Ville de Québec honours James Carrel and nine others

Photo: Photo by Bethann G. Merkle

James Carrel was the founder of the Quebec Daily Telegraph in 1875.

The reception hall at Quebec City Hall was crowded on Thursday, October 23, with relatives, friends and associates anxious to see the blue ceramic plaques or epigraphs that would soon be unveiled to honour the memory of ten famous residents of the City.

Among those being honoured was James Carrel (1843-1891), founder of the Quebec Daily Telegraph in 1875. Born in Quebec City of Irish descent, he was raised in the poor neighbourhood of Saint-Roch. The plaque will be installed on Carrel's former home at the corner of Rue du Roi and Rue Monseigneur-Gauvreau.

In French, the text means, "Here lived James Carrel, founder of the Quebec Daily Telegraph, a penny a copy, aimed at the working-class Irish of the city." The paper supported the labour movement and called for better conditions for working men. Carrel died suddenly on March 8, 1891, and was buried in Mount Hermon Cemetery. His son Frank took over and, in 1925, the paper was merged with the Morning Chronicle to create The Chronicle-Telegraph, known today as the Quebec Chronicle-Telegraph.

Steve Cameron was at the unveiling ceremony, proud to see his dear friend, the renowned sculptor Lewis Pagé (1931-2007), honoured with a plaque for his home, the city's first art foundry, at 659 Rue Richelieu. Pagé was born in Quebec City but grew up in Saint-Martin de Beauce. He has left a wealth of works sculpted in stone, wood, bronze and aluminum. One of his most outstanding works is the monumental statue of Marie-Immaculée in stone, at Saint-Michel de Sillery church, overlooking the St. Lawrence River.

Simon Jacobs, president of the Quebec Anglophone Heritage Network, also attended the ceremony and proudly held the plaque in honour of Berthe Herzberg Serchuk (1882-1891), who was very active in the Jewish community and the I.O.D.E. In 1814 she organized and paid for the burial of nine victims of the sinking of the Empress of Ireland in Beth Israel cemetery in Quebec City. The plaque will be installed on a building on Rue Saint-Paul where Serchuk and her husband Charles lived above their haberdashery (a men's and women's clothing accessory shop).

Others honoured were: sculptor Henri Angers, composer Maurice Blackburn, "Le Curé" François-Xavier-Antoine Labelle, baker Léo Paquet, architect Joseph-Ferdinand Peachy, artist Alfred Pellan and the "p'tit frère" Wilfrid Sauvageau, who devoted much of his life to the Saint-Vincent-de-Paul Society.