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Gérard Dufresne (born 1918 - January 27, 2013[1] ) was a well-known local politician and a military officer in Shawinigan, Quebec.

Born in East Angus, Quebec, Eastern Townships in 1918, he got a degree from the Shawinigan Technical Institute and would later make career as an insurance agent.

MilitaryEdit

Dufresne became a member of the 694 Army Cadet Corps (Collège Immaculée-Conception) in 1933 and then became a reservist with the Régiment de Joliette.

During World War II he commanded an infantry company in England and served in the Netherlands, with the Régiment des Fusiliers Mont-Royal and in Germany.

After the war, he became the Commanding Officer of the Shawinigan-based C Company of the Régiment de Joliette.

In 1953, Dufresne was promoted lieutenant colonel and served as Commander of the 62nd (Shawinigan) Field Artillery Regiment, which he had joined in 1948, until 1960.

From 1966 to 2005, he was the Honorary Colonel of the same unit.

In 2006, local military author Captain (ret) Guy Arcand, CD published a book on Gérard Dufresne 'Biographie du Col Gerard F. Dufresne, CM, ED, OSTJ, CD' La Societe d'histoire militaire mauricienne.[2]

PoliticsEdit

In 1963, Dufresne was elected Mayor of Shawinigan against François Roy.[3]

Under his tenure, the old City Market (located downtown) was demolished to make room for a Woolworth's retail store and Boulevard Royal was extended to the current location of the Biermans movie theater. Also, the construction of the Centre des Arts de Shawinigan (located at 2100 Boulevard des Hêtres and completed in 1967) began.[4]

In 1966 he lost his bid for re-election to Maurice Bruneau.

In 1970, Dufresne was the Liberal candidate in the district of Saint-Maurice. He finished third with 24.3% of the vote, behind Union Nationale incumbent Philippe Demers (36.9%) and Parti Québécois candidate Yves Duhaime (24.4%).

Duhaime had been an officer of the 62nd (Shawinigan) Field Artillery Regiment at the time Dufresne was its Commanding Officer.

Dufresne is a federalist, a loyal supporter of Prime Minister Jean Chrétien and has remained a card-carrying member of the Liberal Party of Canada for decades.

FootnotesEdit

  1. Lepage, Bernard (January 31, 2013). "L'ex-maire Dufresne rend l'âme". http://www.lhebdodustmaurice.com/Actualites/Politique/2013-01-31/article-3167974/Lex-maire-Dufresne-rend-lame/1. Retrieved 7 August 2013. 
  2. Le Col (ret) Gérard Dufresne honoré, Lcol Alain Boisvert, La Feuille d'érable, National Defence, vol 9, no.12, 22 March 2006
  3. The name of the Mayor of Trois-Rivières during the same period was also Gérard Dufresne.
  4. Fabien LaRochelle, Shawinigan depuis 75 ans, 1976

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  • J.J. Bellemare, 60 ans d'artillerie en Mauricie, 1996
Political offices
Preceded by
Henri Désaulniers
Mayors of Shawinigan
1963–1966
Succeeded by
Maurice Bruneau
Military offices
Preceded by
Lt Colonel Jean Bouvette
Commanding Officer of the 62nd (Shawinigan) Field Artillery Regiment, RCA
1953–1960
Succeeded by
Lt Colonel Robert Grondin
Preceded by
None
Honorary Colonel of the 62nd (Shawinigan) Field Artillery Regiment, RCA
1966–2005
Succeeded by
Ben Weider

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