The 11th Chapter of the Anglo-Normand Squadron of the Company of Musketeers of Armagnac was held in the Dormy House Hotel in Etretat.
At the end of the afternoon, just as the final arrangements had been made, a couple approached me to ask me what we were preparing for.
I immediately recognized the gentleman, and replied quite simply, knowing how he would react, that it was for an evening of the Company of Musketeers, during which a lady would be inducted. The man then said; "Do you know who I am?" And so, at 7.15 pm, to the total surprise of everyone else present, Mister Alain Decaux, for it was he, arrived with his wife and family to share with us the early part of the evening,
Various tables, laid out with a hot and cold buffet, had been arranged both outside on the terrace and inside, so that the guests could mingle and get to know one another better in an very convivial atmosphere, serenaded by a clarinetist playing jazz classics.
Around 9.30 pm everyone took their places in the dining room for the opening ceremony, the dinner and the evening.
After the traditional welcoming speech, the induction of Madame Pascale Bertin was held.
The evening continued most agreeably, and while the cheeseboard was brought round a lucky draw was held for the traditional Musketeer plate.
This was followed by a short presentation by Michael Bray when he gave details of a charity run in which he was taking part in aid of sick children. Trevor Heeks, in his traditional red uniform and tricorn hat of a Town Crier, was then made our Official Standard Bearer.
Following the dessert, a tombola was held, resulting in a bottle of Armagnac, an album commemorating the first ten years of our Squadron, and a charcoal drawing by a local artist of the Three Musketeers being presented to three lucky winners.
The dinner ended with champagne, followed by coffee accompanied by a selection of Armagnacs for the guests to savour. Then, as in previous years, the members of the overseas Squadrons each gave a rendering of their respective National Anthems.
The evening drew to a close around two o'clock in the morning, when everyone agreed to meet again at another Chapter, in another place, in another country.
I am certain that everyone went home happy having, once again, shared moments that would be long remembered, and looking forward to the next time we would all meet.
All for One, One for All
Capitaine-Lieutenant de l'Escadron Anglo-Normand