Ordre de Bon Temps

Ordre de Bon Temps ("Order of Good Cheer"), was founded at Port-Royal in 1606 by Samuel de Champlain .

Champlain, Samuel de (false portrait)
False portrait of Samuel de Champlain, based on an engraved portrait of Michel Particelli d'Emery by Balthazar Moncornet and dated 1654. Nevertheless, this image has become the one most associated with Champlain as no other detailed image of the man exists (Courtesy Library and Archives Canada/C-6643). \r\n\r\n\r\n
Port-Royal
Port-Royal, Nova Scotia, established by Champlain in 1605, was the centre of Acadian life. This reconstruction is a national historic park (photo by Bill Brooks/Masterfile).

Ordre de Bon Temps ("Order of Good Cheer"), was founded at Port-Royal in 1606 by Samuel de Champlain. After a disastrous winter at Ste. Croix Island (see Ile Ste. Croix: The Birth of Acadia) when many of the French settlers perished from scurvy, the colony was moved to Port-Royal in 1605.

Scurvy again took its toll but the following year the colony enjoyed a more pleasant winter. "We passed this winter most joyously, & fared lavishly," wrote Champlain, and in this genial atmosphere he founded the order ‒ modelled loosely on a European order of chivalry ‒ to maintain spirits and pass the time. Members took turns providing fresh game and, as chief steward of the day, leading a ceremonial procession to the table.


Further Reading

  • Dorothy Duncan, Feasting and Fasting. Canada's Heritage Celebrations (Dundurn Press, 2010).