.
The couple were denied a large family celebration due to Covid restrictions, so daughter Dianne Labbé hastily organized the parade with just a few days’ notice. Mayor Joanne Savage stopped to present a certificate on behalf of the municipality and multiple friends stepped out of their vehicles to drop off gifts and cards, all while maintaining social distance. The Labbés were visibly cheered, laughing and clapping as the gifts and cards piled up, with Jane repeatedly exclaiming “Oh my!” while greeting each of their many friends..