From the desk of the Consul General - April 2017 [fr]
Dear French and American friends,
The activities of this consulate have taken us well beyond the walls of our office and into our jurisdiction, which covers 6 states in the U.S. Southeast. Not counting the business trips of the rest of the team, my travels have taken me to Savannah, Charleston, Mobile, Greenville, and Charlotte, providing numerous occasions to meet with compatriots and friends of France living in this region.
In Savannah, we celebrated the remarkable work of the Savannah Tech College, which thanks to the impetus of Jean-Yves Vendeville, created a partnership in the hospitality and food industries with the Lycée Lautréamont in Tarbes and the Académie de Toulouse. This partnership, the first transatlantic partnership between two technical schools, unites students and educators beyond the language barrier and around the love of work well done and culinary excellence. A “must” for our two countries, as I was able to share with Mayor Eddie DeLoach, and again, congratulations to all the players of this fabulous day.
In Charleston, with representatives of the City of Flers, including Deputy-Mayor Yves Goasdoué, I met with Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg: a beautiful story of connections created following WWII between a war-ravaged community and an American friend that brought help. These ties have since been revived around new themes, proving once more that the French-American friendship transcends the centuries since the origin of the United States and the War of Independence. The paintings of Charleston City Hall—and the story behind “George Washington in Charleston” by John Trumbull which particularly interested our visitors—testify to this.
The City of Mobile and the State of Alabama kicked off our month of commemorations of the U.S. entry into WWII (April 6, 1917). What more beautiful homage in the South-east marked by this history, than to welcome the great “storytellers” Nimrod Frazier and Annette Becker, who came all the way from France for the conference, organized in partnership with the University of South Alabama and the WWI Centennial Commission of our friend Monique Seefried. “Send the Alabamians” said General Plummer, honoring the courage of the 167th Infantry Regiment of the celebrated « Rainbow Division ». We will join together in Atlanta, GA and Montgomery, AL to commemorate this extraordinary year that concluded by transforming Europe, as well as the United States, to a certain degree.
In South Carolina, as in North Carolina, I was able to take stock of the local mobilization for the organization of the upcoming French elections. Special thanks to Nicolas Bindel, who will once more welcome our compatriots at the Ecole Française in Greenville, as well as Céline Thiria, President of the Allianace Française in Charleston, for hosting our morning of proxy votes. The NBA French Heritage Night with the Hornets and Nicolas Batum was also a special moment. Laura Wellman, Amélie de Gaulle, Maxanna Nichols Lefevre and Nicolas Brindel, to cite a few: all our honorary consuls in the Southeast are always priceless relays in our partner cities. I had the pleasure of uniting most of them in Atlanta for a work day around the themes of “Elections” and “Security” in presence of our Consular Councilors. Thank you to each of them for the work that they do, with so much dedication, to the service of our community.
To conclude, two words for our French compatriots—always the same : April 22, May 6, June 3 and 17 : Go vote !
See you soon,
Louis de CORAIL
Consul General of France