A brief history of Salle (Hall) Lyla-Côté

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Members of SFOPHO

COLUMN. Each month an educational history column is featured in the Orléans Star to highlight the French names of local thoroughfares, parks and installations in Orléans. This column is prepared by members of SFOPHO (Société franco-ontarienne du patrimoine et de l’histoire d’Orléans) www.SFOPHO.com in collaboration with the Orléans Star as a means of providing the community with a better knowledge of the heritage and history of Orléans.

Lyla Côté at the age of 97.

Salle (Hall) Lyla-Côté is located at the Centre culturel d’Orléans (MIFO), 6600 Carrière Street. This hall was inaugurated in 2005 by the Centre Séraphin-Marion d’Orléans (CSMO), located at the same address.

The hall was also so named to commemorate the tireless dedication of Mrs. Lyla Côté.

With Georges Dassylva, Lyla was a cofounder of the CSMO in 1987, and remained an active member for the rest of her life. From the very beginning, she chaired the programming committee, and took on various tasks to make sure that all activities unfolded smoothly.

Lyla was the daughter of Louis Perrault and Mary Ellen Holden. Her father died when she was nine years old, leaving his wife and five daughters the task of running the family farm.

The hardships of life on a farm in the early twentieth century instilled into Lyla a sense of duty and discipline which guided her throughout her life. Later on, she attended Ottawa’s bilingual model school, as did three of her sisters.

Mrs. Côté was known in the community well before she volunteered to the CSMO. Her skills as an organizer and her ability as a manager were obvious as she joined a variety of associations at the community, parish and political level.

She made her mark as a volunteer at both Saint-Joseph and Préseault schools, where she was the secretary of the Parent-Teacher Association, as well as a volunteer and teacher; at Montfort Hospital, where she sat on the board of directors and chaired the Ladies’ Auxiliary; at the Bellevue Residence where she was a volunteer and at the Saint-Louis Residence where she was a volunteer and sat on the Auxiliary board of directors.

Lyla was also active within the Fédération des femmes canadiennes-françaises and the Cercle Jeanne Le Ber of which she was a member for forty years, presiding over each one of its associations at some time or other.

She was also a cofounder of the Club 60 d’Orléans and its president for twelve years.

Moreover, she helped to establish the first library in Orléans. She also sat on the parish pastoral council, on the liturgy committee and the committee for the 125th anniversary of the parish of Saint-Joseph d’Orléans, and was active within the Saint-Vincent-de-Paul for a number of years.

In addition, she sat on the committee of the Gloucester Township Liberal Association. Later on, she was the wardrobe mistress and dressmaker for the Théâtre du Village theatrical company, which proclaimed her “godmother” at the party organized to celebrate her eightieth birthday.

Lyla Côté grew up in the small village of Orléans. She died at the age of 101, in 2009, at the Saint-Louis Residence, and was interred next to her husband, Henri Côté, in the cemetery of the parish of Saint-Joseph d’Orléans. Their family included three children, seven grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren, several of whom are still living in Orléans.  

Organizations: Saint-Louis Residence, Montfort Hospital, Gloucester Township Liberal Association

Geographic location: Orléans, 6600 Carrière Street, Ottawa Saint-Vincent-de-Paul

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