November-December 2011 - Mauritius Australia Connection



November-December 2011 - Mauritius Australia Connection
Volume 04, Issue 9
November-December 2011
Go forth in th at l ove th is Chr is tmas
I'm well, I'm fine, I'm here
I stood by your bed last night. I came to have a peep. I could see that you were crying, you found it hard to sleep. I touched you softly as you brushed away a tear, "It's
me, I haven't left you, I'm well, I'm fine, I'm here."
I was close to you at breakfast, I watched
you pour the coffee. You were thinking of
the many times your hands reached down
to me. I gently put my hand on you,
I smiled and said "It's me."
You looked so very tired as you sank into
the sofa. I tried so hard to let you know I
was standing there. It's possible for me to
be so near you everyday, To say with certainty, "I never went away."
You sat there quietly, then smiled, I think
you knew. In the stillness of that evening,
I was very close to you. The day is over....
I smile and watch you yawning and say "good night, God bless, I'll see you in the
And when the time is right for you to cross the brief divide, I'll rush across to greet
you and we'll stand side by side. I have so many things to show you, there is so much
for you to see. Be patient, live your journey out...then come to be with me.
- Author unknown
“Go forth in that love this Christmas, holding your loved ones close, and allow miracles to unfold
around you. I know, it’s happened to me.” Clancy Philippe
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Inside this issue:
Subscribe to Rougaille
Croquette de Volaille
Air Mauritius
Les Rangeardieres
Golden Age Club
Grande Armée
3ZZZ Mauritian Radio
Special points of
 Love this Christmas
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 Your passport to the
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Recipes by Madeleine Philippe
Mauritius Australia Connection
Your passport to the Mauritian Community
Family faces are magic mirrors
by Clancy J Philippe
“Family faces are magic mirrors. Looking at people who belong to us, we see the past, present, and future.” This
quote from Gail Lumet Buckley has never been truer for me than in the past two months. You may remember that in
our August 2011 edition of this newsletter, I wrote about a historical connection between Madeleine Philippe (born
Paruit)* and Les Rangeardieres, a country residence in Saint Barthelemy, near Angers in France.
In October, I spent three days staying at Les Rangeardieres as guest of the current owners Monique and Francois
Catta. The connection is that Madeleine’s great grandparents, five generations back owned the property from 1807 to
1819. The family then included Claude Valentin Paruit, his wife Agathe, daughter Valentine and the two sons Auguste
and Henry. Claude Paruit was a very high profile figure both before and during the Napoleonic era. In fact, Claude
and his two sons fought in the Grande Armée during the Russian campaign and the Battle of Waterloo. Auguste and
Henry were boy soldiers, only 17 and 16 years old then.
The 270 years old country mansion located within Les
Rangeardieres also brought to me the past, present and
future. The past in that the Paruit family, Madeleine ancestors lived there from 1807 to 1819, the present in my
presence at Les Rangeardieres with the Catta family, and
the future in the future generations to occupy Les
Rangeardieres. I can tell you that the history of Les
Rangeardieres and its past owners, is very well protected
through heritage protection provisions put into place by
the Catta family. The Mairie de Saint Barthélemy has
painstakingly documented the history of Les
Rangeardieres and published an information booklet on
same. I also met with Monsieur le Maire during my stay
there. He was most knowledgeable about the Paruits.
Whilst listening to Monique and Francois Catta, on the many events which took place at Les Rangeardieres, one can
feel the vibrant connections between the respective owners and their cultural impact on French society through history. The Paruits were well connected with the establishment; Rene Bazin and Victor Pavie were very well known and
respected within the literary world. Rene Bazin who was a member of the Académie Française, entertained and
hosted very famous French writers such as Victor Hugo and Lamartine at Les Rangeardieres. I was in great company.
The Paruits were very well connected with Napoleon Bonaparte. So much so, that when Napoleon Bonaparte was defeated at Waterloo and the Royalists were seeking revenge and executing the Bonapartists, Claude Paruit left for Alsace to escape attention and his sons Auguste and Henry fled to Ile Maurice (Mauritius).
