St Hubert Mission



St Hubert Mission

St Hubert Mission, located some 16 km SW of Whitewood, Sask, originated from the settlement of a group of titled French and Belgian nobility that apparently sought to escape from adverse changes undermining their way of life in Europe and to transplant the Old World traditions of French noblesse oblige.

In the mid-1880s the representative of a wealthy Frenchman bought land in the area and commenced farming operations. His home, called La Rolanderie, was named after the estate of his employer in France and became synonymous with the name of the district until about 1890 when a church was built and the parish of St Hubert was founded.

The "French Counts," as they were known locally, arrived in the years before the turn of the century. They initiated a series of optimistic but ill-conceived, and ultimately unsuccessful, business and farming ventures which included sheep ranching, the cultivation of sugar beets and the operation of a cheese factory. As each enterprise closed down, its director closed his château and left. La Rolanderie was shut down in 1893 or 1894.

The "French Counts" left behind stories of their extravagant life-style, hunts and gay social life. But they also left behind a well-endowed parish, and St Hubert retained its unique character as a French-speaking, Catholic community.