Page 18 - CSANews 91

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After the 1998 ice storm in Québec,
CSA Director James Leroux and his wife
Denise concurred that there would
be no more winters at their home in
Otterburn Park, QC. “My neighbour
had purchased a fifth wheel before the
winter and of course missed the storm,”
recalls James. “He did all but laugh at
us ninnies that endured the hardships.
After a couple of drinks and him telling
us what a great winter he’d had, we de-
cided to shop for a fifth wheel and soon
after, we owned a 32-foot trailer and a
diesel truck.” For many years, James and
Denise travelled in their fifth wheel. In
2008, the trailer was sold and they pur-
chased a home in Homestead, Florida.
For four-and-a-half months each year,
James and Denise enjoy the warm
weather in Homestead, which has an
average temperature of 25.5°C during
the winter months. They enjoy the close
proximity to Miami Beach, Miami Zoo,
South Beach, a casino and the Florida
Keys. For fun, they play golf, participate
in Saturday night dances and fish in the
Everglades. Denise enjoys line dancing
and taught advanced classes for 10
years. A particular pleasure is fishing in
the Everglades. James comments, “We
fish in the canals and are surrounded
by incredible wildlife, such as alligators,
snakes and birds. We just love it!”
Canada Day suppers are held yearly and
are attended by English- and French-
Americans are invited as well. James,
who became CSA director for Québec
in January 2012, explains that everyone
gets along famously and that there
have never been any language barriers.
He does believe, however, that some
francophone snowbirds face challeng-
es by not being able to communicate,
or having limited communication with
the resident population. “Bilingualism
is something that has enriched my life
and I consider it part of my wealth and
encourage the learning of a second
language,” comments James. For this
reason, James has been able to use
his position as CSA director to grow
the francophone membership and to
connect to French CSA members and
potential members. Since his appoint-
ment, he has spoken to more than
4,000 people who have attended the
free information sessions that are of-
fered. James and Denise are astonished
to see how many fellow Quebecers
are unaware of the CSA and James is
reaching out to all current members
to help in making their friends, family
and associates aware of the association
and the many benefits of membership.
“There are several reasons why French
snowbirds should join the CSA,” says
James. “They can get information about
border-crossing and out-of-country
living in French; they would be joining
an organization that recognizes the
fact that French is respected and plays
an important part in Canadian culture.
The CSA is about representing all
Canadians when lobbying all types of
government.” He goes on to comment
that, since becoming a CSA director, he
has gained insight as to how much the
association works diligently to protect
and better the lives of snowbirds. He
has a strong desire to ensure that fellow
French-speaking snowbirds are aware
of the association’s inclusivity, as well
as the numerous benefits of member-
ship, such as the Currency Exchange
Program, Medipac’s out-of-country
travel health insurance, CSA Auto Club,
magazine, a fully bilingual
website and various publications per-
taining to travelling abroad.
As the CSA director for Québec, James
feels that he can personally offer his
time and travel experiences to both
French- and English-speaking mem-
bers. During the winter months, James
and Denise are available in Florida to
conduct presentations on behalf of
the CSA in French or English and to
answer any inquiries first-hand. They
also organize a Québec picnic in South
Florida. “The theme is Québec en Fête,”
says James. “However, all are welcome
to join in and enjoy a bit of French cul-
ture. We welcome all Canadians.”
For information about the Canadian
Snowbird Association or to contact
James Leroux, please call the CSA office
at 1-800-265-5132 or e-mail