Bastille Day 2014


WEB CannonsWEB Martin William Sarah Eric Brigades Vets and othersWEBBlue CannonWEBCannons and Watchtoweravion lettre ceremony guillaux lettre lockley lucky draw

phm e.berti

brigade française

Mr Don Harwin, President of the Legislative Council, Honourable members of the Parliament, Mr Scott Nash, Mayor of Randwick, and dear Members of the Randwick Council, Excellencies and Dear Colleagues Consuls-general,

Dear Friends,

It is always a pleasure for me to come to this beautiful place of La Perouse, and specially on the Bastille Day, when we are happy to perpetuate a tradition lasting since 1917, of commemoration of the expedition of Count Jean-François Galaup de La Perouse.

This place is highly symbolic of the old friendship between Australia and France, and has been always a place of cooperation, a place of remembrance of these old ties. In 1917, when Henri Selkirk, fellow of the Royal Australian historical Society, looked for a place where to celebrate the Bastille day and our common bonds strengthened by this blood brotherhood born on the Battlefield of Somme in 1916, he chose naturally La Perouse.

This ceremony is therefore specially meaningful this year, since we celebrated a few days ago the seventieth anniversary of the D-Day. I am very proud to wear today the tie that the veterans wore in Ouistreham on the 6th of June, when they received the Legion d’Honneur for their participation in D-Day.

In a few days, we will remember the centenary of the beginning of the First World War. You know that this Bastille day is also the opportunity to celebrate another centenary, the centenary of the first airmail flight between Melbourne and Sydney, made by the French pilot Maurice Guillaux. We will welcome the arrival of the commemorative flight in Bankstown museum at 1.30 pm this afternoon, but for now, let us honor the Navy, since this place is specially dedicated to the sea, the explorers and the sailors who paid their life to allow us to know these new shores.

Many things have changed since last year, when we were gathered here at this same date to celebrate Bastille Day. The management of the Laperouse museum is being transfered to the Randwick city council and a new Trust has been created to further develop the museum and the site. I hope that this year will see significant progress in the renovation of the museum and we will help as much as we can with this ambitious work. This year, when we will have the visit of the French President in November, is the good time to boost our common projects.

We should have a very beautiful event in La Perouse this year, for instance the visit of the Endeavour, the replica of the ship of James Cook,will be at anchor in Frenchmen’s bay. When she returns from New Caledonia in June 2015, she will hopefully bring some pieces from the ship of Lapérouse from the Maritime museum of Nouméa.  I very much hope also that one of the patrol boats  from New Caledonia will be able to stay at anchor in the bay when she will call in Sydney, to pay a tribute to the expedition Lapérouse. These events, and other ones, will highlight the beauty and the deep signification of this place.

I wish to thank warmly the Council of Randwick who has organised and financed this reception for this Bastille Day, as well as the association of Friends of Laperouse Museum who has accomplished as usual a great work to prepare this ceremony.

I wish also to express a special thanks to the Brigade Française, which has one time again, brought its colors and sounds with a brilliant demonstration of munitions.  The Brigade Française will  also be in Bankstown this afternoon and in Powerhouse this evening to escort the airmail, and I praise their commitment and passion for France, Napoléon, and Guillaux as well !

I wish to all of you a beautiful Bastille Day and enjoy the good food and the good wine! For the French people, the Bastille Day is a time of joy and friendship. I wish that we feel together today this feeling in this beautiful place.

Thank you very much !   Eric Berti, Consul-General of France in Sydney

Continue reading

Heritage Festival Walk on Laperouse Expedition



Carte_voyage du La Perouse (1)

WEB Museum
WEB Walking to Grave
WEB Receveur
WEB Monument
WEB Monument 2 The annual Heritage Festival walk on the Laperouse Expedition saw a crowd of 36 with some travelling from as far away as Canberra, the South Coast and Newcastle.  The walk around the monuments was followed by morning tea on the veranda of the Cable Station and a short tour of parts of the Laperouse collection.  (Photos:  William Peters; Map from BiblioOdyssey)

Bob Carr at Laperouse Museum


, ,

Obama CarrBob Carr last spoke at the Laperouse Museum in 2008 on the day Barack Obama was elected US President.  On that occasion it was his book, My Reading Life.  On Tuesday evening over 80 people turned out to listen to him speak about his latest book Diary of a Foreign Minister.  Question time included Australia’s relations with Indonesia and China,  advice to young people on engaging in the political system, and Obama’s record as president. WEB Explaining finer detailsWEB with Laperouse 2WEB with Book and LaperouseWEB Bill presenting Laperouse CuffLinksWeb Youngest MemberWEB Carol and CaroleWEB Bob Irene Doug WEB Bob and Glebe BooksellersWeb Ron and Wendy











Extract Sunday October 7, 2012(page 184)………….Last night we ate kangaroo cooked in coriander, turmeric and cumin while watching Breaking Bad. I tweeted about this and found that British Foreign Secretary William Hague picked it up and tweeted, ‘What Aussie foreign minsters eat.’ Why not, William? It’s lean protein. Paul Monk’s article on China in The Australian on October 1 takes up Luttwak’s view that China is an autistic nation and has been bad at strategy, locked up as it has been in its own Middle Kingdom mystique and totally unused to dealing with other powers as equals. Luttwak had said, “Constructive dialogue with China is important…the problem is that China is tone deaf in strategic matters.” Paul Monk, I think, is one of Australia’s best intellectuals – no, the best; this is another case of him leaping over the various divides and factional camps, the culture wars……….

Extract Saturday September 7, 2013 (475)  On the steps of the Konstantinovsky Palace after our G20 gathering, Wang Yi, the Chinese Foreign Minister, had farewelled me, knowing I was about to be replaced and pronounced:  “You…are..a…frened.”  The same day I receive a farewell text from Jeff Bleich, the US Ambassador in Canberra, thanking me for my support of the President’s position on Syrian chemical weapons.  I thought of Kurt Campbell’s observation that when it comes to the America and China relationship, Australia can simply be ‘the most desired girl on the block’.  We don’t have to choose…

(Photos: with Barack Obama 6/9/13 St Petersburg G20 courtesy Getty Images; answering questions; presentation of Laperouse cufflinks with Bill Land; engaging the youngest audience member; Carol and Carole; with Doug and Irene Benson; with Glebe booksellers; Ron and Wendy)