Private Henri Richard

The Commemoration of Richard Peninsula
July 2000

The Commemorative Names Project, sponsored by the government of Manitoba, has named a Manitoban geographical feature after Henri. The feature is named Richard Peninsula, located approximately 60 km south of Lynn Lake in northern Manitoba. Richard Peninsula is a prominent point of land (approx 1.0 kilometer in length) jutting out into the northwest corner of Kadeniuk Lake.

In July 2000 a trip was made to Richard Peninsula in northern Manitoba, in order to erect a "monument" in recognition of Henri Richard. For those that are not aware of Canadian geography, Northern Manitoba is a very remote location. There are a few major roads leading into the area, but almost all of the land is covered with remote lakes, rivers, swamp and forest, and inaccessible by anything other than by bush plane. This is how a dedicated collection of Henri's relatives managed to go to a remote peninsula on Kadeniuk Lake (Richard Reninsula) to construct and erect a simple cairn with a graphite plaque that commemorates Henri's accomplishments.

Richard Peninsula Commemoration - On the Shore of Kadeniuk Lake
(Left to Right): Henri Richard (Nephew), Marcel Gauthier (Nephew), Richard Gauthier (Nephew) and Michel Richard (Brother) all relatives of Henri Richard next to the cairn that was built on site.

A Cairn for a Brother and Uncle, a War Hero

In July 2000, four members of the family organized an excursion to the Richard Peninsula to build a commemorative monument for Henri Richard. The team consisted of Michel Richard, brother of Henri, Henri John Richard, son of Michel, Richard Gauthier and Marcel Gauthier, nephews of Henri. Michel came all the way from South Carolina and Henry from Alabama to join Marcel and Richard in Manitoba's far North.

The entire project from Winnipeg to Thompson, to Lynn Lake, and then to Richard Peninsula (lake Kadeniuk) and back was done in three days. On July 17 we made our way from Winnipeg to Thompson where we met Richard Gauthier thus completing the team. From there, we went to Lynn Lake where our plane was ready for departure on the morning of July 18.

The cargo, a graphite commemorative plate, 150 kg of mortar mix, trowels, shovels, hammers, chisels and pails, was loaded. With the passengers and the equipment, the plane was at its maximum payload. The pilot informed us that he was very familiar with the Richard Peninsula as it was a well-known point of reference to the local bush pilots. Moreover, he informed us the good news that there was a quay to which one could moor the plane and unload at dry dock.

Takeoff was done without a hitch and in less than 30 minutes we were on Richard Peninsula in search of the best site for the construction of the monument. As we had been given approximately one hour for our proposed construction we had no time to lose. The pilot even lent us a hand at gathering stones and transporting them to the building site. In a little more than one hour, construction of the monument was finished and the commemorative plaque was set in the structure. It was time to return to Lynn Lake. There were a few minutes for some photos and to load the equipment back on the plane.

After take off, as a sign off for the excursion, the pilot circled one last time over Richard Peninsula where we, the four family members, could see the commemorative monument and pay our last respects to our brother and uncle, Henri Richard.

Marcel L. Gauthier

Construire un monument pour reconnaître un héros de guerre

C'est en juillet 2000 que des membres de la famille se sont rassemblés pour faire une excursion à la Péninsule Richard. Se joignant à la troupe étaient Michel Richard, frère d'Henri, Henri John Richard, fils de Michel, Richard Gauthier et Marcel Gauthier, neveux d'Henri. Michel s'est déplacé de la Caroline du sud et Henry de l'Alabama pour rejoindre Marcel et Richard au grand nord du Manitoba :

De Winnipeg, à Thompson, à Lynn Lake, à la Péninsule Richard (lac Kadeniuk) se fit en trois jours. Le 17 juillet on a fait le trajet de Winnipeg à Thompson où on a rencontré Richard pour compléter l'équipe. On s'est rendu à Lynn Lake où notre avion nous attendait pour le départ au matin du 18.

Dans un petit avion Beaver, on a chargé la cargaison, dont une plaque commémorative en graphite, 150 kg de mélange à mortier, des pelles, des marteaux, des ciseaux à fret et des chaudières. Avec les passagers et les équipements, l'avion était chargé à son maximum.

Le pilote nous a informé qu'elle était très familier avec la péninsule à laquelle on faisait référence car c'était un point de repère connu pour les pilotes de brousse. De plus, il nous partagea la bonne nouvelle qu'il y avait un quai auquel on pourrait amarrer l'avion et débarquer à sec. Quelle bonne nouvelle.

Le décollage se fit sans accro et en moins de 30 minutes nous étions sur la Péninsule Richard en quête de trouver des petites roches pour la construction du monument. On s'était donné environ une heure pour la construction alors il n'y avait pas de temps à perdre. Le pilote même s'est prêté main forte à récupérer des roches du lac et à les transporter au site du monument. Dans un clin d'œil, la construction était terminée et le temps du retour sonnait.

Quelques photos rapides, charger l'équipement dans l'avion et le départ se fit. Un dernier survol du site après le départ permit aux excursionnistes de voir leur construction et faire un adieux à leur proche.

Marcel