Eric Berti’s Speech at the Lapérouse Monument
It is always a pleasure for me to come in this beautiful place of La Perouse, and especially on Bastille Day. We are happy to perpetuate a tradition dating back to 1917, when this place was chosen to celebrate the blood shed and brotherhood born on the battle fields of Somme between Australia and France during the First World War.
Next year, we will celebrate the centenary of the Somme Battles of July 1916 and the ceremonies here will have a special taste ! As you know, this place commemorates the passage of the expedition of Count Jean-François Galaup de La Perouse in January 1788, just a few days after the arrival of the First Fleet. La Perouse is therefore highly symbolic of the old friendship between Australia and France, as a memorial of our cooperation, a place of remembrance of these old ties. For me, this day is also a very special day, since I will leave Australia in a few days for a new posting, in Hong Kong. It will therefore be probably my last visit to Lapérouse in a while ! I wish to thank the Association of Friends of Lapérouse, who welcomed me so warmly just a few days after my arrival in July 2012. It was a sunny day like today and I immediately loved this site so protected and authentic….