Forget, Honourable Amedee E.
Lawyer, Civil Servant, Journalist, Lieutenant-Governor, Senator
Amedee Forget. Photograph of a painting, ca. 1905. CORA-RPL-B-367.
The people of the North West Territories in general and Regina in particular, felt blessed to have Amedee E. Forget appointed as Lieutenant-Governor in 1898.
Forget's tenure as Lieutenant-Governor began before Saskatchewan was a province. Forget would stay as Lieutenant-Governor for 12 years. During that time, he and his wife Henriette would become central figures in Regina 's social scene. The Forgets became an integral part of their newly adopted hometown's political and social landscape. Their affection for Regina would outlast their tenure in Government House.
Amedee E. Forget was born in 1847 in Marieville , Canada East (which later became known as Quebec ), the son of Jeremie Forget and Marie Guenette. After being educated at Marieville College, Amedee was called to the bar in 1871. He was very active in the Montreal Bar when he was a practicing attorney, eventually serving as Secretary of the Council of the Montreal Bar. He entered into a career as a civil servant in 1875, serving as the Secretary of the Metis Commission in Manitoba.
Forget then went on to serve in a number of positions as a civil servant. His career was mainly focused on the aboriginal community. Forget served as a Commissioner seeking settlement of Metis claims after the Northwest Rebellion. He was then appointed the first Clerk of the Northwest Council and Private Secretary to the Lieutenant Governor. Later Forget became the Clerk of the Territorial Assembly. In 1888 he became Assistant Commissioner of Indian Affairs for Manitoba and the Northwest Territories. He held this position until 1895. He was also a member of the Council of Public Instruction of the Northwest Territories from 1893 to 1895. Finally, he was appointed Indian Commissioner of the Northwest Territories in 1895, a job he would hold until 1898.
In 1898, Forget's years of hard work for the federal government were rewarded with his appointment as Lieu10ant-Governor of the North West Territories. One wonders what Amedee and Henriette Forget must have thought when they stepped off the train in Regina. Founded a scant 16 years earlier, Regina was certainly not the most attractive location in which to serve a term as Lieutenant-Governor. The Forgets soon made themselves at home in their newly adopted town, however.
Amedee Forget had married Henriette Drolet in 1876. Their marriage was childless but happy. Mrs. Forget was very involved in charitable organizations, including the Daughters of the Empire. She was Honourary President of both the Daughters of the Empire and the National Council of Women. Henriette Forget was also the consummate politician's wife. She hosted parties that became legendary in Regina society. The Forgets hosted a state ball in conjunction with the opening of the legislature in 1903, the year Regina became a city. They hosted another gala event to entertain the Duke and Dutchess of York in 1901. (This royal couple later became King George V and Queen Mary.) The Forgets were the toast of Regina society – 81 men in silk top hats and morning coats came to pay their respects after the New Year's Levee of 1903.
Amedee Forget served as the Lieutenant-Governor of the North West Territories for 2 terms, until Saskatchewan became a province in 1905. Then he was appointed Lieutenant-Governor of Saskatchewan. When his term ended in 1910, Forget retired briefly to Banff, Alberta. In 1911, he was appointed a Senator and moved to Ottawa, where he lived until his death in 1923. He was buried in the Notre-Dame-des-Neiges Cemetery in Montreal, Quebec.
Henriette Forget entered a convent upon her husband's death, remaining there until her own death in 1928. She never forgot her time in Regina , however – she donated a stained-glass window to Holy Rosary Cathedral in Regina in her husband's memory. Regina never forgot the contribution of the Forgets to the city either – Forget Street is named in their honour.