Friday, June 8, 2018

From the President

Chers Amis
Here we are in June already and more and more we find ourselves staying indoors and rugging up to protect ourselves from winter’s cold fingers. Many of our members will soon be packing bags for their annual pilgrimage northwards for the European summer and Le Tour de France. But for those who are staying we have lots of upcoming events like the wine tasting at Mike and Lilias’ place and our extra special celebration of Bastille Day this year in which we are celebrating the thirtieth anniversary of the founding of our Alliance.
Details of these events are provided later in this newsletter. Book early so you don’t miss out.
I would also like to formally welcome the Eden Marine High School as a new member of our Alliance. This school now joins the South Coast Anglican College and the Mumbulla school as members of the Alliance Francaise de la Cote de Saphir. My own first contact with the Alliance Francaise was through the school I attended as a boy in Sydney and I am confident that this early connection with the Alliance played a part in my long-standing love of French language and French culture.

Saturday, May 5, 2018

From the President

Chers Amis
I would like to thank all of our members and their guests who attended our first French film night of the year, ‘L’Ecole Buissionniere’. This was a touching story of a young boy whose life was transformed when he left an orphanage in the city to live in the countryside. We had a capacity attendance and the film was enjoyed by all. If you missed it you can borrow the DVD from our Library, details about access are on page 2 of the May edition of La Mouette. Our next event is the concert of baroque music featuring the recorder group Lumiere which will be held at Coffee 22 Café in Pambula on 13 May. I hope to see you all there. Please put a note in your diaries about our Bastille Day celebrations this year to be held on Sunday, 14th July at Oaklands Events Centre. The Bastille Day celebrations are our flagship event each year and we always try to make it a memorable occasion. However, this year will be very special for our Alliance as we will be celebrating the 30th anniversary of its establishment in Merimbula. We will mark the occasion with a number of performances to delight and entertain you including a headline act by Eliane Morel, a recording artist who will sing some classic French songs like ‘I Love Paris in the Springtime’. For further details please see Mike Warren’s item on page 2 of the May edition of La Mouette. 
Amities Robert McCombie

Sunday, April 1, 2018

From the President

Chers Amis
This month’s big event was the French dinner at Waves restaurant. Having the event on a Sunday evening meant that we had the restaurant to ourselves. This turned out to be fortuitous as we had greater numbers than expected and packed the restaurant out. However, what should have been an enjoyable, carefree, evening was overshadowed by the bush fires at Tathra which have stunned our community as a whole and impacted on some of us directly.
Thankfully, our members living in the area seem to have been spared the worst, but for those who have had the experience of having a near-miss bushfire experience we know how upsetting even the threat of loss can be.
Let’s all celebrate our good fortune by coming to our next French Movie Night on 24th April (details on the Events page) and Café 22 on Sunday 13th May at 2.30pm to enjoy a concert by the “Lumière” ensemble of French and European, Renaissance and Baroque music - full details will be in next month’s La Mouette.
On a sadder note I have just learned that a Past President of our club, Rex Speller, has passed away. Jan & Neil Porter have recalled some memories of Rex on page 3 of the March La Mouette.
Amicalement, Rob McCombie

Saturday, March 31, 2018

From the President

Chers Amis
It’s good to be back in the land of Oz after our trip across the ditch to Noo Zillund but we had a wonderful 2 weeks there with many treasured memories. For an Australian who had never been there before the drama of the landscape of the South Island is difficult to describe. The way that high snow-capped mountain peaks shoot up almost vertically out flat plains or huge lakes (in much the same way as they do in the French Pyrenees) is amazing. Anyone who appreciates this type of scenery must go to the fjordlands in and around Doubtful Sound.
As a confirmed Francophile I couldn’t resist visiting Akaroa, a small town to the east of Christchurch which was originally settled by French immigrants. Evidence of the French heritage is still visible in the layout of the town which nestles on the shores of a large bay, and various buildings which have a distinctly French aspect. Not much French is spoken but it was charming to see a petrol station advertising de l’essence et de l’huile and the local police station with the sign ‘Gendarmerie’ proudly emblazoned over the front door.
I hope to see you all at our French dinner on 18th March at Waves Restaurant, Merimbula, full details are provided below. We apologise for the short notice but detailed negotiations/discussions have been necessary and many thanks are due to Mike Warren for all his efforts.
Cordialement, Robert

