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Home WHO WE ARE Assumptionists Profiles Bro. ARMAND LEMAIRE, A.A. (1924-2018)

Bro. ARMAND LEMAIRE, A.A. (1924-2018)

Bro. Armand Lemaire, A.A.

Interviewer - Bro. Armand, would you share with us a bit about your family background?

Bro. Armand - I was born in Fall River, MA where I have one brother still living. My mother had seven children but only six survived to adulthood. My father owned a grocery store which he lost during the Great Depression. Because he catered to his customers who came from the Azores for the most part, he became very familiar with the Portuguese language and culture. After he lost the store, he worked in a mill to support his large family and died of a massive stroke at age sixty. I now have nineteen immediate nieces and nephews.

- How did you come to meet the Assumptionists and eventually enter the congregation?

- My elementary education was with the Sisters of St. Joseph, the community that three of my cousins eventually joined. Then is 1942 I graduated from an excellent public high school in Fall River, where I had teachers who went to Harvard and Oxford. It is interesting to remember that in those days teachers and telephone operators could not marry if they wanted to remain in those positions. After high school, I went to Assumption Prep for one additional year for Religion and French and while there I got to know the congregation. As a result, I entered and made my novitiate in Quebec where, at that time, the group was divided in two. I have been an Assumptionist now for sixty-seven of my eighty-six years.

- How did your studies and early assignments lead you to your focused ministry in business and finance?

- My college studies at Assumption were interrupted during World War II. In 1950 I made my final vows in the Oratory of the prep school at 6:15 one morning with five family members present. The Mass and profession was followed by a special breakfast for us and the community. I then returned to work as the receptionist and switchboard operator but was then given the afternoon off because it was a special day. As time went on, it was my choice to remain a brother. In 1956 when the college opened, I was one of the first sixteen Assumptionists assigned to the local community. The prep had been previously destroyed by the tornado of 1953. Soon plans were underway to purchase the land and start building the college in our present location on Salisbury  St. With this early growth and expansion thanks to the help of benefactors, I began working in the Treasurer's Office where I remained for the next fifty years. In preparation for this work, I had taken five years of accounting courses. During those years I served under seven treasurers, two Assumptionists and five laymen. Today we are the largest college campus in all of Worcester.

- Bro Armand, would you share a few memories of those early days of the college's growth?

- Thanks to a few alumni who had become architects, we did expand with the original chapel on the ground floor of Alumni Hall. At the same time, our student body  increased which was a great blessing and hope for the future of the school. During the summer we had many teaching sisters come to study. Another important move during those years involved the transfer of our cemetery from Arnold Rd. to St. Anne's in Sturbridge. It is interesting to note that Fr. Henri Brun, A.A., one of Fr. d'Alzon's first disciples who had come to the U.S. to work with the Little Sisters of the Assumption in NYC, is buried there in the Assumptionist section.

- Did your assignments ever take you beyond Worcester?

- Yes. After we sold our houses in Brookline and Milton, I was assigned to Brighton for four years to help set up the Assumptionist Center.

- How do you continue to be involved with the college and give witness to Fr. d'Alzon's vision of service to the community and and Church?

- I have been living at Old English Rd. now for many years where I am presently the sacristan and do various house schedules. I left the Treasurer's Office about twenty years ago but I continue to work with the Alumni Association and I am on the Board of Directors. I continue to be present, as far as I am able, at local alumni events: dinners, basketball games and golf tournaments. I guess that is why I am often called an "Ambassador of Good Will" and will happily continue to do so for as long as I can.

Note: Since this interview took place, Bro. Armand Lemaire, A.A. passed away on February 28, 2018. May he rest in peace.

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