Jean-Guy Sylvestre

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SYLVESTRE, Jean-Guy (Honours B.A., L.PH. , M.A. Order of Canada, Member of the Royal Society of Canada). Died peacefully in Ottawa on Sunday September 26, 2010 at the age of 92 years. Beloved husband of Francoise Sylvestre (born Poitevin); father of Marie, Jean and Paul Sylvestre; grandfather of Martin and Julie Sylvestre. He was born in Sorel and raised in Montreal, son of Maxime Arthur Sylvestre (1891-1975) and Marie Yvonne Lapierre (1893-1967). He had a long distinguished career in public service and the fields of literature and library science. After graduating from the University of Ottawa, he began his career as a literary critic for the French language paper LE DROIT and as a translator for the House of Commons. In 1947, he became personal secretary to the Hon. Louis St.Laurent when the latter was Secretary of State for External Affairs and followed him when he became Prime Minister of Canada. In 1953, he was named Assistant Librarian of Parliament (Associate in 1956). After authoring many books on French Canadian literature, he became Director of the National Library of Canada in 1968 - a post he held until 1983. He was as active on the international scene as a representative of Canada to UNESCO and received honours such as the IFLA Medal (1985) and Poland's Order of Merit (1974). He held honorary doctorates from a number of Canadian universities: Ottawa (1969), Mount Allison (1970), Toronto (1974), Prince Edward Island (1975), Memorial (1982) and Concordia (1984). He received the Order of Canada in 1982. The burial took place at Notre Dame Cemetery in Ottawa on Tuesday, September 29th, 2010
Published in The Ottawa Citizen on Sept. 29, 2010
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