OUS SW France in the time of the virus

Firstly, what’s happening with our plans for the year?

Nigel explains:

Members will have gathered that OUSWF events gazetted for this spring and early summer have had to be postponed. 

As you may recall, some of us planned to meet next week for an informal lunch in Prayssas (Lot-et-Garonne). Further details of the 6 May trip to Gaillac arranged by Committee member Chris Boddington were to have come round later this month. We now hope to stage that event at a later date.

Question marks must still hang over meetings further down the line, among them a possible visit in late June to the Gironde Château Malromé (33490 St-André-des-Bois), some 10 km N. of Langon, eventual home to Adèle Toulouse-Lautrec, mother of the painter Henri.

We are reasonably confident (or, at least, there are those who would have us so) that we shall be able to hold our AGM in early September at the Restaurant l’Atelier in 24560 Issigeac. We shall see.

Meanwhile, we shall of course keep the membership posted in the light of developments in the present health emergency.

– The Committee

Furthermore:

Just in case bureaucratic French is a challenge, thanks to Marion, here is a translation of the current set of rules concerning the confinement:

ATTESTATION DE DÉPLACEMENT DÉROGATOIRE
(2nd version, issued Wednesday 25 March 2020)
New directive issued by the French Government. You are only allowed to leave home in the following circumstances:
  1. Essential professional activity that cannot be conducted from home;
  2. Purchase of food, collection of social benefit, or cash withdrawal;
  3. Visit to a doctor (if you are unable to consult him/her over the phone), to the chemist, or for ongoing treatment for a long-term illness;
  4. Child-minding and family assistance, but only in cases of extreme necessity;
  5. Brief physical exercise, limited to one hour and to within a 1-kilometre radius of your home, either alone or with others who share your home, or to walk your dog;*
  6. Summons to a court; or
  7. Participation in community activities, only if invited the appropriate authority.
You can download the piece of paper you need to fill in at: ‘Attestation de Déplacement Dérogatoire’ on the government site www.interieur.gouv.fr/Actualites (several other sites also offer a download). You will need to take a completed and updated copy with you every time you go out. If you do not, you will face a hefty fine.
Confinement has now been extended until 16th April [watch this space …].
If you experience any difficulties with your day-to-day life (with shopping etc.), you may find your local Mairie helpful. You should find all Government announcements posted on their notice boards.
*For those living in the Lot-et Garonne, all pathways, whether through woodland, around lakes, or along rivers/canals, are out of bounds.
Finally, a French radio correspondent advises: “Do NOT wash your cat with disinfectant”…

BCC Brexit update and Embassy Meetings

We have received the following from the BCC as a BCC member:

Dear All,

Please note the following three items.

Firstly, you will find linked an important article prepared by our Vice-Chairman, Christopher Chantrey, about the post Brexit situation. Please circulate this to all your members.

Secondly, Philippa Tomlin, Regional Consular Policy Adviser from the British Embassy confirms two upcoming Embassy Outreach meetings,

27th February    Agen 6p.m.

9th March, La Rochelle 12.30 pm

Details of both meetings can be found on the BCC Facebook page.

You should register as a legal resident in your country of residence see Living in Guides on GOV.UK.

Finally, please save the confirmed date for the BCC AGM at the British Embassy Residence on Tuesday 21st April at 5.30 p.m. 

We look forward to seeing you there.

Best regards,

Janet

BCC Honorary Secretary

 

A small plea

Subscriptions for 2020. The annual sub of 10 euros is now due. We need your support, even at the paltry sum of 10 euros a year, to cover prepayments for events, guest speakers, overheads, and the occasional charitable donation. Even if you are not able or do not wish to attend an event, your contribution will be much appreciated, it being inequitable that some members pay and some do not.

Details have been sent by email to members by our Honorary Secretary Nigel Griffin.

2018 AGM

The restaurant Le Caillou near Vire-sur-Lot was this year’s venue for our AGM. Discussion centred on the substantial continuing interest among members and the forward programme for 2019. An agreeable lunch followed for the 13 members attending and 12 partners and friends: apologies were received from a further 17 members. Our thanks to Greg Hawes and Nigel Griffin for their organisation.

 

JEREMY  JAMES

Marion Tempé writes:

1939 – 2018

We  are sad to have to announce the recent death of Jeremy James, founder of the OUS SW France Branch, and former chairman.

Son of a mining engineer, William Jeremy Layard James was born in what was then Southern Rhodesia, and spent his early years in South Africa. After attending Blundell’s School, he went up to Oriel in 1958 to read Greats.

A short spell with IBM was followed by an administrative career in several of the colleges forming part of London University.  On retirement, he and his wife Sara moved to the village of Dondas in Lot-et-Garonne.  They both became active participants in village life, as in that of the local British community.  His love of music led him, over the years, to acquire an extraordinary quantity of recordings and documents related to his favourite conductor, Carlo Maria Giulini, but his Oxford associates will remember him also as a keen connoisseur of organs and organ music. To some of us he confided his pride in his Huguenot ancestry and his glee whenever he found traces of it in local archives.

In 2007, and after what must have required a lot of ground work, he wrote to a large number of Oxford graduates living in south-west France, proposing that we could set up a branch of the Oxford University Society, as it was then known. On a chilly day in October, several of us met him and Sara in Moissac, where he presented his project in detail. His enthusiasm, dedication and obvious determination to overcome obstacles,  convinced any of us who had doubts about its viability that an OUS branch in south-west France was indeed possible. It soon took off with around 70 members.

He remained chairman until 2010, but continued to take an active part in the life of the branch, arranging lunches in the Lot-et-Garonne, and maintaining links with the OUBC which have enabled us for the past three years to enjoy meeting the crews during their winter training sessions in Le Temple-sur-Lot. Organizing this event gave him particular pleasure; sadly, illness caused him to miss the most recent one at the beginning of January.

He took the fortunes of the branch very much to heart, and he would certainly wish it to continue in the tradition of friendship and conviviality which he inspired from the start.

Donations may be made in his memory to « Cancer Support France Lot-et-Garonne » by cheque made payable to:

Cancer Support France Lot et Garonne
and sent to:
Cindy Sheppard, President CSF
L’Ancien Magasin
30-31 Rue du Bourg
Montastruc
47380
Lot et Garonne
France.

Our Tenth Anniversary Lunch

diapo-golf10
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.

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.

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