Friends of the Lapérouse Museum 2017 Committee

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LogoThe Friends of the Lapérouse Museum are delighted to announce their 2017 Committee:

Nicole Forrest Green, President
Charles Abela, Vice President
Greg Bond, Treasurer
Tony Gentile, Secretary

Carol Abela; Mrs. Lily Bond; Priscilla Bonham-Carter; Betty de la Torre;  Ted Hayes; Ryan Gollan; Bernard Le Boursicot; Lynda Newnam; Mrs Carole Roussel; Professor Margaret Sankey; Gail Tring

The President personally thanked Dr. Peter Orlovich (UNSW Senior Lecturer, Archives Administration and Records Management, Past President and Founding Member) Cam Dezarnaulds (Solicitor, Founding Member) and Dr. Bill Land (Dermatologist, Past President) for their respective years of dedicated service and commitment to what is a unique place of history and community, culminating in the Lapérouse Museum.

Nicole also confirmed that the year ahead will be engaging and exciting, with an interesting program of events and VIP visits to enhance this wonderful place of significance and tradition, where the Comte de Lapérouse himself once stood.  The recent rapprochement between the French and Australian Navies signifies a new era in maritime cooperation and is a source of mutual pride and celebration.

Our first committee meeting for the year will take place on Monday January 16, 2017 from 6 pm at the Museum.

AGM 2016 with Annual Pierre Roussel Lecture from Professor Grant McCall

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friend-of-the-laperouse-26-11-2016-015The Friends of the Lapérouse Museum held their Annual General Meeting last Saturday November 26 at the Lapérouse Museum, Botany Bay at 11am. The meeting Chaired by our President Nicole Forrest Green returned to her role addressed the highlights of an active, successful year that was 2016 and included raising over $5000 at a dinner held in October at Parliament House Sydney for the benefit of the Lapérouse Education Fund.   Also in attendance were The Hon. Matt Thistlethwaite, MP Federal Member for Kingsford Smith, Professor Ivan and Mrs. Barko, as well as Mrs. Carole Roussel founding Member of the Friends with her sister Mrs. Angela Raymond.

The meeting concluded with an animated talk from University of Sydney Anthropologist Professor Grant McCall who addressed the similarities and differences between French and English navigators of the 18th century with an emphasis on the Pacific and interesting idea that the Comte de Lapérouse and Captain Arthur Phillip did actually meet in secret whilst in Australia and as a consequence this resulted in Lapérouse handing official documents and records over to the English for safe passage back to Europe; another interesting observation Professor McCall made was that the English used Polynesian navigators on their ships which made a huge difference in rough or troubled seas, but that the French did not; had they done so the experiences encountered around the perilous Solomon Islands and in particular Vanikoro may have ended otherwise.

friend-of-the-laperouse-26-11-2016-038Professor McCall offered our President a wonderful donation for the Museum at the conclusion of his talk – a GRASSET DE SAINT SAUVEUR, Couloured Reproduction Print of the Pacific Discoveries of Captain Cook and M. de Lapérouse. The Museum’s curator Ms. Elizabeth Broomhead is in the process of assessing where this unique piece can be added to enhance its value and our wonderful French story that we’re proud of.

Refreshments were served at the conclusion of the meeting where Committee Members past and present were thanked by the President for their contribution, support and interest.

2017 looks to be an exciting year ahead with a proposed visit to the Museum (currently under discussion) by Australia’s Chief of Navy, Vice Admiral Tim Barrett AO CSC RAN.

Thus the French-Australian maritime partnership is alive and well.

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COOK & LA PÉROUSE EXPEDITIONS: GRASSET DE SAINT SAUVEUR, Jacques. Tableau des Découvertes du Captaine J Cook, & M. de La Pérouse   Copper-engraved plate with contemporary hand coloring. 24 numbered costume plates of peoples of the Pacific, their artifacts, and homes set in landscapes, arranged in three panels, numbered key below, surrounded by narrow pictorial border.

The print is associated with Grasset de Saint Sauveur’s exceedingly rare two-part work, consisting (Histoire Abrégée des découvertes des Captaines Cook, Wilson, La Pérouse… Paris, 1797-1798; and a separately issued portfolio (Tableaux des principaux peuples… Paris, 1798; see Forbes 281 & Colas 1301). Five large-format plates (Europe, Asia, Africa, America, and the Pacific) appeared in the portfolio, the present engraving being the last. The print in its original state, never folded into a book and was never intended to be a piece of litterature. Later versions of the print were lithographed.

The image presents twenty-four separately identified groups of two, three, or four inhabitants from the different regions and islands of the Pacific Basin, including Hawaii, the Pacific Northwest Coast, Tahiti, New Zealand, South America, the Philippines, etc. This intriguing print was born out of the consuming European need to know and understand the new lands and new peoples of the Pacific explored by Cook, La Pérouse, and their contemporaries. Grasset de Saint Saveur satisfied that need by creating a virtual microcosm of the Pacific that is at once informative and aesthetically pleasing. The viewer is invited in to observe exquisite miniature scenes offering an intimate glimpse of the exotic people, clothing, material culture, landscapes, pastimes, and familial and social groups of lands newly discovered. The indigenous people are depicted as dignified and graceful. The sinuous pictorial border incorporates flora, fauna, human figures, and artifacts of the Pacific Basin.

Canadian artist, writer, and diplomat Jacques Grasset de Saint Sauveur (1757-1810), developed an abiding interest in indigenous people early in his life, leading him to initiate his encyclopedic series of illustrated works of all the people of the world. Born in Montreal at the beginning of the Seven Years’ War, he went to live in France after the conquest of New France by the British. He studied at Sainte-Barbe College in Paris, later embarked upon a diplomatic career, and died in Paris.

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FRENCH MINISTERIAL VISIT TO THE LAPEROUSE MUSEUM

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photo-1Saturday November 19 2016, Nicole Forrest Green received the French Minister for War Veterans at the Lapérouse Museum, Sydney for an official visit. Accompanied by his delegation from France headed by Chief of Staff Jean-Robert Lopez, Préfet, Jean-Marc Todeschini holds the appointment within the Hollande Government of ‘Secrétaire d’Etat auprès du Ministre de la Défense, Chargé des Anciens Combattants et de la Mémoire’ the equivalent in Australia of our Minister for Veterans’ Affairs a position held in the Turnbull Government by the Hon Dan Tehan MP (VIC) represented today Major General (Ret’d) Dave Chalmers AO, CSC First Assistant Secretary Commemorations and War Graves at the Commonwealth Department of Veterans Affairs, Canberra.photo-2

Minister Todeschini has also visited New Zealand in an official capacity. 2016 marks 100 years since ANZAC troops fought on the Somme in 1916 where their courage and determination in the face of great hardship, has not been forgotten by France. Included in the Minister’s agenda today in Sydney was a visit to the War Memorial at Hyde Park, Sydney where the French Government awarded three Australian WWII Air Force
Veterans with his country’s highest decoration in a Military capacity, the
coveted Legion d’Honneur.

Signing the Visitor’s book, Minister Todeschini referred to the long standing history between France and Australia since the earliest days of European settlement in 1788; he thanked Nicole for her hospitality, presentation and explanation of the projects underway she had initiated including a new Memorandum of Understanding with the Musée de la Marine, Paris and referred to the strong symbolism the Lapérouse Museum provided in the context of the bilateral relationship.

Photo 1: Préfet, Directeur du Cabinet, Jean-Robert Lopez, French Defence Attaché Captain (FN) Yann Marboeuf, Minister Jean-Marc Todeschini, President FOLM Nicole Forrest Green, Consul General for France to Sydney, Mr. Nicolas Croizer, Major General (ret’d) Dave Chalmers DVA representative

Photo 2: Consul General for France Sydney, Mr. Nicolas Croizer, Warrant Officer Caroline Yvon (FN), Minister Jean-Marc Todeschini, President FOLM, Nicole Forrest Green, French Defence Attaché Captain (FN) Yann Marboeuf