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Book celebrates legacy of Fern Tremblay

'This one is one of the most precious collections of poetry that I’ve ever written in all my life'
2022-05-16 Tremblay Book MH
Raymond Tremblay wrote a book of poetry in memory of his brother Fern Tremblay, who died in March.

A new book is celebrating the legacy of Fern Tremblay. 

At Extendicare Timmins, where Tremblay lived for about two years until he died in March, Raymond Tremblay held a small launch for the book, Born To Be Alive. The celebration took place on what would have been Fern's 91st birthday.

“This one is one of the most precious collections of poetry that I’ve ever written in all my life," said Raymond, who is Fern's younger brother. 

Fighting back tears, Raymond said Fern was his substitute father.

“The book was done in his memory because this man has an incredible history and it should be engraved in the history books of Timmins,” he said.

“What else could I do when your dad passes than to write this beautiful in-memory collection of poetry and for me, it’s a gift that I’ve received from  my parents."

Three days before the book was scheduled to go to the publisher, Raymond said he erased the computer file. He hired a computer expert to try and retrieve it, but that was unsuccessful.

"It took me 24 hours, I redid the whole thing and it’s better than the first,” he said.

Fern was a well-known pillar of the local community.

He political career began in 1965 as a councillor for Mountjoy Township. He served as reeve from 1970-1972.

He started Bonhomme Carnaval, served with the with Chevalier de Colomb, church committees, founded the Joseph Fortin Foundation, and participated in the Easter Seals Snowarama. He also received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal, and has many other accolades. 

In 2012, he was honoured by Ecole secondaire catholique Theriault for his dedication to the community and being a role model for the francophone youth. In 2015, he was recognized by Le comité des activités entourant les 400 ans de presence francophone en Ontario as someone who contributed to the development of the francophone community in the Timmins region.

In 2019, a park was renamed in his honour

“The book speaks for itself. If you want to know about Fern and his family, his personal life, his Métis history and his family history and how many good people helped him and how he helped so many people, you look at this brief book,” Raymond said. 

Proceeds of the book are for the Extendicare Timmins residents' council.

Born To Be Alive is $20 or $18 for a PDF version. Copies are available at Extendicare.

For a copy, email realsanta1225@gmail.com if you're paying cash. Etransfers can be emailed to rosieharvey83@gmail.com