Class of 2006
Roger Laliberté’s love of the French language began as a youngster, at home in Manville, where his parents spoke French all day. He attended St. James Parochial School and Mount Saint Charles Academy, where he was the French valedictorian for the graduating class of 1954.
He began his radio career in 1957 at WWRI in West Warwick where he started L’Echo Musical. The program entertained the large French-Canadian population in the West Warwick area. In 1963 he brought his French-language program to WWON in Woonsocket, and in 1985 moved to WNRI in Woonsocket, where the program still airs today. L’Echo Musical is also broadcast worldwide on the Internet.
In 2004, Roger realized his life’s dream of owning a radio station by becoming a partner at WNRI radio. Laliberte’s other passion is law enforcement. He joined the Coventry Police Department as a patrolman in October 1969. He was promoted to sergeant in 1977, and in 1984, earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Law Enforcement from Salve Regina University, graduating Magna Cum Laude and he also received the Charles Cooke Memorial Award for Excellence in Criminal Justice. Over the years, Laliberte was awarded numerous commendations for exemplary police work, and in 1979 was promoted to lieutenant. Several years later he was named acting captain and chief of detectives. Roger was promoted to captain in 1984. Four years later, Laliberte was named the department’s acting executive officer and in January 1990 reached the high-point in his law enforcement career when he was named chief of the Coventry Police Department.
Laliberte was elected to the board of directors of Coventry Credit Union in 1990, and currently serves as the chairman of the board. He was instrumental in bringing a Coventry Credit Union branch to his home town of Manville. Roger joined with other members of the American-French Genealogical Society and the society’s Cultural Committee to create Parlons Francais, a French-speaking program to help individuals reacquire their French language skills. The group meets monthly and is taught some of the finer points of speaking, reading, and writing in French.
Roger is a communicant of Saints John and Paul Parish in Coventry, where is chair of the Finance Council.