I feel very grateful to Madeleine for leaving me with this incredible heritage. The present lies in my presence at Les
Rangeardieres and the future lies in passing this heritage to our children and the grandchildren. This incredible experience has also given me a new outlook on life in that we are all but a very small part in the continuity of life.
During my stay at Les Rangeardieres, I could not help reconnecting with the past, present and future. The spacious
garden as well as extensions to the original mansion, within Les Rangeardieres were designed and built by the Paruits. Whilst sitting in the open verandah overlooking the garden, I could not help going back to the time, when
Madeleine’s ancestors were living there.
To quote Antoine de Saint-Exupery: “He who has gone, so we but cherish his memory, abides with us, more potent,
nay, more present than the living man.” More so, because Monique Catta (current owner of Les Rangeardieres) is
the little niece of Antoine de Saint-Exupery.
My stay at Les Rangeardieres left an unforgettable imprint, with Madeleine more than ever spiritually present in me.
*Note: My wife Madeleine passed away in February 2011, after a 5 year battle with cancer.
Meet the Committees of Management—Clubs & Associations
Paule Collard
Vice President
Josette Roussety
Ginette Edouard
Ass. Secretary:
Chantal Rennard
Jocelyn Joachim
Assistant Treasurer:
Percy Candasamy
Social Coordinator:
Lilette Thomas
Assistant Social Coordinator:
Lilette Juste
Tours Organiser:
Hadlet Vydelingum
Assistant Tours Organiser:
Therese Savanah
The Mauritian Golden Age Club was formed on April 23rd 1989.
Every year, the Club celebrates its anniversary on the Saturday
prior to Mothers' Day. The Club was founded because there was an
urgent need to help the Elderlies of the Mauritian Community who
were very isolated and were becoming housebound.
The Club started with ten friends who wanted to get together now
and then and have a good time. Fifteen years later, we now have 450
The members play domino, lotto, cards and exchange news etc. Educational talks from outside organisations such as the CFA, the Drug
and Safety Committee, Chiropodists, Dentists, the Police Force,
Chemists and many others are also given to members.
The Club organises day excursions and week long tours around Victoria and other States. To raise funds, the Club has three fund raising activities during the year; a Mothers' Day dance at which lottery
booklets are sold, a Fathers' Day dance and a Fair which is held
around the middle of October.
The Annual General Meeting of the club is held in August. Club activities include a Family and Xmas day Dance.
Meeting every Tuesday at Menzies Hall, Menzies Avenue, Dandenong North
You can contact the committee at Email address: [email protected]
Lettres d’un jeune soldat de la Grande Armée
Auguste Paruit d’Esmery agé de 17 ans
“Strasbourg, le 1er décembre 181 3.
Ma chère mère.
Une seule de tes lettres nous est enfin arrivée après trois semaines. Quels moments terribles ! Pendant la retraite, poursuivis par des ennemis redoutables, nous étions entièrement livrés à la merci
de notre guide, qui pouvait disposer de nous à son gré. O bon peuple allemand, comme tu t'es montré généreux ! Combien la France doit t'avoir d'obligations. Ce souvenir ne s'effacera pas de si tôt.
Si c'eût été tout autre pays, ces montagnes, couvertes de forêts, au lieu d'assurer notre fuite, nous
auraient servi de tombeaux. Aussi, avec quel plaisir embrassai-je notre fidèle montagnard, quand,
tendant la main, il nous montra du doigt les côtes de la France, et, après nos remerciements et nos
adieux, se renfonça dans les lieux sauvages heureusement franchis. Peut étre a-t’il payé cher sa
complaisance : il y allait de sa vie ; si notre marche cachée eût été découverte, il serait tombé le premier sous les coups de nos ennemis.
