November 11th. 2018.
BERE REGIS JOINS WITH CÉRENCES TO REMEMBER
A delegation of fourteen people led by Ian Ventham,as Chairman of the Parish Council, and Roger Angel,Chairman of the Bere Regis Twinning Association and Chairman of the Dorset Twinning Associations,attended the Commemoration for the end of the First World War in our twin village of Cérences.
Invited by the Mayor M. Jean Paul Payan and the Jumelage of Cérences, this was a formal reciprocal visit following 2014 when they came to us.
We all felt that being a part of their community for this event gave us a greater insight into living in an occupied land, the desperation and privation of life in the First World War as well as the great cost to their commune in losing 68 young men from a community so similar to Bere Regis.
We attended their exhibition and a lecture, as well as a civic dinner.
Gifts were exchanged and the short speeches from Ian, Roger and Jean-Paul spoke of the past and strength of the future that is the real reason for the bonds that Twinning provides.
On Remembrance Sunday we were part of their Parade to Church for a sung Mass followed by the laying of wreaths at the War Memorial,our poppies alongside their flowers. Our National Anthem had been sung in church.
The children of the Cérences’ schools read their roll of the dead, so many family names that are familiar to our Twinning members, and the children sang the Marseillaise before releasing balloons, each with the name of a fallen soldier.
It was a very moving sight watching so many red, white and blue balloons rising into a blue sky above the church.
Four of us attended the annual lunch of The Veterans Association, the equivalent of our Royal British Legion.
A great honour and a great strain on our French as no one there spoke English.
In his report for the Jumelage de Cérences, Arnaud Dechen, their President wrote,‘…..nous avons surtout organise ce week-end avec tout notre coeur, simplicité etamitié.’
Simple, from our hearts and with love