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Papen, Marie-Antoinette (1907–89)

Marie-Antoinette Papen.
Saskatchewan Archives Board R-A26809, photique photography by kepler ltd.

Marie-Antoinette Papen played a key role during the first two decades of Saskatoon’s CFNS French- language radio station. Born Marie-Antoinette de Margerie on June 9, 1907, in Sainte-Anne-des-Chênes, Manitoba, she taught in Hoey, Saskatchewan, from 1928 until her marriage to Belgian-born homesteader Charles Papen in 1934. Impoverished by the Depression, the Papens moved to Belgium in 1937. Stranded by the war, the family, including two sons and a daughter, came back to Saskatchewan in 1947. M.-A. Papen first taught school near Prud’homme; then, settling in Saskatoon in 1950, she became organizing secretary of the drive to fund French-language radio stations in Saskatchewan. After CFNS started broadcasting in November 1952, she hosted a daily program for women, Au fil de l’heure. In 1961, after the sudden passing of her husband, by then CFNS director, she became pro tem director and thereafter continued hosting Au fil de l’heure until her retirement in 1972. A woman of deep faith, she maintained a daily dialogue with farm and city women who belonged to a fundamentally conservative French catholic milieu during the era before and after Vatican II, when the role of women and the place of religion in society were hotly debated. She suffered a stroke in March 1977 and died on April 8, 1989.

Richard Lapointe

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Further Reading

Lapointe, Richard. 1988. “Marie-Antoinette Papen.” Pp. 312–15 in 100 noms: Petit dictionnaire biographique des Franco-Canadiens de la Saskatchewan. Regina: Société historique.
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