Judge Allen Babineaux *
Inducted on October 01, 2001
Allen Maurice Babineaux was born January 15, 1924, in Orleans Parish. He graduated from Carencro High School in 1941, USL in 1947, Loyola University School of Law in 1950, and National College of State Judiciary, University of Nevada, in 1973. He was elected State Representative from Lafayette Parish in 1956 and served until 1960. He practiced law in Lafayette Parish for many years, and was elected District Judge for the 15th Judicial District comprised of the parishes of Acadia, Lafayette and Vermilion, and served in that capacity since 1972. While serving four consecutive six-year terms, he was unopposed for re-election three times. He retired in 1996.
His life has been dedicated to public service in Louisiana. In 1979, Babineaux represented the United States as one of three participating American judges at the European Judges' Conference in Lyon, France, sponsored by the German Marshall Fund of America. In 1977, he was selected as "Outstanding Acadian" by the state of Louisiana at the 17th Annual Roy Theriot DeJeuner de Boucherie Acadienne.
Over the years, Babineaux has launched many initiatives, which culminated in official twinning ceremonies between Louisiana cities and the cities of Namur, Belgium; Longueuil, Quebec; and Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada. He is an original member of the executive board of Directors of CODOFIL, where he represented Louisiana at the First North American French Conference held in Montreal, Canada, in 1968. In 1985, he was appointed official Trade Mission Delegate to Mexico and Central America sponsored by the International Relations Association of Acadiana.
In recognition of his outstanding leadership in the role of the Francphone community of North America, he was a featured speaker
alongside United Nations Secretary General Boutros-Boutros Ghali during the 1994 World Acadian Reunion held in New Brunswick, Canada.
He was then instrumental in having Louisiana host the Second World Acadian Reunion in Louisiana in 1999 as part of FrancoFête '99. Significantly, Judge Babineaux helped to develop the idea, which was officially adopted by the State of Louisiana, to invite the Francophone world of 49 countries to Louisiana to celebrate the State Tricentenniel in 1999, which was officially designated as FrancoFête '99. He then served as Honorary President of the Congrès Mondial Acadien-Louisiane in 1999. He is the past president of the Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce - French Heritage Committee. He was also General Chairman of the very first International Acadian Festival in 1968. Diplomatically, Judge Babineaux has personally hosted Ambassador Bujon de l'Estang of France, Andre Adam of Belgium, Minister Allister Surette of Nova Scotia, Raymond Chretien, the Canadian Ambassador to the United States, and the Governor General of Canada, Roméo LeBlanc.
Educationally, Judge Babineaux has worked as a volunteer to encourage law students, lawyers, and judges to further their professional education. He was co-founder of a civil law seminar, the only one of its kind in the United States, in which credits are given to the participating attorneys in Canada and the U.S.
Also very active in promoting minority and women's rights, Babineaux has made many presentations to groups concerning the Creole culture in Louisiana and, during the last thirty years, hosted several visits by Francophone dignitaries from West Africa and the French West Indies.
Babineaux was honored for his distinguished public service to preserve the French language and culture by la Reunion des Babineaux et Granger, Inc., at a testimonial dinner held in Lafayette.
Finally, as the originator of the Acadian flag, designed by Dr. Thomas Arceneaux, Babineaux has been instrumental in promoting this flag, which was adopted by the Louisiana Legislature as the official flag of Acadiana in 1964. He served his country while enlisted in the Navy in World War II in the Pacific Theatre. He is a member of the Knights of Columbus, American Legion, Veteran of Foreign Wars, and the Lafayette Rotary Club. His vast list of awards are too numerous to mention. The Acadian Museum is very proud to be able to call Judge Babineaux not only a friend and a supporter but a role model for all French speaking Cajuns throughout this area.