An Ongoing Love Affair with Seniors in Québec since 1962
Little Brothers has grown over the years to be ever more present with seniors throughout the province.
A Long History of Solidarity
Founding of the Little Brothers of the Poor in France by Armand Marquiset
First establishment of the Little Brothers of the Poor in North America, in Chicago
Founding of the Little Brothers of the Poor in Québec by Maurice Ouellet and Hubert de Ravinel on Bleury street
Actress Juliette Huot (1912-2001) joins the cause
Move to the head office on Garnier Street in Montréal
Opening of La Boutique in Montréal
New regional team in Sherbrooke City
25th anniversary of establishment in Montreal and establishment of the Québec City regional team
Purchase of the Juliette-Huot Vacation Home in Oka
Jean Doré (1944-2015), 39th Mayor of Montréal, designates the syringa flower, known as the flower of friendship, the official emblem of the Little Brothers
New regional team in Saguenay
New regional team in Trois-Rivières
Acquisition of the Lac St-Joseph cottage and establishment of regional teams in Rimouski and Thetford Mines
Actress Béatrice Picard is named patron of the organization
New regional team in Laval and name change to keep Little Brothers (and remove of the poor)
2013 – 2019
Growth spurt and creation of new regional teams in Longueuil, Lévis, Basses-Laurentides, St-Jérôme, South Lanaudière, West Island of Montréal and South West of Montréal
Pandemic mobilization and creation of telephone support for seniors formerly known as the Friendly Voice Program, now called Near You
New regional teams in Granby and Gatineau
anniversary and new brand image
A mission established in France before gradually migrating to Québec
During numerous visits to his grandmother’s nursing home, Armand Marquiset, a young man in his twenties, was struck by the miserable conditions in which many elderly people found themselves in interwar France.
His own grandmother’s work with the most destitute people inspired Marquiset to found the Little Brothers of the Poor after her death in 1946.
In 1962, Hubert de Ravinel and Maurice Ouellet founded the Little Brothers of Québec. The latter first ran the organization on his own in Montréal on Bleury Street, in a former rooming house. Later, drawing on his experience in France with Marquiset, Hubert de Ravinel came to assist him. He then managed the organization until 1977, first on Bleury Street, then at 4624 Garnier Street, which still houses the head office today.
The organization has grown steadily since its inception, thanks to the generosity of volunteers and donors who have invested in it over the years. It has now expanded to 12 regions throughout the province and plans to offer more support and love to a growing number of seniors over the next few years.
Little Brothers’ work stands out in a society that is organized primarily around youth and the working population. The organization’s efforts are critical in addressing the demographic challenges of an aging population, a phenomenon that will increase in the next few years and that requires empowerment and mobilization now.
“We show our love by giving more than the basic necessities.”Armand Marquiset (1900-1981)
“You are important to us, your life and dreams still matter, and we will be with you all the way.”Hubert de Ravinel (1934-2022)
Our Motto: Flowers before Bread
The emblem of our organization is the syringa flower which expresses love, care, and brotherhood. It is a symbol of our attachment to our Great Friends and our desire to bring them warmth and cheer.
We proudly wear the syringa flower because it embodies memory and remembrance, and we want our Great Friends to know that they will be remembered.
Armand Marquiset, Founder of the Little Brothers of the Poor, said: “Bread nourishes the body. It contains the nutrients a person needs to stay alive. Having enough to eat, access to basic care, and a decent place to live are essential to survival. But flowers nourish the heart. Sharing love and compassion, feeling important to someone else, continuing to dream, getting away for a vacation, experiencing a sense of fulfillment. These are vital to feeling truly alive until the very end.”
Little Brothers International
Our organization is a member of the International Federation of Little Brothers of the Poor, which includes 10 member countries and 2 partner countries.
Founded in 1979, it enables national associations to share both their different and similar experiences. Each national member is autonomous, financially independent, secular, apolitical, and non-denominational. In all countries, thousands of committed members and volunteers uphold Armand Marquiset’s spirit and vision.
Drawing on our experience with seniors since 1962, we have developed extensive expertise in social gerontology in order to tackle the plight of loneliness.