On Friday 13th March at the Lapérouse Museum, Randwick City Council hosted dignitaries and Friends for a very special occasion. Lapérouse Day celebrated in March of each year, remembers an extraordinary man and navigator Jean Francois de Galaup, le Comte de Lapérouse. After a 6 week stay in Botany Bay which began on January 26, 1788 Lapérouse left our fateful shore never to be heard of again. We now know that his ships met with a cyclone off the Santa Cruz archipelago, in particular the Island of Vanikoro – modern day Solomon Islands – where the wreckage of ‘La Boussole’ and ‘L’Astrolabe’ have since been found, following a series of French and international expeditions since the 19th century.
In attendance Friday evening were, Deputy Mayor of Randwick City, Councillor Anthony Andrews and Mrs. Samia Andrews, Randwick Councillor Greg Moore, Councillor Philip Sansom (Hurstville Council), French Consul General to Sydney Mr Eric Berti and Mrs Madaleine Berti, President of the Friends of the Lapérouse Museum Dr William Land AM, Mrs Petula Samios, Member of the La Pérouse Museum & Headland Trust, and representing Thales Group Australia in his capacity as a Member of their Advisory Board, Mr Stephen Loosley AM.
The evening offered the perfect occasion to present to the Museum a booklet entitled Lapérouse Sailing Through the Enlightenment written originally in French by the Parisian novelist Anne Pons, edited by Friends of the Lapérouse Museum Committee Member, Nicole Forrest Green(above). It depicts the life and journey of Lapérouse and will be offered for sale at 10 a copy. Its publication was made possible due to the generous support of Thales Group Australia, as they celebrate a long tradition of French-Australian maritime history. The book will be offered for sale at the Museum.