On November 18, 1968, the high school Camille J. Lerouge Collegiate was opened in Red Deer. The school was named after Camille J. Lerouge (see bio below).
In 1996, École Camille J. Lerouge became a French Immersion Kindergarten - Grade 9 school.
In 2003, our students helped Mrs. Camille Lerouge celebrate her 90th birthday.
Biography of Camille J. Lerouge (1893-1971)
Camille Joseph Auguste Lerouge was born on January 16, 1893 at Lille in Northern France. He was the oldest son of Auguste Lerouge and Marie Widar. He had two brothers, Pierre and Robert and two sisters, Jenny (LeSaunier) and Sidonie.
He enrolled in school with the Christian Brothers in 1897 and in 1904, went to the Jesuits’ École Libre Saint Joseph, where he was an honour student. He particularly excelled in mathematics, having a photographic memory for numbers.
In April 1907, the Lerouge family emigrated to Canada, Mr. Lerouge Sr. having secured work with the Canadian government to help bring French emigrants to Canada and to help establish a flax industry on the Prairies. The family initially settled in Innisfail, Alberta, but in 1908, moved to Red Deer where the Fathers of Ste. Marie of Tinchebray and the Daughters of Wisdom (Filles de la Sagesse) were establishing a French Catholic mission and school on the northside of the Red Deer River.
Camille Lerouge continued his education with the Priests of Ste. Marie of Tinchebray with the hopes of eventually attending McGill University in Montreal or a Polytechnique in France. However, he soon found himself the breadwinner for his family. He got a job with the C.P.R., first in the ticket office and then in the freight office, and remained with the company for 47.5 years.
Mr. Lerouge was very active with his church and his community. He started the choir at Our Lady of Seven Sorrows Church on the North Hill and was later the director of the choir at Sacred Heart Church. He was on the parish council for more than 25 years. He served as a councilor for the Village of North Red Deer from 1936-1941. From 1917 to 1951, he served as a trustee of the Red Deer Separate (Catholic) School and was secretary-treasurer for the district for 31 years, receiving a salary only in the last two years of his service.
Mr. Lerouge was a charter member of the Elks Lodge in 1924 and was the treasurer from 1927 to 1958. He was also a charter member of the Knights of Columbus. He was a board member for the Sacred Heart Savings and Credit Union. He was frequently the first aid officer at local hockey games.
In 1968, the new Catholic senior high school was named Camille J. Lerouge Collegiate. This was renamed École Camille J. Lerouge in 1996. The Alberta School Trustees Association honoured Mr. Lerouge with a long service award in 1969.
Camille Lerouge married Catherine Mary van Dyck on June 8, 1936. They had five children: Marguerite (Watson), Aline (Philbin), Cecelia (Kauhaahaa), Camille Jr. and Robert.
Camille Lerouge passed away on July 4, 1971. He is buried in the Catholic section of the Red Deer Cemetery.