Wilbrod Projean: Veteran, Police Officer, Athlete and Comedian

For the last 11 years, Wilbrod Projean has called Chartwell Le Duplessis in Trois-Rivières his home. “You know, I knew nothing about life in a retirement residence when I started looking,” he explains. Having served in Trois-Rivières’ police force for 35 years, Wilbrod eventually retired and alongside his passion for meeting new people, he also developed one for playing cards. So much so, that when the time came to look for a retirement home, he visited the ones where card games and tournaments were a staple on the activity calendar.

Upon visiting Le Duplessis, Wilbrod was delighted by the warm welcome from residents and employees—not to mention the popular nightly card games—and moved in shortly after. He describes his days as being filled with exciting activities, many of which are a staple on his schedule: before lunch, he plays piano in the hall of the living room, after taking a walk outside in the afternoon and relaxing in the swings on the terrace with his friends. He also credits the staff with providing such a supportive and welcoming environment. “I find that all employees are kind here and are part of my daily life, especially the ones from the Health and Wellness Centre,” he says.

A little known fact about Wilbrod is that he was also a weight lifting champion in Quebec in 1940, and in 1948 he finished second place in Canada for the Olympic try-outs. Right around that time, he met his wife, and together they had 10 children, 4 from his wife’s previous relationship. Today, Wilbrod is a grandfather and great-grandfather and enjoys the time he gets to spend with his family.

Recently, Wilbrod was knighted with the National Order of the Legion of Honour, the highest distinction from France for his military and civil service. In the presence of the local Canadian Legion of Honour, Members of Parliament, friends and family, as well as residents and employees of Chartwell Le Duplessis, Wilbrod was recognized for his participation in the liberation of France during World War II. He now proudly wears his medal honouring his service to both countries.

A veteran, police officer and athlete, Wilbrod now also adds comedian to his name. A few years ago, Wilbrod’s sons gave him a book of jokes and when he started to recount some of them at lunch, residents thought he was quite talented! Soon enough, he was invited to do a stand-up number at the annual residents’ gala. “Life to me has always been about experiences and meeting new people,” he says. “This is an aspect of retirement living which I especially appreciate, and I’m so glad I found it here.”