École Polytechnique Massacre Victims: Never Forget Their Names

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December 6, 1989.

Class was in session at École Polytechnique in Montreal at around 5 p.m. when a 25-year-old man entered a classroom on the second floor.

Rifle in hand, he told the class to "stop everything," fired at the ceiling and ordered the students to separate themselves by gender.

After telling the males to leave, he approached a group of nine women and said he was "fighting feminism." When a student responded, "we are not feminists, I have never fought against men," he opened fire, killing all of them, according to a coroner's report.

From there the gunman would kill five more victims — all women — and end his own life by shooting himself in the head.

The incident came to be known as the École Polytechnique massacre, or the Montreal Massacre.

And 25 years later, people still remember the victims on Dec. 6, which now also represents the National Day of Commemoration and Action on Violence Against Women.

People remember the victims by placing 14 white roses near a plaque at the school, and by listing their names to honour them every year.

Here are the women who died that day — their names, their faces, what they studied, and where they worked when a gunman ended their lives.

(All biographical details are from Polytechnique and CBC News, unless otherwise stated.)





Geneviève Bergeron

genevieve bergeron

Born: 1968

Area of study: Mechanical engineering

Geneviève Bergeron was a musician who sang in choir and played in band while attending Ecole FACE in Montreal, a classmate told Victoria News. She also played basketball and swam, reports the Canadian Press.





Hélène Colgan

helene colgan

Born: 1966

Area of study: Mechanical engineering

Hélène Colgan was in her last year of engineering, had a number of job offers and was looking to do a master's degree.





Nathalie Croteau

nathalie croteau

Born: 1966

Area of Study: Mechanical engineering

Nathalie Croteau had planned to vacation in Cancun, Mexico with Hélène Colgan at the end of December 1989.





Barbara Daigneault

barbara daigneault

Born: 1967

Area of study: Mechanical engineering

Engineering ran in Barbara Daigneault's family. Her father had taught mechanical engineering at l'Université du Québec à Montréal, and was a teaching assistant in his class.





Anne-Marie Edward

anne marie edward

Born: 1968

Area of study: Chemical engineering

Anne-Marie Edward was a physically active student who loved diving and skiing.





Maud Haviernick

maud haviernick

Born: 1960

Area of Study: Metallurgical engineering

Maud Haviernick had previously graduated with a degree in environmental design from l'Université du Québec à Montréal and was into her second year studying metallurgical engineering at Polytechnique.





Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz

barbara klucznikwidajewicz

Born: 1958

Area of Study: Nursing at l'Université de Montréal

A Polish immigrant, Barbara Klucznik-Widajewicz had immigrated to Montreal with her husband just two years prior.





Maryse Laganière

maryse laganiere

Born: 1964

Finance department employee

The only victim among the 14 who was not a student, Maryse Laganière was a recently-married budget clerk in Polytechnique's finance office.





Maryse Leclair

maryse leclair

Born: 1966

Area of Study: Mechanical engineering

Maryse Leclair was a distinguished student who was only a year away from graduating when the shootings took place. Her father, police Lt. Pierre Leclair, is the one who found her.





Anne-Marie Lemay

annemarie lemay

Born: 1967

Area of Study: Mechanical engineering

Anne-Marie Lemay, 22, always wanted to help others, her mother told La Seigneurie. She initially wanted to go into medicine but didn't have the grades for it, but was happy to do engineering.





Sonia Pelletier

sonia pelletier

Born: 1961

Area of Study: Mechanical engineering

Sonia Pelletier was killed just one day before she was set to receive her mechanical engineering degree. She had been the "head of the class" while growing up in St-Ulric, in Québec's Gaspé Peninsula.





Michèle Richard

michele richard

Born: 1968

Area of Study: Metallurgical engineering

A second-year student, Michèle Richard was presenting a paper with Maud Haviernick when the shootings happened.





Annie St-Arneault

annie starneault

Born: 1966

Area of Study: Mechanical engineering

Annie St-Arneault wrote a collection of poems that were published by her brother posthumously, La Presse reported. She was from La Tuque, Que., in the upper St-Maurice River valley, and had a job interview with Alcan Aluminium scheduled the next day, the Canadian Press reports.





Annie Turcotte

annie turcotte

Born: 1969

Area of Study: Metallurgical engineering

Annie Turcotte, a 20-year-old student, had an environmental consciousness and wanted to protect her planet, The Montreal Gazette reported. According to CP, she lived with her brother in an apartment near the university and loved diving and swimming.

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