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I was in my mid 40's when I decided to pick up the sport of archery. My skill as an archer and bow hunter never progressed pass the novice stage but I enjoyed the sport immensely.

This was the late 1980's and the school where I worked was undergoing a major facelift with the addition of a whole new section including a new, large gymnasium. The principal of the day was all for innovations and told us that if we had any ideas for new and different sport activities that now was the time because there would be plenty of capital available to equip the new gym.

I mentioned to some of my colleagues that I was interested in starting an archery club. They all thought that I was nuts…!!! "Archery in the school?", "Are you crazy?", "They'll kill one another!!" was the typical response. Luckily, the principal was all for it. So, I made a list of everything that we would need and passed it to him.

Unfortunately, I didn't get to decide on all of the equipment that was going to be used. Government Services would decide for us. Most of what was sent to the school was very poor quality and not suited to high school students. But, it didn't matter. We were able to obtain a very good safety net that covered the whole back of the gymnasium. That was the most important piece of equipment and the rest of the stuff would be OK just to get started.

I gave serious thought to the type of students that I wanted in the club before canvassing the students. Archery is the type of sport that anybody can enjoy. I knew that if most members of the club consisted of the top athletes of the school it would likely intimidate the less athletic students and they wouldn't join. And these were precisely the students that I wanted to target because there were very few sports activities available to them.

So I decided that I would exclude all varsity team members (boys and girls) from membership in the archery club. I went to every class in the senior section of the school and explained what the club was going to be about. I made the membership available to every boy and girl in the senior program that was not on a varsity team. I didn't really get very much feedback from them after I explained that we would be shooting 3 times a week for 3 hour sessions and if they were on a varsity team they would just not be able to devote enough time to the club. We didn't want part time members. If they really wanted to join the club they could quit whatever team they were on and join us. That was their choice. It worked.!!

Call it Destiny, Fate, or just plain Chance but the very first student to join the archery club would play a pivotal role in its survival to this day. That student was Marc Robichaud.

Marc was a quiet, lanky, grade 10 student that had never played any sports. He was an honor student and a very likable fellow. Over the course of the following 3 years he became a top archer and a leader for the others. Marc's family owned the largest building supply company in the area and it wasn't long that we had the best layered butts that you could find. Marc graduated and went on to university. I retired from teaching a few years after this and was going to terminate the archery program after that school year. This was also the year that Marc returned home to take over the family business. He decided to keep the "Club de Tir A l'arc" going and so he took over from me. A few years after this, Ricky Comeau of Common Cross Archery took it over and manages it to this day.

If Marc hadn't stepped in to manage the club, chances are that the program would likely have ended when I retired. Many of those in the Clare area that got their start in archery at 'l'Ecole secondaire de Clare's 'Club de tir a l'arc' in the past 15 years would never have been introduced to the sport. Quite a number of these have moved on to become bona fide bowhunters…

Marc became seriously ill last year. He had a brief recovery but things turned for the worse over the holidays. He passed away several days ago. He was only 36.

An incredibly sad day for his Mom Marie and Dad Camille,and his young girlfriend (whom he marrried bedside just days before he passed away)... How can parents and spouse ever get over something like this…??!! Condolences are just not enough….

The accounts below give a short summary of his professional accomplishments along with an account of his award winning business innovations. He was an environmentally conscious, smart, young businessman full of potential..!!

He accomplished so much in his short life and had such promise…!! Such a Lost…


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I read Marcs' obituary in the paper today,its hard to believe he is gone,Marc was one of the instructors when i took my bow course years ago,he had a great personality and will be missed by many in this area for sure.
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