October 20, 2018
Gaétan Gervais, an author, historian and professor who helped design the Franco-Ontario flag, has died. He was 74.
His sister Joanne Gervais announced his death in a Facebook post on Saturday.
“It’s with great sadness that the sisters, nieces and nephews of Gaétan Gervais announce his passing today, October 20, 2018. He was surrounded by his family when he passed on after a long and difficult battle with Parkinson’s,” her post reads.
A French-language high school in Oakville, Ont., École secondaire Gaétan-Gervais, part of the Conseil Scolaire Viamonde school board, is named after him.
Born on Aug. 10, 1944 to a working class family in Sudbury, Ont., Gervais was educated at Collège du Sacré-Coeur, Laurentian University and the University of Ottawa.
Gervais began teaching history at Laurentian University in 1972. Three years later, he created the Franco-Ontarian flag with Michel Dupuis, a student at the time. Dupuis died in January.
The flag, which depicts a green and white trillium flower, was first raised in front of a hopeful crowd at the University of Sudbury back on Sept. 25, 1975.