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Tel: 248-425-0987

 

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Creoles have impacted every phase of this society and many of their accomplishments have gone unheralded and largely unnoticed. This page is reserved for those Creoles who have excelled in their profession and/or have made significant contribution to society. Our purpose here is to enhance our ongoing history. So if you know of anyone who fits this description, please contact one of the webmasters with the details.

Dr. Mark Guidry Jerry & Annette Leduff Janet Ravare Colson
Marion Ida Olivier-Ferreira Marie Roque

Rev. Jasper Brossette  Wilson (B.A., M.Th., D.D.)

Robert Alford    
     
     

 

Harlan Mark Guidry

Medical Doctor, Historian & Author

_________

 Birthplace: Port Arthur, Texas; U.S. Citizen

 Current Position:  As of Nov. 1st, 2001, Regional Director of Public Health; Texas Department of Heath; Between May 2001 - Oct 2001: Interim Associate Commissioner of Family Health; Texas Department of Health.  Current employed as Executive Director of Galveston County Health District.

 Education:

1. BA; Biological Sciences; University of Texas at Austin; 1979-1983

2. MD; University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston; 1983-1987

3. Family Practice Internship Completion; LSU Moss Regional Hospital; Lake Charles, LA; 1987-1988

4. Family Practice Residency Completion; University of Texas San Jacinto Hospital; Baytown, TX; 1988-1990

5. MPH (Master of Public Health); University of Texas School of Public Health at Houston; 1991-1992

 

Brief Bio Summary:

Dr. H. "Mark" Guidry, a Texan Creole with ancestral roots from Natchitoches and Isle Brevelle, is a board-certified family physician with extensive knowledge and experience in promoting the health of communities.  In addition to his professional attributes, he has performed genealogical research on numerous Louisiana Creole ancestries since 1975.  Since that time, he has written extensively about the Creole culture and about the historic gens de couleur libre (free people of color) of Louisiana.  Dr. Guidry work is based on his belief that "having a cultural identity and sense of belonging enhances one's health and well-being."   Resident and Homeowner on Isle Brevelle, Cane River:  1162 Highway 487; Natchez, La   71456;  Member of St. Augustine's Catholic Church; Melrose, La.

 

Honors:  Family Historian Awards, Grand Family Reunion, Inc (1981, 1983, 2000); Walter Kemp Finalist for Outstanding Article in AMERICAN FAMILY PHYSICIAN (1996); Creole Historian and Preservationist Award, Louisiana Creole Heritage Center (2000); Texas Board of Health Award (1997); numerous other professional awards and recognitions.

 

Books In Publication:  Several manuscripts reproduced and distributed widely including: 

(1) Back to Our Roots (Grand Family Reunion booklet); Mark Guidry; 1981

(2) History of a Grand Family: An American Tradition; Mark Guidry, 2000.   

(3) Co-author of Natchitoches and Louisiana's Timeless Cane River; LSU Press, Oct 2002.

 

Overview of book: Natchitoches and Louisiana's Timeless Cane River

 Dr. Mark Guidry authored the chapter on the Creoles of Isle Brevelle. This chapter explains the long existence of gens de couleur libre (free people of color) and Creoles of multi-ethnic and multi-cultural backgrounds - an existence which extends back to the 1500's with the first French and Spanish settlements in the New World.   In addition, this chapter covers:

(1) The origin and early history of the Creole community of Isle Brevelle which resulted from a fascinating (yet not uncommon) relationship between a French planter (Claude Thomas Pierre Metoyer) and former slave (Marie Thereze Coincoin) of colonial Natchitoches

(2) The early history of the Creole owners of Melrose, then known as Yucca Plantation

(3) The character and accomplishments of Nicolas Augustin Metoyer, the Creole patriarch of the descendants of Isle Brevelle, and the long and sometimes difficult history of the large painting of Metoyer which now hangs in St. Augustine Catholic Church

(4) The challenges faced by the Creole community during and following the Civil War as well as the social impact of   "Americanization" on the community of multi-ethnic, multicultural gens de couleur libre (free people of color) who originated under French and Spanish governance and customs,

(5) And finally, after years of cultural dormancy, the resurrection of Creole cultural awareness on Isle Brevelle and a national recognition of the diversity of American heritages.

CLICK HERE FOR MORE DETAILS ABOUT THE BOOK

For Dr Mark Guidry's dedication in the interest of preserving our Creole Heritage, we extend to him all honors along with our appreciation for a job... Well Done.

 

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Annette & Jerry Leduff

Historians, Jewelers, Musician, & Collector of Drums from Around The World

      

Jerry Leduff is an accomplished Master Percussionist who now plays with a group called "Orange Lake Drive," a fusion Jazz Group with a focus on World Music. Jerry's Drum Collection occupies every room in his homes and includes numerous drums from around the world. His collection is so extensive that Museums often contract him to display selected samples.

Jerry & Annette also own & operate a jewelry business focusing on custom, one-of-a-kind, designs.

