ESU Celebrations in Paris, 8th, 9th and 10th February, 2018

Patricia Curd, Chairman

Despite Paris being covered with a thick layer of snow, ten members of the ESU Loire Valley branch were able to attend the celebrations which took place in the city from 8th to 10th February 2018 to mark the 30th anniversary of the founding of ESU France and the Centenary of the founding of the ESU worldwide by Sir Evelyn Wrench. The branch was well represented among the total of seventy-four people who attended the most interesting and enjoyable programme of events in spite of the adverse weather conditions.

Our members were particularly delighted to welcome M. and Mme. Stanislas Ordody de Ordod among us at dinner in the Salon Pourpre at the Senate, attending on behalf of Balint Ordody de Ordod who was unable to join the festivities due to ill health. Along with Mme. Beatrix de Montgermont-Keil and Pierre-Christian Taittinger, Balint Ordody de Ordod was a founder member of ESU France in 1987. On his retirement to the Anjou region where he lives today, he was responsible for establishing the ESU in the Loire Valley, for which we owe him much gratitude.

The programme of events provided excellent opportunities for communication and for developing friendships with members from the 3 other French branches and from overseas. The ESU of the Commonwealth was represented by Lord Watson, Vice- President, and Sir Paul Boateng, Chairman, and his wife, Lady Janet Boateng. The Dartmouth House team was represented by Jane Easton, Director General, Melanie Aplin, Head of International Programmes and Cultural Exchange, and Gail Featherstone, Membership Officer. It was a personal pleasure to meet up with friends from the UK Liverpool Branch and the London Region Branch. Additionally there were many members from overseas present representing branches in Denmark, Finland, Georgia, Germany, India and the USA.

Our congratulations go to Mme. de Montgermont-Keil who has been Chairman of ESU France since its inception and at 93 years old remains at the helm. Our thanks to the committee of ESU France for all their preparatory work. In particular we would like to thank the Vice-Chairman, Lucia Dumont, for her consistent hard work and commitment to ensure the success of the celebrations – and a great success they were too!

Our members returned home from Paris after a most rewarding visit, with new memories to treasure of beautiful surroundings, interesting visits and especially of the time they shared with friends, old and new, from both near and far away.