Mathieu Allard wants to establish a permanent monument to mark the achievements of two of Pointe Hébert’s founding fathers.
Allard is the maternal great-great-grandson of Joseph Hébert and great-grandson of J. B. Théobald Hébert, who were both integral in the development of the historic area in St. Boniface.
A lifelong area resident, Allard has been mandated by the Old St. Boniface Residents’ Association to explore ideas for an appropriate commemoration, such as a monument or plaque.
A city committee recently recommended the city consult with Allard — along with his uncle, Raymond Hébert — to develop the idea to coincide with the planned redevelopment and expansion of the area.
"There is already a street bearing the Hébert name. So with the future developments planned for the area, this would be an opportune moment for a further dedication," Allard said.
"So far, the response to the idea has been very positive. It’s a real honour to be part of this. It’s great to find your place in history and to be able to remember your ancestors."
Joseph was a descendant of Augustin Hébert, who arrived in Canada in 1642 with de Maisonneuve, the founder of Montreal. Born in Quebec, he found his way to Manitoba in the late 19th century and acquired property in the area now known as Point Hébert, where he built one of the most elaborate houses in Winnipeg at the time.
Allard said by today’s standards, Joseph would be considered a successful developer.
Joseph’s son, Théobald, was born in 1893 and starting around 1920 took over some of his father’s business interests, Allard said. He is best known for his time as a long-serving alderman in the former City of St. Boniface, was awarded the Manitoba Order of the Buffalo and was made an honourary citizen of the City of St. Boniface in 1964.
In the 1930s, Théobald bought the property at 740 Tache Ave. and lived there until his death in 1972.
Allard said the time frame for the monument will depend on the progress of the redevelopment, "but hopefully within a year."