 

Jerry's latest Album, "Driven" may be purchased by visiting:

 www.orangelakedrive.com 

You may contact Jerry & Annette at the following Email addresses:

creolada@comcast.net        (Annette Wecker LeDuff & Jerry LeDuff)

ajourleduff@netscape.net    (Ajour Ltd Fine Jewelry Design)

 

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Janet Ravare Colson

Assistant Director, Louisiana Creole heritage Center

 

Sometimes, I think God puts certain people on this earth to accomplish special tasks. And... I believe Janet Colson is one of these individuals. Under her steermanship, the Creole Awareness Movement has become a living entity that has spread outward from the Cane River/Natchitoches area to the far-flung reaches of the globe. Assistant Director

 

The  Louisiana Creole Heritage Center was established as part of a five-year plan initiated by the St. Augustine Historical Society, a Natchitoches parish based group. The society was formed over 25 years ago to promote and preserve the Creole culture. Although its initial focus was the community of Cane River, it has broadened its range to include the entire state of Louisiana as well as Creole colonies located nation-wide.

This Center is a reality mainly through the efforts of the society's current president, Mr. Terrel Delphin, along with the assistance of a number of its members and various NSU personnel. The approval of the university's governing boards was sought and obtained in the fall of 1997. Grant monies received from the Governor's Office of Urban Affairs and Development allowed for the support of a start-up staff whose initial mission was to assist in the achievement of permanent funding for the Center.

Since its opening in October, 1998, the office has grown from one (1) part-time employee to one full time person serving as Assistant Director with a part-time staff of seven (7) workers. A separate Genealogy Department has been developed and is housed in Derry, Louisiana. Although the Center is still seeking permanent funding, it has been able to secure substantial financial support through various federal, state, and private agencies.

We Salute you Janet!!

 

For More Details visit:

http://www.nsula.edu/creole/default.asp

 

To Add Your Family Information To The Creole Database, CLICK BELOW

http://www.nsula.edu/creole/addfamily1.asp

 

The present staff consists of one full time person serving as Assistant Director and seven (7) part-time employees. The main office is located on the campus of Northwestern State University in Room 116 of Kyser Hall. The Genealogy Department is presently housed in Derry, Louisiana (approx. 15 miles from the University). You may contact staff members by CLICKING their names.

 

Current Staff Members:

 

Marrion FerreiraMarion Ida Olivier-Ferreira

 PLACE OF BIRTH -   Lake Charles, La.
 DATE OF BIRTH  -  January 24, 1926
 RESIDENCE  - Los Angeles, CA
 EDUCATION -   Sacred Heart High,  Lake Charles, La.
                        Sisters of the Blessed Sacrament
                        Holy Rosary - 3 years in Galveston, TX
                        Sisters of the Holy Family
                        Central High -  Galveston, TX
                        one year to graduation
 
COLLEGE  -  Prairie View College, Hemstead, TX 1943-44
                    Los Angeles Community College  1967 - 71     
                    West Los Angeles Com. College  1978 - Spanish
                    California State Univ. Dominguez Hills  1978 - 1982
 
OCCUPATIONS -   Secretary to Attorney - 7 years - Amityville, L.I., New York 1957-63
                            Clerk-typist & Receptionist for State Mental Hygiene, Los Angeles 66-69
                            Clerk-typist & Receptionist - State Dept. of Corrections - Paroles
                               (l969-1978)
                           
MARRIED STATUS -  Married for 21 years to Valentino J. Ferreira of Bronx, N.Y.1944-65
                                One daughter, Aurora Marie Ferreira-Calcote/Watkins July 1945

Marion has been a champion for the preservation of Creole culture for many years. She:

  • Sponsored First Metoyer Descendants Family Reunion 1983
  • Researched Family Genealogy - 1983 to Present
  • Served as Executive Director for International Foundation for  Creole Cultural   Society  1989-1995
  •  Dedicated 23 years to Research of Creole History 1984 - 2005
  •  Founded the Associates for the Preservation of Creole Cultural Heritage  2002  (name changed from Foundation to Associates)

Marion also wrote an outstanding article regarding the history of Mother Henriette Delille. If you would like to read this article click this link.   http://www.interracialvoice.com/marion.html

If you would like to contact Marion. Her email is: Marion Ferreira

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A Look at the Life of Marie Roque

 Personal

 ·        Born on January 24, 1923; reared on Cane River.  With the exception of about two years in Port Arthur, Texas, she has lived on Cane River all of her lifetime.

·        Oldest daughter of the late Alfred and Louise Jones Llorens, Marie is a direct descendant of the first Metoyer who settled Isle Brevelle on Cane River, including Nicolas Augustin Metoyer (died 1863), the founder of St. Augustine Catholic Church.

·        Married the late Earl Roque in 1946.  They were blessed with four children (Connie, Mike (deceased - 2002), Tommy and Emitte).

