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5èmes Légufrufolies, Authie, 2 et 3 octobre 2010

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With the 4th meeting in Ermont barely over, we began thinking about the 5th gathering with an idea to put in use a poignant remark made by Rony Wouters who regretted a little the old format, lack of time to interact and to communicate. So we put ourselves in search of a unique place to live for two days, cut off from the outside world. Very quickly, the first internet search introduced us to the site of Authie. All seemed in fact consistent with our expectations: a friendly place to sleep and eat on site, a large hall for the meeting and an ideal location for our foreign friends.

In addition, Alain Squadrelli, a citrus wrapper collector, agreed to be our local contact as were previously Michel and Catherine Six in Gondecourt and Gerard and Denise Beix in Ermont.

A very warm first telephone contact with Authie's town hall precipitated our late October visit to the site. We were immediately won over by the infrastructure that we saw and the rental rate.

We really liked the idea of sleeping in the dormitory, as happy scouts would at a camp, but at the same time we were not sure if everyone would like our project. This concept should also take into account the particularities of each participant (disabilities, age ...) and manage them. We decided to house men and women separately and reserve any single rooms that were available, only to people who needed them. We kept these living arrangements a secret in order not to alienate potential skeptics. Some fears still lingered but they were quickly dispelled and we were convinced that we found an ideal place.

In the months that followed, the reservation with the town council of Authie was confirmed. We were encouraged by the growing number of pre-registrations and the enthusiasm generated at the prospect of the new meeting. We were confident that Authie would be like a wine of great vintage. Slowly but surely the smallest details were ironed out. Yet, just weeks before the event we were confronted with obstacles that could jeopardize our commitment and motivation. Less than three weeks before the meeting we needed to rethink some of the logistics of the weekend. And it is thanks to the efficiency and kindness of Hélène (town clerk in Authie) that we found the solution and regained the necessary energy after a discouraging hiccup.

Friday, oktober 1st :

We arrived separately early in the afternoon. Accompanied by Wojciech, who crossed the Atlantic for the second time to take part in this meeting, we officially took possession of the premises which for two days would become the world center of légufrulabélophilie. Our enthusiasm was intact despite a calamitous weather and preparations proceeded undeterred in the rain.

By early evening everything was ready and we went to eat at the l'Oree du Bois, the only restaurant in Authie, joined by those participants who have already arrived.

Saturday oktober 2th :

Just returned from breakfast waiting in the parking lot for the arrival of first participants.

Around noon everyone was ready to have a meal.

The 5th meeting was officially opened at 2 PM. After the traditional speech of welcome, we gave badges to the participants, honoring especially the 14 new ones

We took this opportunity to invite collectors to participate in five rounds of the competition. Once set free, collectors became uncontrollable and rushed like wild beasts, chasing after duplicates.

Two small events underscored the excitement :

=> the presence of a reporter from The Courier Picard who went from table to table to collect testimonies and stories for her paper the following Monday.

=> the photo session between two showers in front of the Priory

Representatives from each country under their respective flags :

In the late afternoon all willing collectors and there were many, participated in the competitions. It took Didier several minutes to determine the rankings

At 7 PM, not without some problems, the attendees moved over to the adjoining room to enjoy the first of two meals prepared and served by the village cook.

Following the meal, the evening continued in a very cheerful atmosphere with the presentation of different awards.

The winners are :

=> the largest number of labels collected :
Maryvonne Miranda

=> artwork done with labels and/or orange papers :
Xavier Heyte (Belgique)

=> unusual objet :
Daniel Labroue

=> the largest label :
Gerard Beekema (Pays-Bas)

=> weight of the basket of fruits (2056 g) :
Muriel Buisson

Final classification :

The Dupont of Honor for 2010 was awarded to Xavier Heyter with second place going to Maryvonne Miranda and to complete the podium, a new participant, Nicole Gay got the third.

The evening resumed its course and the last fighters left the room, while Sunday was announced by the clock, to go take a well deserved rest. Not everything was however done in the Priory because we were already preparing the next day. When we joined our respective dorms, you happily snored a beautiful symphony of exhausted légufrus

Sunday, oktober 4th :

Rony Wouters who was too excited by his first day and did not get much sleep, came down already before 7 AM. Gradually the room filled up before the eyes of organizers who listened, in amazement, how all these foreign languages mingled and merged.

Initially the meeting room was suppose to open its doors close to 9:00 AM. When at around 7:45 AM Jean-Francois Girard and Rony Wouters started stamping their feet the entrance to the hall was unlocked. They were in turn joined by the whole congregation which quickly returned to the habits of the previous day.

During the morning, the organizing team, followed like shadows by interpreters, went from table to table to present the collectors with their diplomas of participation. This year we were fortunate to benefit from the valuable assistance of Lou Lequy for her mastery of Spanish. But it should be noted that many polyglots were always around and ready to act as translators. The language barrier was never an obstacle during the weekend. At 10:45 AM, the reporter of The Courier Picard returned for the second time and took the group photo.

It was also the time that Hans Peter Steppen and Nick Biesenkamp chose to leave us and go back to Germany. Daniel Labroue followed in their footsteps soon afterwards.
At noon, the meal was just as cheerful and lively as on Saturday night.
Most participants, for reasons of transport and distance, started leaving Authie at 2 PM.

At 3 PM, the room was empty and sad.

And all remained to be done was to put everything in order with a very significant help from Wojciech Slusarek, Michel Hainaut and Xavier Heyte.

Two hours later, everything was clean, neat and tidy and the keys were put in the mailbox of the town hall. Authie 2010 was history.