President’s report Alliance Française de Hobart for AGM 2023.
2022 was not as profitable year as 2021 for our Alliance, as borders were opened at the end of 2021 and Covid resurfaced. We were able to run classes and have social events, but all had to prove vaccination before entering the Alliance House.Masks were required at the start of the year and later became optional. Our monthly coffee mornings were well attended.
At our AGM, 22 members were present, which is why we hold it straight after CCC in the hope (usually realised) that most will stay on. I had the honour of being re-elected President, Meri Vice-President, Gerald is still our Treasurer and Marilyn our Secretary.
For the first time, we celebrated “La Fête des Rois” at the Alliance on January 6th with the traditional galettes. On January 22nd, the committee held its annual Working Bee here to freshen up the Alliance House before the first Coffee/ Croissant/ Conversation morning at the end of the month.
The annual Tri-Alliance picnic was held on Sunday 6th February at Longford Park. The three Tasmanian Alliances gather together to compete for “la baguette d’or” , the trophy won after a pétanque competition. The AF Launceston won in 2022. Also in February, we had talks by Gerard Mocellin and Ans van Heijster on the 19th– these talks having been postponed from 2021 due to a Covid snap lockdown.
The Alliance Française French Film Festival was able to go ahead in 2022 but it was not widely publicised by the State, so attendances were down somewhat. This lack of communication with our Alliance is typical of both the AF Sydney (which runs the Festival) and the State.
We did not hold a function in April, due to Easter being in the middle of the month.
In May, we held a Professional Learning morning for teachers at the Alliance House on the 7th and the following Saturday, Jean-Philippe Beaulieu came to talk to us about his work as an astronomer and his research on the French Garden in Recherche Bay. The French ambassador, his Excellency Jean-Pierre Thébaut visited the Alliance on May 16th and spent some time here, talking to committee members about what we do. He was impressed by our enthusiasm and, as a result of his visit, he created a scholarship for a Tasmanian French teacher to spend a fortnight in Nantes in July. Committee member, Kelsey Cooper, one of our committee members, was the recipient of the award.
On June 10th, we had a film evening here, with soup and bread being served before showing the film “Rue de l’Humanité”- a most enjoyable comedy. Unfortunately, I had to cancel our annual Concours, due to restrictions by schools as to who could enter their premises. Only the Poster section went ahead.
Once again, we celebrated “la Fête Nationale” on July14that the Mt. Stuart Hall. Her Excellency, the Governor of Tasmania, the Honourable Barbara Baker, accompanied by her husband,Emeritus ProfessorDon Chalmers were guests of honour and Her Excellency made a short speech before circulating.
In August, the AF Hobart was present at the biennial MLTAT Conference in Launceston. I ran a workshop, so we could add that to our professional activities when I fill in the annual questionnaire from Paris. On Friday 19th August, Rob Blandford gave a fascinating talk on “la technologie de la parfumerie” here at the Alliance House.
September saw us take upan invitation from the Horticultural Society to create a floral display for their Spring Flower Show. We received a certificate for our display and used the occasion to print brochures about the Alliance, as we need as much publicity as we can get free of charge. On September 10th, Kelsey Coooper gave a talk here about her time in Nantes.
We had another visit from an important Frenchman in Australia on October 5th. The newly appointed French Consul-General, based in Sydney, came down to learn about our activities. He praised us for our enthusiasm and love of the French language. On October 14th, we had our Quiz Night here at the Alliance House: questions had been written by committee members and six teams competed, with “Les Parisiens” winning.
In the afternoon of November 5th, Christine Bogle spoke about her role at ACAP(Accord sur la Conservation des Albatros et des Pétrels).
Our annual December Cocktail party was held on Friday 9th. This is a free event to thank all of you who support us throughout the year, by paying your subs and/ or attending our various functions.
An innovation in 2022 was the introduction of the session called “Entretemps”,another gathering for conversation on a Saturday morning, but more informal than our CCCs. Kate Neasey suggested this and volunteered to run the sessions, which have proven popular, so will continue running in 2023.
Kath McGinty offered once more to co-ordinate a roster for us to have an Open House session once a week on Wednesday afternoons.As the man hours put in by volunteers far outweighed the visitors (maybe one or two-sometimes none at all), we are discontinuing the Wednesday Open House in 2023.
We still get more book and DVD donations over the past 12 months as people downsize or move away. Books can be borrowed by members either at CCC or “Entretemps” and don’t forget the shelves in our classrooms as well as the ones in this Open area.
We ran 5 Sessions of classes in 2022, each running for 7 weeks. It is only with the income generated by our classes that we can afford to pay the rent for the Alliance House, so I urge you all to either attend a class yourself or encourage a friend or relative to attend. The “raison d’être” of all Alliance Françaises world-wide is the spreading of the French language and culture and we have an extra hard battle here in Hobart, as we get no funding at all from either Paris or Canberra. We must be self-sufficient to pay the rent.
I would like to thank the 2022 committee for all their hard work during the year: suggesting and organising functions, providing food at our functions and generally being great supporters of myself and the Alliance Française de Hobart.
I wish the incoming committee much success in 2023 and I look forward to discussing any ideas, suggestions, or concerns with you during our CCC mornings or through emails.
President AF Hobart