“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Halifax in Halifax Regional Municipality, Nova Scotia — The Canadian Atlantic

France and Canada

La France et le Canada


—Theirs is a story of enduring friendship./ C’est l’histoire d’une longe amitié. —

France and Canada Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, June 14, 2014
1. France and Canada Marker
Click on image to enlarge
Captions (English/French): (top, left) Port-Royal, Nova Scotia/Port Royal, Nouvellé Écosse; (top, center) World War I Monument, Vimy, France/Vimy, France, Premiére Guerre Mondiale; (bottom, left) Corvette, La Capricieuse/La corvette «La Capricieuse»; (middle, left) Notes from a map of Chebucto Bay, 1711/ Note figurant sur une carte de la Baie de Chiboucto, 1711; (bottom, center) View of Halifax/Vue d’Halifax; (bottom, center) World War I Monument at Beaumont-Hamel, France/Beaumont-Hamel, France Première Guerre Mondiale; (bottom, right) Aircraft Carrier Charles de Gaulle/Porte-avions «Charles de Gaulle»
Inscription. France and Canada share a long history. Theirs is a story of enduring friendship.

It began 400 years ago, in Nova Scotia, the birthplace of Acadie, with the arrival of the first French settlers and of Samuel de Champlain at Port-Royal in 1605.

Halifax had its first contact with France at the beginning of the 18th century. In 1711, the French engineer Delabat drew fortification plans for Chebucto Bay (present day Halifax harbour).

In autumn of 1746, the Duc D’Anville led an ill-fated expeditionary force to reclaim Acadie. Battered by severe storms, the fleet limped into Chebucto harbour and set up camp. D’Anville died shortly after while many of his men succumbed to fever and disease. Raging seas, unfavorable winds and disease ultimately doomed the mission.

A century later, in 1855, commander de Belvèze, on board the light frigate La Capricieuse put in at Halifax harbour on his way to Quebec City. He was sent by Emperor Napoleon III to mend relations with Canada.

In times of war, France and Canada remained staunch allies. France will never forget the thousands who gave their lives for its freedom at the battles of Beaumont-Hamel (1916), Vimy (1917), Dieppe and the beaches of Normandy (1942-1944). Nor will it ever forget the thousands of victims of the Halifax explosion on December 6,
France and Canada Marker image. Click for full size.
By Barry Swackhamer, June 14, 2014
2. France and Canada Marker

During the Second World War, Halifax citizens raised funds to put Surcouf House at the disposal of Free France. It was from Halifax that Admiral Muselier set sail for Saint- Pierre and Miquelon to take possession of the Archipelago in the name of Free France.
From June 8 to 15, 2005, the maritime group composed of the aircraft carrier, Charles de Gaulle, the frigate, Jean Bart, the frigate, Tourville, the attack submarine, Rubis and the supply ship, Meuse called in Halifax on its first trip to Canada along with the British destroyer, Nottingham.

Unveiled for the occasion, this plaque bears testimony to the deep and enduring friendship that unites France and Canada.

La France et la Canada partagent une longue historie. C’est l’histoire d’une longue amitié.

En Nouvelle-Écosse berceau de l’Acadie, elle a commencé il y a 400 ans avec l’arrivée de premiers Français, et de Champlain à Port-Royal en 1605.

Halifax a des liens avec la France depuis le début du XVIIIème siècle. En 1711, l’ingénieur Delabat avait dressé un plan de fortifications pour la baie de Chibouctou. A l’automne 1746, l’escadre du Duc d’Anville, partie de France pour reprendre l’Acadie, y établit son campement. Le Duc d’Anville y mourut et les fièvres emportèrent nombre de ses hommes. Le vents et la maladie firent échouer l’entreprise.

Un siècle plus tard, en 1855, le commandant de Belvèze faisait une escale à Halifax à bord de la corvette «La Capriecieuse» avant de se rendre à Québec. L’Empereur Napoleon III lui avait confié la mission de rétablir les relations avec le Canada.
Dans l’adversité, l’amitié franco-canadienne ne s’est pas démentie. La France n’oubliera jamais les milliers de combattants de Beaumont-Hamel (1916), de Vimy (1917), de Dieppe et des plages de Normandie (1942-1944), tombés pour lue rendre sa liberté. Elle n’oublie pas les victimes de la terrible explosion du 6 décembre 1917.

Pendant la deuxième guerre mondiale, la Maison Surcouf fût offerte à la France Libre par une souscription des citoyens de la ville. C’est d’Halifax que l’amiral Muselier partit prendre possession, au nom de la France Libre, de l’archipel de Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon.

Due 8 au 13 juin 2005, le groupe aéronaval composé du porte-avions «Charles de Gaulle», de la frégate «Jean Bart», de la frégate «Tourville», du sous-marin d’attaque «Rubis» et du pétrolier-ravitailleur «Meuse», a effectué à Halifax son premier déplacement au Canada avec le destroyer britannique «Nottingham».

Inaugurée à l’occasion de cette escale, cette plaque porte témoignage de l’amitié ancienne et solide qui unit la France et la Canada.
Erected 2005.
Location. 44° 38.65′ N, 63° 34.097′ W. Marker is in Halifax, Nova Scotia, in Halifax Regional Municipality. Marker can be reached from Lower Water Street. Click for map. Marker is in this post office area: Halifax, Nova Scotia B3J, Canada.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Georges Island (within shouting distance of this marker); Pier 21 (within shouting distance of this marker); The Grand Dérangement (about 90 meters away, measured in a direct line); The Tall Ships Parade 2000 (about 150 meters away); There Was Once a Very Special Ship (about 210 meters away); Canadian Corps of Commissionaires (approx. 0.3 kilometers away); Black-Binney House (approx. 0.3 kilometers away); Charles Morris (approx. 0.3 kilometers away). Click for a list of all markers in Halifax.
More about this marker. This marker is located on the Halifax Harbour waterfront near Bishop's Landing.
Also see . . .
1. Canada–France relations - Wikipedia. Modern Canadian–French relations have been marked by high levels of military and economic cooperation, but also by periods of diplomatic discord, primarily over the status of Quebec. According to a 2013 BBC World Service Poll, 60% of Canadians view France's influence positively, with 18% expressing a negative view, while 82% of French people view Canadian influence positively, with 9% expressing a negative view. (Submitted on October 1, 2014, by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California.) 

2. The Halifax Explosion. Mentioned in the marker text, this site provides an overview and detail of the 1917 explosion that devastated the city: The Halifax Explosion was a disaster that occurred in a thriving city at a time of war. The Explosion was the result of a collision between two ships in the Halifax Harbour. At 9:04:35 on the morning of December 6, 1917, a munitions ship, the Mont-Blanc exploded, immediately killing more than 1600 men, women, and children. More than 9000 others were wounded, 12,000 buildings were damaged, either laid flat or made uninhabitable, barely a single pane of glass was left to keep out the weather. The destruction covered 325 acres of Hailfax, and Dartmouth across the harbour. (Submitted on October 2, 2014.) 
Additional keywords. International Relations
Categories. Colonial EraSettlements & SettlersWar, World IWar, World II
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. This page has been viewed 302 times since then and 94 times this year. Photos:   1, 2. submitted on , by Barry Swackhamer of San Jose, California. • Andrew Ruppenstein was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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