Mon père était d'avis d'attendre que la canonnade fût finie pour passer par Hanau. Dieu sait combien il y eut de prisonniers faits dans ce maudit passage ! J'ai donc eu une heureuse idée; sans
compter que des chutes dangereuses étaient à craindre dans ces terrains et ces fossés remplis d'eau
et de neige fondue qu'il nous fallut traverse. Juge de mon inquiétude. J'avançais à cheval derrière
mon père ; mais comme ce cheval, nouvellement dressé et monté d'abord par le domestique, était
accoutumé à suivre l'autre, je dus rapidement descendre ; une neige abondante et continuelle tombait depuis cinq heures du matin ; mes vêtements devinrent si lourds, mes membres si engourdis,
que je restais comme cloué. Il était une heure après minuit. Aucun des soldats du régiment polonais
qui se trouvait avec nous ne voulut s'arrêter ni nous porter secours; comme l'autre bord du fossé
était moins escarpé et plus facile, pour retirer mon père, qui jusque-là n'avait donné aucun signe de
vie, je passe la planche, tremblant que mon cheval ne glisse aussi et ne tombe sur l'autre; la bride
bien serrée, sans perdre courage, de toutes mes forces, je le traîne jusqu'à l'autre bord, aussi saisi
que moi ; je descends le glacis et aperçois mon père se débattant au fond d'un fossé. Comme j'observais tous ses mouvements ! Enfin, après l'avoir retiré trempé, je l'aide à remonter à cheval; mais le
cas pressait; à tout prix, il faut sortir de ces gorges ; quand, cinq minutes après, il put parler, je respirai. Mon père en fut quitte pour une contusion tout le long de la jambe droite, encore noire aujourd'hui, et une joue un peu meurtrie par les embrassements du cheval. Moi, je n'ai eu qu'une violente peur. Tu demandes si mon père a perdu de l'argent : il a heureusement sauvé quelques louis et
sa montre d'or ; tout le reste a disparu. Nous ne prîmes notre guide que le lendemain ; après avoir
erré pendant huit heures environ, nous trouvâmes des officiers de dragons qui eurent pitié d'une
telle détresse.
A cette lettre, le père ajoute un post-scriptum : « Il ne nous est resté à chacun que la chemise que
nous avions sur le dos. Celle d'Auguste était en lambeaux, et, sur l’invitation des Strasbourgeois, il
vient d'en faire hommage ; elle est, peut-être, en ce moment, entre les mains d'une belle dame qui
en fait de la charpie ; c'est à qui se distinguera dans ce genre d'occupation.......”
Lettre d’Auguste Paruit d’Esmery soldat agé de 17 ans.
........”En 1810, l’Anglelcrre avait arraché à Napoléon l'Ile de France, française depuis 1718, que Paul
et Virginie avaient rendue si célèbre et si chère ! Il fallait y conserver notre langue, nos mœurs,
notre sang et notre dœur. Une partie de la famille maternelle de Victor Hugo y est restée établie. Les
habitants, demeurés fidèles à leur métropole, y appelaient de tous leurs vœux des consolateurs, des
renforts. Mes deux oncles (Auguste et Henry Paruit d’Esmery), entraînés par un mouvement irrésistible, partirent sur La Nancy (j'ai lu le journal de la traversée), pour l’lle de France, redevenue
île Maurice. Mais cette terre africaine les dévora, comme Sainte-Hélène dévora leur Dieu, Napoléon. Henry survécut à son frère, se maria là et y a laissé des descendants; mais Auguste, au moment de revenir en France, mourut d'une fièvre maligne à Port-Louis, capitale de la colonie, en
juillet 182 1, à vingt-quatre ans, suivant de près dans la tombe Napoléon et y précédant de peu de
mois son père. Il m'a souvent été raconté que mon grand-père, déjà très affaibli, à la nouvelle de la
perte de son fils sentit tout désir de guérison perdu ; que, un matin, surprenant un journal oublié
près de son lit, où était racontée la mort de l'Empereur, qu'on lui avait cachée, lui qui souffrait de la
même maladie, il laissa retomber sa tête sur l'oreiller, en sanglotant ; il ne se voyait plus de raison
de vivre, quoiqu'il eût blâmé l'ambition du conquérant; il ne fît plus que languir, et peu après s'éteignit. “
Raconté par le neveu Alexandre de Roche du Telloy.
Note: Auguste Paruit d’Esmery était le frère de Henry Paruit d’Esmery (arriere grandpère de Madeleine Philippe.)
Mauritius Australia Connection
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