Saturday, 16 July 2016

Slaves of the World, Unite!

Revealing the plaque
This year saw the 7th edition of the festival Ourtre-Mer en Bourgogne, and this year's theme for the festival was the abolition of slavery. The association "Amis des Antilles" from Montceau-les-Mines plays a prominent role in these festivities, and the Antillean chairwoman of this club, Mme Christiane Mathos, also owner of an Antillean restaurant there kept her end up during the preparations of the festival.

The plaque
Even though Montceau-les-Mines is not exactly an area of our special attention, the fact that Cormatin and Ameugny were part of the celebrations could not escape us. Both villages played a (modest) role in the abolition of slavery, like Saint-Point, Mâcon, Paray-le-Monial, Toulon-sur-Arroux and Cluny. Had our village not been heavily involved in this politically hot item we would have never paid any attention to Outre-Mer en Bourgogne. So what exactly was Cormatin's role?

The inevitable speeches
The General Étienne Maynaud de Bizefranc de Lavaux had been governor of Saint-Domingue (now Haiti), he had had close ties with the black leader of a slave uprising in Haiti, General Toussaint Louverture, he was a friend of Alphonse de Lamartine, the later advocate of a.o. the abolition of slavery, and he was buried in the cemetery of Ameugny.

Lavaux's tomb
Hence reason enough for celebrating a mess in Cormatin's church, unveiling a plaque at the Château de Cormatin, laying a wreath on his grave in Ameugny, followed by a vin d'amitié and a lecture on the subject there and finally a play in Cormatin by pupils of a school in Montceau about… yes, the abolition of slavery.

Vin d'amitié
Unfortunately Mme Mathos' influence did not reach as far as providing Antillean titbits during the vin d'amitié. We got stuck with the classic omnipresent brioche, a dense type of bread with the consistency of not yet completely cured concrete and some biscuits which could have come from a Sainsbury tin. However, the wine was ok!
For our own website click here.

No comments:

Post a Comment