In these times when peace is at stake in the world, Little Brothers would like to pay tribute to a great Québécer who recently passed away: Hubert de Ravinel, who co-founded our organization dedicated to supporting isolated seniors in 1962 in Montréal. A man of great wisdom, he passed away on February 14, at the age of 88, leaving an entire community in mourning.
A professor, radio and television host, essayist, poet, and short story writer, Hubert de Ravinel has been awarded numerous distinctions, including the Ordre national du Québec and the Légion d’honneur française. However, it is for his simplicity, humility, and dedication that we remember him. He gave his life to beautify the lives of others, he did everything to arouse interest in those who were sorely lacking: the elderly.
When Hubert de Ravinel co-founded The Little Brothers of the Poor, as the organization was called when it was founded, the Quiet Revolution was in full swing in Québec. All eyes were definitely on the future, but much less on the elderly, referred to them as “old people” at the time. Too often, our transforming society has left them behind during these major changes that have profoundly affected Québec.
Thus, it is in a context of great social transformations that Hubert de Ravinel has distinguished himself by transmitting a unifying message of love about seniors. “Flowers before bread,” he said, emphasizing the importance of empathy and consideration in our social relationships. As an ambassador of peace, he was the voice of these people so that they would not be forgotten.
To those elderly people who often say that they don’t need anything, that all they have to do is wait for time to pass and that it is no longer their place to dream, Hubert de Ravinel said: “You matter to us, your life and your dreams still matter, and we will be with you until the end.” Armed with his flowers and his unfailing determination, Hubert de Ravinel has led this “revolution” in the consideration and treatment of those to whom we are so deeply indebted.
It is from this founding inspiration that Little Brothers has been operating for 60 years and that thousands of lives have been positively impacted. Many seniors have been reunited with their families, many volunteers have become involved, and generous donors have supported the cause, all inspired by this focus on the unique and irreplaceable value of each person, including seniors. To date, despite the magnitude of the challenges that remain to be addressed, Little Brothers continues to honour Hubert de Ravinel’s commitment. The energy deployed by our numerous teams and our more than 2,500 volunteers across the province are proof of this.
Thus, the departure of a man of immense kindness comes at a time when war is raging in Ukraine. In this context, it is definitely appropriate to highlight the great legacy he has left to Québec. This is a remarkable contribution to the inclusion and solidarity that are today an integral part of Québec’s social fabric. He passes on to us a powerful heritage of peace and social justice that is more important than ever to cherish and preserve.
Thank you for everything, Hubert de Ravinel.