Gueydan native honored at Vermilionville - KLFY News 10

Gueydan native honored at Vermilionville

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The Ordre des Palmes Académiques is an award created by Napoleon Bonaparte. One of its recipients was the late Acadiana native Richard Guidry for his contributions to French education and language, who also won a posthumous award from Vermilionville Sunday afternoon.

"He was a great educator and proponent of Cajun French and Creole French language here in south Louisiana," says Bayou Vermilion District C.E.O. David Cheremie

"He was a source of information on our culture and our language and was so passionate about it and he just encouraged us all to be proud of who we are as French speaking Louisianans as Cajuns and Creoles," says Kirby Jambon, who was a friend of Guidry's.

Family and friends of Guidry's, including Jambon, were celebrating the Gueydan native they say helped take away the social stigma of speaking Louisiana French and even propelled it into 21st century Louisiana.

"His spirit is something we need to continue to promote. His spirit is with us. The spirit to promote our culture and promoting our language and being proud of who we are, because we need to keep that alive,
says Jambon.

Jambon says most people saw Guidry as a teacher, tour guide, writer and actor. He saw him as all those things, but also as a friend he lost in the Summer of 2008, one who inspired and mentored him into the French immersion teacher he is today. 

"He was largely responsible for getting me my job here at Prairie Elementary. I've been teaching at Prairie Elementary in Lafayette for 19 years and he was largely responsible for me getting that job and supporting me on that job and he's been a great inspiration to many of us in our culture," says Jambon.

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