Erath 4th of July Celebration

2010 Grand Marshals Henry and Doris Songe

 


Erath 4th of July Celebration

 

            The Erath 4th of July Association is proud to announce the selection of Henry and Doris Songe as the Grand Marshals of the 64th Annual Erath 4th of July Celebration.  The Songes have lived in the Erath community for 13 years.  In that time, they have shown a total dedication to making the community a better place to live and raise a family.

            The Songes are originally from Bayou Blue in the Houma area.  While living in Bayou Blue, they were very active in their church.  They were members of St. Louis Catholic Church, where Doris was a member of the choir and taught catechism to third and sixth grade students.  The major fundraiser for the church was its annual church fair, which was one of the largest church fairs in the area at the time.  Henry and Doris were members of the St. Louis Fair Association, and they manned the hamburger booth at the fair for the 2 ˝ day festival.

            Henry worked in the oil field for 48 years, his last years working for Nabors Offshore.  When Nabors moved its entire operation to New Iberia, Henry and Doris decided to move to the Acadiana area to be closer to his job.  They looked at many houses and communities in the area, but chose Erath because they liked living in a small town, and the friendliness of the people of this community.  Henry and Doris have always believed that you must give back to your community if you want to see it continue to be a great place to live.  Following this belief, they soon began making their impact on the Erath community.

            They became parishioners of Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church and Doris soon joined the choir.  As parishioners, they became aware of the drive that was being made to build a church hall.  In order to raise the funds, several parishioners organized a new festival called “Festival des Famille d’Erath” in 2000.  The organizers insisted that it be patterned on the style of an old fashion church bazaar.  Henry and Doris were some of the first and most dedicated volunteers for this festival.  The festival raised over $75,000 that was used to pay for the new church hall, which opened in 2005.

             In August 2005, Hurricane Katrina came ashore and wrecked devastation on the State of Louisiana.  Realizing the magnitude of the destruction, the Songes decided they had to do something to help.  The day after the hurricane, they began working at UL Lafayette to register evacuees from the New Orleans area.  Little did they know that they would soon be putting their experience helping hurricane victims to use helping members of their own community. 

On September 23, 2005, Hurricane Rita came ashore, pushing water into the homes of most of the residents of Erath.  To help area residents recover, the Red Cross came to the area.  The people of Erath had no way to cook food, as most houses were being gutted.  Further, Champagne’s Supermarket had also flooded and wouldn't reopen for several months.  The Red Cross began distributing food, and the Songes were there to help.  The Songes worked for over three months distributing food twice a day at the old Jr.’s Food Mart in Erath.  The people of Erath, tired and weary from the task of cleaning and repairing their homes, were greeted each day by the cheerful faces of the Songes, offering encouragement to all while giving out hot meals.  The Songes also worked for the distribution center that was set up by Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church to distribute donated food and supplies to residents. 

The Songes have been active members of the Erath 4th of July Association for many years, and became board members in 2005.  Henry served as the chairman of the Beer Booth for several years.  When Henry or Doris volunteer to perform a task, the whole Songe family shows up to help.  While Henry was chairman, he and Doris were assisted in the Beer Booth by their children and grandchildren, who came from Erath and Houma to lend a helping hand.  No matter what job needed to be done during the festival, the Songes were always there to lend a helping hand.

Henry and Doris have been married for 54 year.  They have three children, the late Roger Songe, Roslyn Savoie, and Ronald “Digger” Songe.  They are the grandparents of Jude Savoie, Tayla Songe, Katelyn Songe, and Ross Deroche.

 

Photo courtesy of Bryan Stephen Photography

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