Saint has Ties to this Part of the World  
Thursday, December 2, 2010

Let’s offer a few observations today:

Anyone who attended Webster’s St. Anne School from the 1940s, when Sister Mary Claire Eugenie of the Sisters of St. Anne was the prefect of French studies, has probably heard about Brother Andre, who died a few years earlier. He was known for his pious life and as a healer, and heralded as a potential saint by some of the sisters.

Well, they were right. Brother Andre was recently consecrated a saint at services in the Vatican. Ongoing celebrations were held in Montréal, and Roland P. Malboeuf, a Webster funeral director, was there.

There’s a regional aside to the story. The new saint resided about four years in Moosup, Conn., actually a Plainfield village, and lots of people in Connecticut’s Quiet Corner have heard of Andre Besette, and some even claim a relationship with his family, most of whom remained in Connecticut.

“My late sister-in-law used to say he was related in some way to her family,” says Therese Boutin of Putnam. The New London Day newspaper, for which Webster native Timothy Dwyer is the executive editor, had a nice story about the Moosup connection. Brother Andre was 18 in the 1860s when he started to work in factories and on farms about Moosup. He returned to Canada to become a brother with a religious order in Montréal.

Diane Komorowski of Webster says she is not giving in to adversity. Known for her love of dancing and celebratory dress for holidays, Ms. Komorowski is recuperating from breast cancer, almost with a shrug. “I’m doing OK,” she says.

If attitude counts, Ms. K is going to beat the challenge. Getting to dances is still her weekend thing, says Diane, noting “I won second place at a Halloween dance.” Her mother, Emily E. Jajko, of Granite Street. celebrated her 90th birthday some weeks ago, and still enjoys playing the piano. “She plays mostly by ear now, but she can still rattle those keys.”

Greg and Lois (Markiewicz) Bazinet have joined ranks with the retired and live now at Bates Point on Webster Lake. The light to this turned on when Greg, raised on Webster’s Joyce Street, commented on our Nov. 11 Veterans Day piece. One of the segments mentioned Lt. j.g, Margaret Grace Kennedy, U.S. Navy, the only Webster woman killed in action during a war. Lt. Kennedy was a cousin to Greg’s mother, the late Grace (Cove) Bazinet, and he remembers that his mother attended the dedication of Webster’s Korean War Memorial when her cousin was remembered. Mrs. Bazinet kept a photograph of her Navy-nurse cousin, and Lois, formerly a nurse at the Maine Medical Center in Portland, subsequently kept it in her office there.

Greg also reveals that the Navy established a memorial in the Pacific for those lost in the action that claimed Margaret Grace Kennedy’s life. Word of Greg and Lois’ return to Webster is good news because a lot of young people leave the town for career purposes, and too few of them return.

For a Bazinet addendum, I wonder if Greg knows the genesis of Memorial Beach, the public bathing facility on Webster Lake. It was privately held, known as Second Island, and leased by the town in the years before World War II. Webster servicemen, including a soldier named Edmond Bazinet (make the gentleman Greg’s father), wrote letters to Webster Times editor Larry Daly from the world’s battle zones, remembering the beach, and expressing hope of returning there after the war. This led to a municipal decision to buy the property as a memorial to those who served in the war. That’s why it’s now Memorial Beach.

The taint is last summer’s decision to charge town residents a parking fee to use the beach.
-Courtesy Of
Telegram & Gazette

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