The True Friends of LaPointe, a benevolent society, was organized
nearly 100 years ago on May 13, 1906 in St. Marin Parish. Three months
later on July 14, 1906, it was incorporated as a non-profit organization.
The charter Members were J. A. Basseur, Isidore Michel, J. B. Broussard,
James Johnson, Martial Thomas, Joseph Broussard, Philip Elie, Felix Arseneaux,
Jean Baptiste Wiltz, John Narcisse, Aristile Broussard, Daniel Johnson,
John Batiste Charles, and O. Tibodeaux. Its purpose was to enable members
to receive financial assistance in case of sickness, distress or dire necessity.
Its first president was Joseph A. Vavasseur.
Five years later on August 9, 1911, the organization purchased its
first home for $900 - the St. Martin Normal and Industrial Institute building
on nearly an acre of land. The organization also gained the rights to
purchase an additional arpent of land. However before this became reality, the
organization had to receive consent from Isadore Michell, the original property
owner who had stipulated that the land only be used for educational purposes.
Mr. Michel also served as the founding vice-president.
Eight-two years after becoming the home of the True Friends, the wooden
structured building was destroyed by fire on June 14, 1993. A nine-month
fundraiser period was enthusiastically supported by area businesses and the membership.
During the tenure of Donald Thibodeaux, president, the new building was
completed on October 13, 1996 and a pavilion was added in 1998. The skilled
workers of the organization provided free labor. Three additional acres of
adjourning property were purchased from Wallace Wiltz in 2004.
In 1991, the organization established the Albert P. Joseph Memorial
Scholarship to assist high school seniors. In 2003 the Joseph foundation
became co-sponsors of the scholarship. Since the scholarship's inception,
the True Friends of LaPointe has awarded more than $ 15,000.00 to deserving seniors.
Despite laboring under severe educational and socio-economical conditions,
the founders created a sound fraternal structure, espousing the principles of
good character and fellowship. Dedicated to uplifting humanity, the founders
left an illustrious legacy. 2004 marks the 98th year of the existence of organization.