12th March 2006
de Chazal Day Celebration at Ewhurst, Surrey, England
It has been a resounding success for the organisation, activities and final outcome to the celebrations in the UK.
The 12th March being a Sunday this year the decision to hold a mini-reunion of the British de Chazal Family was taken one year ago and all interested were warned to keep the day free. In the end forty seven members of the family and their associates arrived at our location in the heart of the beautiful Surrey Hills for a luncheon prepared by Marilyn Fanya and Thelma de Chazal.
The Ewhurst Village Hall had been booked several months before with the expectation of a good turn out, this was fully justified as it was an ideal size for the family to congregate, mix, renew acquaintances and get to know each other.
On entering one was immediately hit with a riot of colour. The hall had been decorated throughout with flags of all the nations. The stage curtain had been festooned with the French, Mauritian, Bolivian and Argentine flags. On each side were the French Cockerel and the Mauritian Dodo representing our roots in those countries. In honour of Oliver our youngest guest who was born to Paula and Richard on 3rd January this year the Canadian flag was prominent,(but why no Spanish flag?). Oscar had spent the previous day hard at work hanging these flags, setting up the bunting and hanging Malcolm’s original paintings for all to see. Our grateful thanks are due to him for all this physical work.
Everyone had their name tag to wear and with drink in hand one could study the literature on display. This of course included all our books on Mauritius, Malcy de Chazal’s “Medical Plants of Mauritius” (ISBN095148270X), Pierre Edmond de Chazal’s Journals, Two families of the Isle de France by Virginia Taylor, cookery books and many more.
Of much interest were the family trees of the de Chazal and Rouillard families set up on an eight foot by four foot board with simplified extensions showing how most of those present fitted into the larger family.
Luncheon was preceded by a rendition of “Whisper of the Wind” by Beth (Marilyn’s granddaughter aged 8) on the flute. Our menu was dictated by tradition but made more exotic even if tempered in spiciness in deference to the British palate. We had Boeuf Epicé Korma, Carri Poulet, Takka Dahl, Rougaille Legumes with Poppadoms, Naan Bread and Rice followed by Fruits de Paradis and cream. The meal ended with Café, Thé, Tisane accompanied with Gateau Coco and Biscuits Néapolitaines. Obviously the food was superbly cooked and presented. Marilyn and Thelma did a wonderful job; they put their all into this for which we are very grateful.
We hope that renewed and new friendships will come of this and that cousins will meet make an effort to meet again. Already Caroline has invited Christopher and Thelma to Norwich. It is this contact with other members of the family that we wish to encourage, specially in the younger generation. We feel that this reunion has to some extent achieved this aim but it is up to each individual to make an effort to carry it forward. We now look forward to France in 2007.
At the last minute Anne Dauphine de Grivel our representative on the 2007 committee had to cancel her luncheon with us. Enthusiasm for the French reunion was quite evident from the applause which greeted the reading of her E mail detailing the prospective arrangements.
Christopher C. de Chazal. March 2006
I hope that this open letter will be the first of an occasional series of letters giving you the news of the de Chazal family in Great Britain.
Firstly we send our greetings to Carlos in Santa Cruz, Bolivia, who has been ill. He is the last of the six sons of Guy (Evenor>Guy), the original de Chazal to have emigrated to Bolivia. We wish him well.
England does it again! Two years ago we had the honour of having the youngest de Chazal in the world to attend the British de Chazal Day 2004 celebrations; he is Freddie, son of Edward and Martha. This year our Guest of Honour will be Oliver, who was born on 3rd January 2006 to Richard (Lucie>Edgar>Richard aka Uncle Dick>Denis>Richard) and Paula. This will be an important celebration for him, meeting the wider family for the first time.
A full guest is list is available if you contact me.
If you need a family tree (incomplete and somewhat out of date now) on which you may follow the generations down from Joseph Antoine Edmond and his wife Marguerite Claire Rouillard please let me know I will send one to you. We are all descended from their fifteen children. Virginia Taylor wrote the “Two Families of the Isle de France”, about the Rouillards and de Chazals and we were sorry to hear of her death last year. Her son Richard Dold will join us on de Chazal Day.
Gemma Dudgeon (Lucie>René>Louis>Gillian>Gemma) continues her singing career and works very hard. She has a circulation list and if you write to her she will tell you where she is performing.
Edward (Lucie>René>John>Edward) will be speaking at a conference on the East Asian Learner at the University of Winchester this month, bringing further glory to the de Chazal name. Edward’s father will be 90 years old on the 19th February on which day they will also be celebrating Freddie’s second birthday. This will be a great day for the family. Your birthday wishes can be sent to Edward at firstname.lastname@example.org
Paul (Lucie>André>Claude>Paul) and Donnatienne are traveling quite a lot to Madeira and Belgium where their parents have had their homes.
Toby (Lucie>Edgar>Cyril>Christopher>Toby) and Vanessa have been to New Zealand for Christmas.
Mado Ardil (Lucie>Marc>Mado) is spending time with her daughter Caroline, in Norwich, but will be returning to her home in Italy before 12th March. Charlotte Rousseau from Ottawa (Lucie>Marc>Alix> Charlotte) will be in England staying with Caroline and they will be with us for de Chazal Day.
Mike and Marilyn (Auguste>Eveline>Ninette>Marilyn) have had their grandchildren from Australia visit them in England where they have met their English cousins.
Helen Horsler (Lucie>René>John>Helen) is now retired from nursing. She is selling her London home and coming to live in Surrey, we wish her happiness in her new home.
Robin Mayer(Berthe>Norman>”Jano”>Robin)is pleased the British Presidency of the European Union is over but he continues to have important conferences with the World Bank in Washington and a variety of countries in Brussels and Paris
We send our greetings to The Family wherever you are and look forward to meeting you in France in July 2007. We know our committee is working hard to make a success of this and we assure them that they have our support and encouragement in their efforts.
Please let me know if you find this letter of interest. Should it be a regular, if infrequent, item on this website? Is anyone brave enough to write a letter from Mauritius, Singapore, or anywhere else?
Christopher C de Chazal