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

From the President

Chers Amis
As you will all be aware, the Alliance Française de la Côte de Saphir likes to remain at the forefront of technology and innovation and, as President, I wondered for a while if it would be more appropriate for me to just tweet my Christmas item to you rather than have it appear in La Mouette. However, while conceding the considerable economies of thought and writing inherent in tweeting, I thought it better to observe established tradition.
2017 saw a full program of special events for the Alliance and our petanque games continued to provide regular opportunities for our members to meet and enjoy friendly competition, good food and wine in a relaxed atmosphere. Your committee is currently formulating a program for 2018 with some new and exciting events and we would welcome your suggestions and ideas for making next year even better. If you have any good ideas, just send them in an e-mail (or tweet) to me or any of the Committee members.
2017 in the land of the Alliance was calm and comfortable, located as we are in a small regional town of a country on the second last stop to the Antarctic (apologies to our Kiwi brothers and sisters), and our greatest challenges remained small and manageable. The pages of La Mouette have recorded our travels to France and other countries enjoying their food and marvelling at the sights. In 2018, however, the impact of international and national political, economic and security issues could reach even as far as us, possibly making us less adventurous.
Good reason therefore for us all to celebrate the best of French and Australian culture in the company of friends at home in the Alliance. May you all have a happy Christmas and a safe and prosperous New Year.

Meilleurs voeux, Rob McCombie

Friday, November 3, 2017

From the President

Chers Amis
Lunch at Indulge was our big event this month. It was the most recent in a series of fabulous meals from France and francophone countries that we have enjoyed over the last year or so. Bouillabaisse was the keynote meal served as we were celebrating the food of Marseille and France’s Mediterranean coast. In all, there was a choice of three main courses and three desserts providing enough variety for everyone’s preferences. In the past we have enjoyed the food of Morocco, Canada, Belgium, Viet-Nam as well as metropolitan France.
I would like to say a special thanks to Mike Warren and Kerry Hunting for their work in organising this month’s very successful event. Mike was also the author and presenter of the Hard Quiz (apologies to Tom Gleeson) which turned out to be hard enough for most of us, but not so for the team comprising Wolfgang and Regine Kasper and Jon and Kieren Gaul who were the winners on the day. Congratulations to Wolfgang, Regine, Jon and Kieren.
Our last event for this year will be the Annual Coupe d’Antibes and Christmas Party which will be held at Mandeni Park on Sunday, 27 November. For those among you who have never played pétanque (organised twice every month by Clive Roberts) I would urge you to come along and have a go. While there are some excellent players among us, most are complete novices like me but can still fluke the odd lucky shot. It can be a wonderful way of spending a few hours in very pleasant company. Could I urge you to note the date in your calendar and join us on the day if you can. Full details are set out below.

Amities, Rob McCombie 

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

From The President

Chers Amis
Spring has sprung and there has been a vast change in daytime temperatures and the look of our vegie gardens since our last edition of La Mouette. I hope that you are all looking forward to a relaxing summer break with family and friends.
The main items of news this edition are, firstly, the lunch with a French food flavour to be held at the Tura Beach Country Club on 19 October. Please save this date in your calendars and read more important information about it in Mike Warren’s article later in this edition. This will be our last function for the year before our Great-End-Of-Year-Coupe-d’Antibes and Christmas Party, details of which will be published over the next month or so.
Secondly, we take pleasure in announcing the appointment to the Committee of Anh-Thu Stuart who will be our Librarian. Anh-Thu’s appointment will relieve Kerry Hunting of the responsibility of being the only woman’s voice on the Committee and will bring new ideas to our work from her home in Bermagui.

Robert McCombie