Our Tenth Anniversary Lunch

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Marion writes and will be sending further details to members:
The Annual General Meeting of the Branch, which will be held on Tuesday 12th September 2017 in the verdant surroundings of the Villeneuve-sur-Lot Golf and Country Club. Treasurer and keen golfer Pip Kirby has kindly made all the arrangements.
A shady terrace overlooking the course is available for guests.
As this is the 10th anniversary of the founding of the Branch, it is hoped that the meeting will be well attended !
An important technical note!
Your webmaster writes:
The old web address http:ousswfrance.co.uk will cease as of the end of August and will no longer be redirected to this site, which is now at: https://ousswfrance.com.

The Lot flows with Malbec

A group of 20 alumni and friends ventured into the Lot to enjoy a morning of wine tasting followed by lunch, all organised by Greg Hawes. Greg’s devotion to duty had involved a rapid trip to his daughter’s graduation in Durham and a return at 5 a.m. home the same day, so great thanks are due to Greg, one of our many new members!

The excellent wine tasting at Château Famaey was conducted by Maarten Luyckx, son of the proprietor and main winemaker, assisted by Florence. Maarten exports successfully to 26 countries – and provide wine to BA’s lounges (first-class only of course!). We enjoyed  hearing about the complexities of wine-making, exporting and barrel varieties and left with a significant selection of wine demonstrating our very varied tastes.

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Maarten and Florence
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Attentive!
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The bar graced by our founder and our chairman’s wife!

2017 events update

Our 2017 programme is up and running and members have been sent, or will be sent, details of the following future events by email:

  • A tasting visit to a local member’s chateau (Château Biac) with an on site buffet lunch, on Friday 1st September.
  • Our AGM on Tuesday 12th September at La Suite restaurant, Villeneuve sur Lot Golf & Country Club, 47290 Castelnaud de Gratecambe
  • A lunch on 4th November in Le Temple sur Lot organised by Jeremy James EDIT now postponed until Spring 2018,

As usual Marion will communicate details of these events as they firm up. If for some reason, you have not received the details please contact her.

Any member prepared to organise a lunch or other event of interest in his / her local area is of course welcome to do so or put forward ideas; with an influx of ‘new’ members recently joining our list, new opportunities for enjoyable social contact are just waiting to be explored!

Our new web site – now live!

This site has been created to take over from ousswfrance.co.uk based on the WordPress template provided by the alumni office, to which thanks.

Content from that site has been migrated  and the new site ‘goes live’ today, 1st May 2017. The old site is automatically redirected to this one until it is retired in August 2017.

If you are a member you will be invited to follow this site and so receive automatic email updates. You can also do this by entering your email address in the ‘Follow’ slot in the sidebar.

The rather elegant header images are courtesy of Pip Kirby.

Lot-et-Garonne Lunch, 26 May

Marion writes:
One of the great benefits of our OUS branch is that it gives its members a chance to meet, and then keep up with, many whom we might never otherwise have encountered – and to do so in a friendly and enjoyable manner. At the last AGM it was suggested that individual members might wish to organize informal events in their neighbourhoods :  for those living close by, of course, but also for any others who might wish to attend.
It is with this objective in mind that Jeremy James proposes meeting for lunch  in the village of Laroque-Timbaut (Lot-et-Garonne), on Friday 26th May.

Further details have been sent to members.

Another good restaurant: L’Abricotier

Marion writes:  At “L’Abricotier” in Saint Macaire, we enjoyed an excellent three course lunch, really home-cooked too, for 23€. Very pleasant surroundings : and a quietly stylish service. The lower dining-room opens onto a pretty garden, and there is a large outside terrace for summer eating under the shade of mulberry trees. The owners-chef have been there for 30 years. Address : 3, Rue François Bergoeing (not a spelling mistake !), 33490 Saint Macaire (just off the main Langon – Cadillac road). It’s a good idea to book : 0556768363. Private car park.

A Charente Chateau to visit

Josephine and Tom Malcolm wrote to us:

We are delighted to inform clubs and associations that we are now conducting guided visits in English at the Chateau de la Mercerie.
Response from visitors so far is very enthusiastic about this Chateau which is being rescued by the hard work of the local community and a team of volunteers.

There are two guided visits every Tuesday afternoon from April to October, and larger groups are welcome by arrangement seven days a week all year round.

The Chateau is open every afternoon – except Saturday – from Easter to the end of October 2018.

This Chateau is one of the few attractions in Nouvelle Aquitaine to offer guided visits in English.

Please see the leaflet for more details, and do not hesitate to contact us if you require further information.

 

Richard O’Neill

Marion writes:
It is with great sadness that we have to announce the recent death of our friend and Branch Treasurer, Richard O’Neill. He would have been seventy-five on the 2nd of October.
A founder member of OUS Southwest France, Richard rarely missed a committee meeting, and was as meticulous in the planning of events as in keeping the Branch accounts. His jocular approach to life, and to his own problems in particular, could not really mask his shrewd intelligence, courage, and concern for others.
After attending Portsmouth Grammar School, Richard went up to Oriel in 1960 where he read Physics. After a short spell as a stockbroker, he joined the family insurance firm. But his real vocation was elsewhere. He joined the 1st Battalion of the Wessex Regiment (Territorial Army) and served as a reserve officer. During a mission in the first Gulf War, an injury left him with a damaged leg which later had to be amputated. He retired with the rank of Lieutenant Colonel.
At one of the first events organized by the Branch (a dinner with the Chancellor), Richard met John Allsop (Christ Church 1956) who had recently taken on the work of co-ordinating the activities of the Royal British Legion in southwest France. He was looking for a Treasurer and Richard immediately accepted the job, doing the RBL’s accounts up until a fortnight before his death.
Having been injured himself, he was particularly concerned by the fate of wounded soldiers and their families, and he supported a charity « Help for Heroes » which works to relieve their moral, physical and financial difficulties. His two sons feel  he would have appreciated that any donations made in his memory should go to this charity.
 
Marion has emailed members on this last subject.
John Baylis, Marion Tempé, John Perry, Pip Kirby