These minutes contain some useful information on the immediate post-Brexit situation.
The committee will be meeting next week to plan the year ahead as best it can. In the meantime, in order to keep emails to the minimum, this post addresses two subjects:
Firstly, our Committee Member Marion Tempé is clearing out the art books on the list below. She would like to offer them to anyone who is interested. Marion resides in the Lot-et-Garonne. You can contact her via info@ousswfrance.
Secondly, the latest minutes from the BCC are also below. Although they are from October, members may find the discussion about Cartes de Séjour of interest.
The latest directory which is now available in pdf format lists the many associations in the British community here in France and also contains information relevant to Brexit and a good deal of other useful information. It is available on request from email@example.com.
Our Hon. Sec. writes:
The OUSWF Committee met informally this Tuesday (28th July) to discuss what, if anything, might be salvaged from the proposed 2020 events programme previewed on this site.
The consensus was that the planned October visit to Château Feely should now join the aborted May Gaillac visit and June tour of Château Malromé on a provisional programme for 2021. As and when we have the all-clear to firm up those events, details will, of course, be posted in the usual way.
Our Constitution, last revised in 2009, mandates the holding of an AGM ‘normally in the first fortnight of October’. The terms of our registration as an Association here in France oblige us to do the same.
In the light of ongoing uncertainties about the health crisis and the constraints currently in place on gatherings, it would not seem possible to hold a 2020 AGM along traditional lines.
What we propose to do is to hold in October an AGM attended solely by members of the current Committee. In mid-September we will send all members for online approval a copy of the reports of the Treasurer, Secretary, and Webmaster, together with the usual invitation to propose items for discussion at the now skeleton AGM. If there are any misgivings about this temporary extension of the remit of the committee and its officers, these will be addressed at the earliest opportunity.
Clearly, this solution will not satisfy all members, any more than it does the current Committee. If you wish to raise any questions before the September issue of the draft reports for AGM approval, please address these to the Hon. Secretary.
Firstly, what’s happening with our plans for the year?
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
Just in case bureaucratic French is a challenge, thanks to Marion, here is a translation of the current set of rules concerning the confinement:
Essential professional activity that cannot be conducted from home;
Purchase of food, collection of social benefit, or cash withdrawal;
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;
Child-minding and family assistance, but only in cases of extreme necessity;
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;*
Summons to a court; or
Participation in community activities, only if invited the appropriate authority.
We have received the following from the BCC as a BCC member:
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.
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.
BCC Honorary Secretary
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.
The secretary has sent out details of the AGM to members. If perchance you have not seen them, please contact him here.
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.
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: