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1919 - 2008
Denis Landry was born in Azilda, Ontario, on May 16, 1919. He began his academic pursuits at the age of seven and matriculated from Azilda Public School #2 at fourteen with an eighth grade education. Landry was unable to continue formal academic pursuits due to economic reasons and began to work on the family farm where he pasteurized milk and took care of the animals. Landry married his wife Thérèse Paquette on January 6th, 1945 and they had seven children. In order to support his family Landry worked as a miner for Inco at the Levack Nickel Mine Deposit where he held many positions. Despite his work, Landry still found the time for his family, and his community.
Landry was a devote catholic and enjoyed religious music. Denis was a member of the “paroisse de Chelmsford” choir and when the “paroisse Sainte-Agnès” was formed in 1953, he became leader of orchestra and remained so for 20 years.
Landry was an important figure for the education sector in the Azilda - Chelmsford area. He played a significant role during the creation of the Roman Catholic Separate School Section No.1 in 1955. Landry was appointed trustee for the RCS.S No.1 from 1955 to 1956. Thanks to Landry and other trustees, the Roman Catholic schools in the No.1 and No.2 district merged in 1961 and two new Separate schools were created “l’école St-Patrick” and “l’école St-Dominique-Savio”. In 1965 Landry was appointed to serve as trustee for the Chelmsford Valley District High School Board to represent all the Separate Schools in the areas of Rayside Balfour, Chelmsford, Dowling, and Levack. He spent six years as a trustee with the Chelmsford Valley District High School Board, to ensure that Catholic children from the area have an opportunity to pursue their studies at the secondary level. In 1968, the Ministry of Education warned the school boards of its intention to establish larger administrative units. Landry was appointed by the Chelmsford High School Board to serve in the “ADD-Hoc” committee in order to prepare the documents needed to restructure the School Boards in Ontario. Denis was then elected to represent the Western Separate Schools in 1969. He was honored to serve as a representative for the Western Separate Schools for the following 12 years. Denis Landry’s 32 years of service as a trustee for Separate Schools, gave generations of French Catholic children in the Azilda, Rayside area the opportunity to learn and grow in a proper education system.
Landry retired from Inco after 43 years of service. After his retirement he went on to work as a Real Estate agent. He was a strong supporter of the French culture in the community. His passion for education, the town of Azilda and the French culture inspired him to write a book entitled “Azilda comme je l’ai connue”.
Landry was also a member of the “Coopérative funéraire” and the “Club d’âge d’or d’ Azilda” (one of the founding members). For the remainder of his retirement Landry continued to devote himself to his pastimes, his community and his family. Denis Landry passed away on May 6th 2008 at the age of 88.
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