Welcome to All Thank you all for coming to the celebration of my mother's 90th birthday.


We have lifetime friends and extended family. Today we honor and show gratitude to my mother on her 90th birthday. Today is not my mother’s actual birthday – that was 7 April – but we are using today to focus and celebrate my mother and her hummingbird-style-of life as she moves around as fast as they do…  

Rita1.jpgRita MarieCharlotte Valentine Laquerre...is living a great life.

As you will notice in the slide show, my mother also had her picture on the front of FLARE magazine. Heck, if Donald Trump can say he was on the front page of Time

Magazine, my mother is not to be denied.

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Born 1929 in Montreal (I can say that because a lot of people here can do the math of 2019 minus 90) and, as many knew, my mother was educated in a religious convent being always top of her class and bordered on rebellious. I know you'd disagree with that word and would appreciate more if I used the word ambitious instead but during your early years, a female who was working and excelling at the job, working even when pregnant...when other mothers were at home being the traditional (for that time) "housewife". Yes, rebellious and ambitious. To take me on a cruise ship to cross the Atlantic to meet dad in Germany when I was but one year old...you, mom, were certainly not the traditional housewife.  You were (and are) fearless as you followed dad around as he served his country for 33 years and after he retired and got job after job regardless of location working towards your shangri-la B&B Maison sur la coline in Gatineau. Hell, even in Whitehorse YK you got a coveted job with a dealership while other housewives stayed at home and kept warm ;).  I remember coming home from Valcartier to visit you guys in Trois Rivieres and you were in between jobs at that time and I had to fill out a security form for my work...it just so happen to ask the status of my mother and I put in "housewife" and I can still remember how upset you were. Stating that you stop working for a week and you were insulted I would list you as a Housewife....I laughed but I knew you were not happy. You are still proud to this day. That is why you always say that you are "pre-retired".

I have often wondered why the Bible includes 'Honor your father and mother' among the ten most important moral commandments.

Perhaps the reason is this: Gratitude is the mother of all virtues, without which humanity is fundamentally underdeveloped and wholly incomplete.From Men's Health Magazine, "Gratitude is radically simple: 'it's the deliberate attempt to not take the many good things in your life for granted'".

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Mom we are all grateful for you.  I am sure you must be quite moved by the presence of so many family members and other friends – a sign that you are loved by many. There is, of course, one who is missing- the man with whom you shared your life for over 60 years – your husband Jean-Paul. I am sure he is with us spiritually, and as always, guiding and keeping you safe.   Thank God, however, we can say of you, that like a good wine you have gained added depth.

The words of Pope Paul VI apply to you: “The older the fiddler, the sweeter the tune”.  Or is this all through your 4 o’clock somewhere glasses of beer? Your secret (or your beer brand) will be queried by many I am sure. But that is getting ahead of myself. This birthday celebration would not be complete without a little historical perspective into those here. Thank you to the combined Anthony and Trudel family for being here and welcome Ayla -our youngest attendee. It is nice to have your friendly faces here at this celebration. We've seen ourselves in many parts of Canada and find ourselves retiring in the same city. Fate is what it is called. You have all been a part of my mother’s family for nearly 40 years.  Thank you also to our good neighbors Leonard and Jackie who've we've known now for over 20 years. A neighborhood is only as good as its neighbors and we have been very luck with you both.

1978 Dec Announcemet of Sharons pregnency XMas.JPGIn the pictures that are rotating on the screen, there is one of me announcing the Sharon will be giving birth to Matthew.

_TAS5180.JPGThere is also a photo of Jonah dressed in the same outfit I was wearing 65 years ago. How is this relevant??  You may not have realized it, but present is my son Matthew who was the first to make you a grandmother and we have Thomas who with the birth of Jasmine was first to make you a great grandmother and then there is Kathryn’s son, Jonah, who (so far) is the youngest, to call you great grandmother. “A family is a circle of strength of love and with every new addition; the family circle grows and becomes stronger.”For your 11 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren that can see beyond your age, you are not only a repository of memories, from every family and holiday occasion or party — you are someone as alive and vibrant as they are (and sometimes even more).

mom You are and have been a great part of the lives of many people and it is why, in discussion with my two sisters we have opted to celebrate your 90 years with their extended families and friends separately. You were never afraid to voice your opinion whether it is for political commentary or a personal or family matter.  

