A community dedicated to honouring our servicemen and women
Organising an ANZAC Day ceremony in Antibes was originally the ambitious and enlightened idea of Steve Wright, our association President, RAN veteran and member of numerous Peacekeeping Associations in both Australia and France.
In 2012 he was working as an engineer in the yachting industry based in Antibes. Unable to return to Australia for ANZAC Day, Steve travelled north to Bullecourt and was touched by the moving ceremony and the presence of not only Antipodeans from all over the world but a large local French veteran contingent.
After the ceremony, over a beer or two in a local bar, with new-found Irish, American, British and French mates, the idea was born. Upon return to the South of France, without the support of Felicity Vaughan, his partner, the first ANZAC Day in Antibes ceremony could not have taken place. Felicity has played an essential role in organising and liaising with the Mayor of Antibes Juan-les-Pins' protocol team.
Today, ANZAC Day in Antibes is organised by a small group of volunteers, who, one by one, have been inspired by Steve’s bounding enthusiasm and energy. In 2017 we created a non-profit making association ANZAC ANTIBES (Identification RNA: W061009004 under the French Law 1901) in order to affiliate with other associations and accept funding from local businesses and eventually government grants.
Simon Jackson, retired Commander of the Royal Navy, local representative of The Royal British Legion and resident and local business-owner in Antibes, was an obvious choice as our Association’s Treasurer.
As the Association General Secretary and Public Relations manager, I personally became involved when Steve asked me to raise the Australian flag at the very first ANZAC Day in Antibes ceremony. Homesick, I blubbered my way through Advance Australia Fair and was hooked.
We are blessed to have a number of dedicated volunteers who generously give their time, experience and energy and without whom ANZAC Day in Antibes would not be possible. Since 2012, as our event has grown in size and reputation we have also called upon the generosity of small local business owners, who have sponsored our Association to make ANZAC Day in Antibes a resounding success.
The resident expatriate population of Antibes and neighbouring towns as a percentage of the local French population is young, large and growing. Add to this the seasonal influx of yacht crew and tourists and you have a dynamic community of expats commemorating ANZAC Day far from their countries of origin. May we continue to honour their memory.
General Secretary & Public Relations