The Farmers' Bank of Rustico
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Farmers' Bank of Rustico

 

Father Belcourt

In the ten years that Father Georges-Antoine Belcourt was a Priest of St. Augustine's Church in Rustico, he transformed not only the community but the Acadian people who lived there. A natural leader and visionary, Father Belcourt was to leave a lasting legacy which would empower the Acadian people of Rustico and Prince Edward Island.

Father Belcourt, The People's Champion

Father Georges-Antoine Belcourt was baptized at Baie-du-Febvre, Yamaska County, Quebec on April 22, 1803.

At age 13, he entered the College of Nicolet and after finishing his classical education enrolled in the theological program. He was ordained to the priesthood on March 27, 1827.

A few years after his ordination, he was chosen to work as a missionary among the aboriginal people in Red River, Manitoba. Father Belcourt was hesitant to go and wrote to the Bishop of Quebec. "I frankly confess that I regard with surprise and dread the explicit order you give me to put myself in readiness to proceed to Red River. The people who have so favourably spoken of me attribute to me qualities I do not possess. I have received from God but very common gifts."

Father Belcourt's words were ignored and he set out on the arduous life of the missionary. He approached it with great energy, enthusiasm, and dedication. A leader by nature, he was to work for over 28 years amongst the indigenous tribes in Western Canada. There he dedicated himself to bettering their lives and gained their trust.

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Portrait of Father Belcourt

Portrait of Father Georges-Antoine Belcourt. Circa 1860, Farmers' Bank Collection.

Father Belcourt sitting in an Office

Father Georges-Antoine Belcourt. Circa 1860. Farmers' Bank Collection.

Birthplace of Father Belcourt

Father Belcourt's birthplace, Baie-du-Febvre, Quebec. Farmers' Bank Collection.

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