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Heck, I would not have joined the military as a Vandoo if you had not told me that I should take the job-Dad wanted me as a logistician. Your insight and console has always been sought by many, your financial prowess has been complimented by even banks and with your accountant. I remember taking you with me for my mortgage here in Kingston and they said you knew your stuff!!!  My mom. Mom, I know you have loved me since the day I was born, but I have loved you my whole life.

Mom, this is not only a birthday celebration but given the circumstances of having so many of friends and family around, this is a celebration of the life of the pre-retired Rita Marie Charlotte Valentine (nee Laquerre) Tassé.  

Let us Toast to a HAPPY 90th BIRTHDAY TO MY MOTHER

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April 17 2019

Mom arrives. There was lots of room, but she didn't want to drive on the grass....

She first had a beer and told us stories of her trip down to Kingston. Driving from Gatineau!!! People find that hard to believe.

Brought mom to the local restaurant. When they found out it was her 90th birthday, they brought over a shot of booze.

We spent the rest of the evening talking and NOT having a beer...ya, you guessed it. I was lying.

On the 18th we brought her to Coco Fruitti

Kathryn came to have breakfast with us


I asked our waiter "Joe" to take our picture...this is what he did first

Then he took a picture...a joker

Kathryn and mom were leaving for some pampering with pedicure and manicure treatments...a birthday gift from Kathryn

We ran around to get things picked up and ready for her birthday get together

First thing we got was a non-Christine baked birthday cake by Costco. They did a great job.

Kathryn and family arrive

Kathryn made a cake and got a decoration personalized for the cake...such a good idea.

Mom was ready for the party with her CROWN

I smoked a turkey...but let me tell you, I never really got a picture of all the delicacies that all the visitors brought with their visit

Slowly people stated to arrive and were greeted with love and hugs

Matthew, Jean Trudel (beard) and Thomas chit chatting

Leonard and Sharon having a laugh

mom and Kathryn

Jackie and Dianne having some wine

Grandmother Sharon looking after Jonah (Kathryn's youngest)

Jonah and Katryna

Sangeeta (Kheayali's mother-Thomas' future mother-in-law) - she was known as Google 1 during the evening as she was quick with her responses...competition with Google

Mom enjoying the day

Mandy stopped in for a visit and dropping of Gavin and Jasmine

Abe with my mother...

Monday and Dianne mentioning how long it's been since they last seen each other

Lisa and Kheayali

Jonah...he was well behaved during the whole evening

Kathryn cooking...she looks worried.

Thomas and Mandy discussing...Mandy knew I was taking a photo which she says is always unannounced

Mom with Lisa

Kheayali and Dianne



While the light was still good, I went for a group shot

I found Matthew doing this in one of my other pictures. CAUGHT!!!

I had to take another picture as more people had arrived and it was not fair to not have them recognized

Mom and me

A picture of our kids together. They all grew up together. Makes memories come back...

We started to look for the food

They were all enjoying the video that I made for mom. Most everyone was part of the video.

Arianna and Katryna

Matthew's family with grandma

David contemplating life

The words at the beginning of the page were delivered at this time

Mom took the floor to thank people and mentioned how she is not a great speaker but delivered a thank you in brilliant form.

We then proceeded to have gifts...

Jasmine enjoying a little Cake from Costco and Jessika a cake that her Aunt Kathryn made

There was also a little dancing


Lisa and Michelle

Afterwards, we gave Easter eggs to the grandkids...notice how happy Katryna was when she saw...

Arianna and Gavin

Arianna allowing equal play time to assist Jonah in having fun

Mom and Sangeeta

Matthew and his grandmother

Lisa and Grandma

Saying goodbye to Matthew and family as they departs for 2 1/2 hr trip back home. Coming all this way for Grandma's birthday celebration

On the 19th, mom left

Here is mom leaving


Thank you one and all for your participation in making this 90th birthday celebration for my mother something special.