Ducharme, Charles-Joseph

Charles-Joseph Ducharme. Teacher, b Lachine, near Montreal, 10 Jan 1786, d Ste-Thérèse-de-Blainville (Ste-Thérese), near Montreal, 25 Mar 1853. He studied music at the Séminaire de Québec along with academic subjects and theology. He was ordained a priest in 1814, and was vicar 1814-16 at St-Laurent (Montreal) and then curé 1816-49 in Ste-Thérèse. In 1825 he began teaching six children in his presbytery, thus founding what was to become in 1834 the Collège Jaune, in 1840 the Ste-Thérèse Seminary, and eventually the Lionel-Groulx Cegep. He was deeply interested in music, possessed a pleasant voice, and was knowledgeable. According to his biographer, Father P. Dagenais, 'M. Ducharme liked to encourage talent of all kinds; what little free time he had was devoted to teaching music and thus, in what was a pastime, he was skilful and fortunate enough to train several able musicians' (F. Elie, La Famille Casavant, Montreal 1914). Father Ducharme taught Damis Paul, Louis Mitchell, and probably Joseph Lajeunesse and Augustin Lavallée after 1839. He also instructed Joseph Casavant in organ construction and encouraged him to build his first instrument in 1840. The Charles-Joseph-Ducharme Foundation, incorporated in 1990, was established by the Lionel-Groulx Cegep to award student scholarships and to support pedagogical research. Ducharme Blvd in Ste-Thérèse was named after him.