AFCC President’s message: L’Hiver 2020

Mes Chers Amis et Membres, Bonjour!

Since the last Gazette three months have passed but unfortunately in the worst conditions and you know very well what I mean by that.

All over the world the same words resonate…Pandemic, Covid 19 with all its tragic consequences. But we must not forget how lucky we are in Australia and also not to forget that there are still other illnesses destroying lives.

I’ll try to avoid pronouncing these words but we cannot ignore them. We are in a critical moment of History and it is obvious that a global paralysis is installed but respecting my principles…” There are never problems…only solutions”… for example regarding our French lessons, our teachers Felix and Patricia have worked very hard to introduce and continue their distance teaching via Zoom and I can tell you that the comments from the few students I have spoken with were very positive and they were very impressed…now there you have an example of a solution!

Usually I always have the great pleasure of talking about all the social events that have been organised bringing variety and happiness to you all, my dear friends and members of our AFCC, but unfortunately all those which were scheduled for the last three months had to be cancelled… in fact No … not cancelled just postponed!…except for a few unlucky…or maybe…lucky travellers around the world!

The Pre-Easter picnic… cancelled….but there will be many other picnics, the cruise on the beautiful Brisbane Waters… cancelled… but there will be many other cruises, the French Country Market as popular as it always is… cancelled…but there will be many other French Country Markets!

At least one project for our members/students is still planned and will be carried out in early September IF we are allowed to depart Australia and fly to Noumea where the school is located in a former penal colony. All its historical buildings are intact, including what was the house of the French Governor, the bakery where the prisoners’ duty was to make bread for everyone, the typical chapel … everything is still there!…and all of it with a spectacular view!

In the meantime, my dear friends and members, I really look forward to finally being able to meet you all…in French of course…and if you have forgotten, don’t worry I’ll forgive you and “let’s start again”, to celebrate our reunion probably at the Cheeky Charlie Restaurant with a very special lunch…maybe champagne???…and most importantly to see you all in perfect health and happy to realise how beautiful and precious life is!

À trés bientôt, j’espère,
Nathalie Adams
President

Bastille Day 2019

On bastille Day special Breakfast before start of study at our Alliance Francaise Central Coast meeting.

Alliance Francaise Central Coast boat cruise

AFCC members recently enjoyed a cruise on the Brisbane Waters where some could enjoy dancing on the deck!

Melbourne Cup 2018

Melbourne Cup 2018

On Sunday we have organised a very successful (and friendly) pre-Melbourne Cup Lunch at Cheeky Chariie’s Restaurant in Fountain Plaza. Erina.

The lunch included a competition for the most beautiful Fascinators of all our very elegant participating ladies.

Cheeky Charlie’s owner, Craig, very generously gave two prizes to the winners and the winners are:

  1. Heather
  2. Cecilia
  3. Maria

Congratulations to all and big thank you for the great time we shared and enjoyed!

Bastille Day 2018 rendezvous and lunch

Please join us for the AFCC annual Fete Nationale (Bastille Day) meeting and lunch.

The rendezvous will happen as usual on Saturday, July 14 at Erina Leagues and will be followed by lunch at Cheeky Charlie’s, Fountain Plaza, Erina.

It will be at 12.30pm, after our regular meeting. Partners and family are welcome.

Please RSVP to Nathalie by Tuesday 10 July.

Visit from French Books on Wheels

On Friday 22 June 2018, from 12 to 5pm at Erina Leagues Club, the AFCC is delighted to welcome French Books on Wheels! They are a not-for-profit organisation that travels around Australia promoting French culture through books, magazines and films. Roslyn, one of our members, will also be hosting a French conversation workshop from 12 to 3pm.

VENEZ NOMBREUX!!!

https://www.facebook.com/FrenchBooksonWheels

Interview with Ary Kleiberg, president of the AFCC

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So Ary tell us about you. Where are you from and how long have you been president of the AFCC for?

You might say I came out of nowhere. I had been in AFCC only a few months, when after the AGM the elections took place. The president at the time decided to resign and yours truly was duly elected. It was probably was my own fault, because I found that a monthly meeting was not enough if you wanted to have a reasonable chance to practice. So I organized a Meetup to alternate with the AFCC meeting.

That was in February 2014. I found there was a reason that the former president wanted to get out: Paris had decided that only Capital cities Alliances would be supported from then on, so we had to reorganize. It meant writing a new Constitution, organizing our own insurance, dealing with ACNC and the Tax Department. So, a lot of work. Having spent 15 years in Toastmasters and being on the executive there for 14 of those, and president for 3, I was not entirely unprepared.

In those 4 years the committee has reorganized the Rendez-vous to have 3 separate groups, previously there was just one. I noticed that native French speaking visitors did not find much to enjoy, so they did not come back. That was the start of Club Causerie to have an informal setting for them and for the more advanced speakers. We also organized a banner, a waterproof Marquee, table with tri-colour cover for expos, to name a few. Of course, as a committee member we work as a collective in our decision making.

When and where did you start speaking French and what is the story behind?

French was a compulsory subject at school. By the time I was 13 I discovered during holidays that it was actually useful, because you could communicate with people from other countries in their Language. I soon had built up a collection of pen friends in England, France and Germany. Later I spent 3 months in Auvergne when I was in the Army. It resulted in another pen-friend, a retired French teacher. I lost contact with all of them when I was travelling around Australia.

Any particular memory of France or somewhere in France you cherish?

From what I have seen I liked Normandie, I got as far as St Malo in Bretagne. I have passed through the Vosges, which struck me as a rather poor area.

What tips would you give to beginners starting to speak French?

I would watch TV5Monde via Internet (http://www.tv5monde.com/). Under the heading “Apprendre le Français” you find a series of programmes graded according to ability (A1, A2, B1, B2).

These are accompanied by transcriptions in French, Double-clicking on a word gives the translation in your nominated language. These programmes are organized by the Alliance Française.

Any address on the Coast where you find French treats/restaurant/culture?

No idea, I don’t live on the Coast. Well, at least we had the Alliance Française Film festival in Avoca Beach theatre.

(Editor’s note: we recommend Ludo’s Gourmet Kitchen for French patisseries, they are based in Avoca Beach, http://www.ludos.com.au/ and Le Chat Noir, a French Restaurant based in Terrigal, http://www.lechatnoir.com.au/)