Marie-Victorin Kirouac

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Bro. Marie-Victorin Kirouac, F.S.C.
Marie-Victorin.png
Born Joseph-Louis-Conrad Kirouac
(1885-04-03)April 3, 1885
Kingsey Falls, Quebec, Canada
Died July 15, 1944(1944-07-15) (aged 59)
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Cause of death
Automobile accident
Residence Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Nationality Canada
Ethnicity French-Canadian
Citizenship Canada
Occupation Religious Brother, teacher and botanist
Religion Roman Catholic

Brother Marie-Victorin, F.S.C. (April 3, 1885 - July 15, 1944), was a Canadian member of Brothers of the Christian Schools and a noted botanist in Quebec, Canada. He is known as the father of the Botanical Garden of Montreal.

Biography[edit]

He was born Joseph-Louis-Conrad Kirouac in Kingsey Falls, Quebec. He was also a relative of the noted American writer, Jack Kerouac.

Although Brother Victorin is on record as having suggested that Montreal build its own botanical gardens as early as 1919,[1] the Garden was authorized by Montreal Mayor Camillien Houde only in 1929, with construction beginning in 1931.

Subsequent administrations, both municipal and provincial, opposed the Garden as a boondoggle; however, Brother Victorin continued to champion its cause, promoting it at every opportunity, leading specimen-collection expeditions, recruiting Henry Teuscher as its designer, and even (during the Second World War) protecting it from being converted into a military flight school.

Brother Victorin is also known for his writings: his Flore laurentienne is a botanical record of all species indigenous to southern Quebec, and was the first such record to be compiled.

Brother Victorin died in Montreal in a car accident in July 1944. A building at the Université de Montréal, where he had taught botany, was subsequently named for him.

Legacy[edit]

The Marie-Victorin rose, developed by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, was named in his honour.[2]

To honor the centennial of his birth in 1985, a park was established in his hometown of Kingsley Falls, named Parc Marie-Victorin. Originally 3 acres, it has expanded to nearly 30 acres, and volunteers and a small permanent staff. The park has been a leading in the province for horticultural development in the green movement.[3]

In the early 1990s, a private high school in Montréal was opened and named for him. The school is still open but its name has changed in 2006.[citation needed]

Brother Victorin has been inducted as a member of the Canadian Science and Engineering Hall of Fame[4]

Gallery[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]