Saturday, 17th December 2016 the Australian and French Navies were received at the Lapérouse Museum for an official military ceremony and presentation. The Friends of the Lapérouse Museum, received delegations from a visiting French Multi-Purpose Naval Vessel the d’Entrecasteaux commanded by Lieutenant Mathieu Ruff with members of his crew, as well as a delegation from the Royal Australian Navy, Commander Simon Howard, commanding the frigate HMAS Parramatta and three of his officers for a military ceremony at the Lapérouse Monument. The ceremony concluded with the presentation of a plaque by Lieutenant Ruff of the d’Entrecasteaux, to Nicole Forrest Green, President FOLM, an addition to the Lapérouse Museum.

Attending the occasion was the Hon. Matt Thistlethwaite MP Federal Member for Kingsford Smith, Deputy Mayor of Randwick City Councilor Brendan Roberts, the Consul General of France, Sydney, Mr. Nicolas Croizer, French Defence Attaché Captain (FN) Yann Marboeuf, Ms. Annick Antoine on behalf of the Mayor of Randwick City His Worship Councilor Noel d’Souza. The French War Veterans Association of NSW, headed by Jean-Louis Worbec was also in attendance. Their most senior Member Georges Brouet 93 yrs, was decorated by General Charles de Gaulle with the coveted Croix de Lorraine for his service to France in the French Resistance during WWII.

Tony Gentile, Secretary of the Friends of the Lapérouse Museum, worked with fellow Committee Members Carole Roussel, Gail Tring, Lynda Newman, Ted Hayes, Betty de la Torre, Priscilla Bonham- Carter, and Ryan Gollan to ensure the day’s program and festivities were a success.

The Association’s President, Nicole Forrest Green highlighted the strong ties that bind France and Australia from the earliest days of European settlement in Australia with the arrival of Lapérouse into Botany Bay on January 26, 1788 and now between the two countries’ navies since April 2016 when a French Company DCNS was awarded a large Australian Defence contract to rebuild the Royal Australian Navy’s new fleet of submarines locally in South Australia.

The strengthening and broadening of the France-Australia relationship will benefit both countries and result in many technological, economic and cultural bilateral initiatives.

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