Father Albert Régimbal (1915-1980) was born into a family of 13 children in North Bay and grew up in Sudbury. His dedication to his church, culture and community has benefitted generations of Sudburians and Franco-Ontarians across the province.
Growing up, Albert Régimbal heard his calling to God at a young age. He studied at the Collège Sacré-Coeur in Sudbury, then advanced to the University of Montreal and the Faculty of Teology of the Jesuits. Régimbal was ordained in 1948 and would return to Sudbury to serve at Ste. Anne’s parish.
Outside of the church, Régimbal was a proud and passionate advocate for the promotion of his French heritage.
He was responsible for bringing the Jeunesses musicales movement to Northern Ontario, The organization’s founding belief is that the universal language of music can combat the forces of racism and intolerance. He was the founder and CEO of the Centre des jeunes de Sudbury, a cultural centre for French-speaking youth, and developed a summer camp for children at Ile aux Chênes, near Lavigne. He would later go on to be known as the founder and pioneer of the first francophone cultural centre in Ontario.
Régimbal was also a founding member of the Sudbury Committee on Human Rights and the Canadian Association of Leisure Centres.
His memory and legacy were forever preserved in 1985 when the Assemblée des centres culturels de l’Ontario (ACCO) introduced the Order of Merit Albert Régimbal to honour those who have dedicated their time and lives to preserving and promoting Franco-Ontarien culture and development in their region.