·        Supports and helps in many political events and initiatives that have improved government and services for the people of Natchitoches Parish and Louisiana.

·        Provided service to the Cane River community via the historic Roque Brothers grocery store which operated on Cane River from the 1920’s until 1971, and currently in process of being restored for public tours.

·        10 grandchildren (Reggie, Greg, Carla, Chad, Tommy, Todd, Michelle, Tiffany, Emitte and Sean) call her Mame.

·        Four great grandchildren – Sophia, Amber, Bailey and Alexis and two more on the way.

·        “Momsy”, “Mame”, “Mamma”, and “Aunt Rea” to many, many other cousins, neighbors, relatives and friends.

 

Church / School

 

·        Lifetime member of St. Augustine Catholic Church on Isle Brevelle.

·        Graduated from St. Joseph Elementary School and received diploma from St. Matthew High School.  She completed courses at Northwestern State University.

·        Member of Christian Mothers since 1946; served as president for approximately 15 years.

·        Member of Parish Council; president for five years.

·        Successfully organized a series of activities commemorating the 200th year anniversary celebration for St. Augustine Catholic Church (1803 – 2003).

·        Participated in several historic reenactments of church and community history, benefiting the education of youth and the public.

·        Was an active member of the former St. Joseph Parent Teacher Association (PTA).

 

Career

 

·        The maker of a wonderful and welcoming home, being mother to all who enters, offering her hospitality and her delicious cooking, especially her famous meat pies.

·        Preserves the goodwill and history of Cane River through her time, energy and talents.

·        Collector of clippings, articles, and other papers that chronicles the life on Cane River and her enormous extended network of family and friends.

·        Known as the “Avon Representative” for 15 years

·        Employed by Natchitoches Area Action Association (NAAA) for 20 years, having served as supervisor of multiple service centers in Natchitoches Parish.

·        Organized fundraisers and events that benefited the community and those in greatest need.

·        Raised funds to support senior citizen trips to Jefferson, TX, Eunice, LA, Avery Island, LA, to name a few.

·        Instrumental in organizing ground efforts to incorporate Natchez, LA and select its first Mayor.

 

Extracurricular

 

·        Featured guest on Chef John Folse’s National Public Television Show (PBS) – a Taste of Louisiana – “Our Food Heritage” series.

·        Known as the “meat pie queen”.

·        Board Member of the St. Augustine Historical Society; served as president.

·        Was instrumental in establishing the Badin-Roque house as one of historical significance.

·        Serves on the Seniors and Lawmen Together (S.A.L.T.) Council in Natchitoches Parish.

 

 

 

Rev. Doctor Jasper Brossette (J.B.) Wilson (B.A., M.Th., D.D.)

 (1909-1982) Glenmora, LA.

      Reverend Wilson earned degrees   from Leland College (Baker, LA), Moody Bible College (Chicago, IL), Southwest Theological Seminary (Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX) and the United Theological Seminary behind his name.  He was in college (through the years) from 1953 – 1975.  In May 1975, he graduated with a Doctorate of Divinity (D.D.) from the United Theological Seminary.  He received the D.D. the old-fashioned way…he EARNED it.  No honorary…he earned it.  I saw him work, pastor churches, be on City Council, among other things, AND, burn the mid-night oil studying.

      Daddy loved Cane River and took me often for visits to Cane River so I would know my people.  Sometimes, many didn’t accept me, but daddy always made me feel comfortable and kept reminding me that I was his baby and I looked just like my mother, Ruthie. 

Robert Alford

 

    Very few people in this world enjoy what they do for a living. But for my Great uncle Robert Alford working with people whether through business or commuity activism seems to be his calling.

    Community activism is said to be designed to enhance or affect change in the community, and Mr. Alford has definitely enhanced the lives of past, present, and future Wichitans.
     In 1934, Robert Alford was the last child born to James W. Alford and Lydia Thibideaux Alford in Castel, Oklahoma. Shortly afterward the family relocated to Clearview, Oklahoma; one of Oklahomas Historical black township on the families 160 acre homestead. Robert's parents were entrepreneurs selling vegetables, eggs, poultry, grain, and beef to the surrounding communities.
     Observing these lessons Robert graduated in 1952 and moved to Wichita, Kansas where he met and married Jewellean Alford in 1955. In 1970 Robert bought a lighting company where he made and sold light fixtures to hotels, furniture stores, showrooms and homes. His light fixtures were also show cased in Ebony magazine. During this time Robert was one of few African Americans in the country with their own lighting company.
     Robert has also used his leadership and communication skills as a two term President of the Airport Authority of Wichita, Kansas. He's also sat on the Wichita, Kansas chamber of commerce and the board for the Wichita Industral school system. He was also very instrumental in helping gain historical status for the Wichita, Kansas African American museum.
     Robert has lived a very fulling life, and he has met a lot of interesting and important people along the way and he is very proud of his Lafeyette, Louisiana roots and creole heritage and the lessons his parents taught him.