Thursday, 11 April 2013

1944: Patriotic songs under Occupation

Here's the bulk of the report in the Evening Post 14/1/1944 on the Jèrriais entertainment organised by FMH. As previously noted, Man Bieau P'tit Jèrri received an ovation - and one assumes that as that fact made it into print, the implications of such a patriotic demonstration went over the head of the German censor (note also the presence of Not' Jèrri and L'Ile dé Jèrri on the programme).

We can't identify all the songs; we'll try and find if there's a typescript of the play among the playscript collections (re which: help is always needed for retyping of the plays, as the pages are unscannable)

Une Grande Séthée Jerriaise
Successful Charity Concert at St. Peter's
With the laudable object of assisting the funds of the St. Brelade and St. Peter District Nursing Association, a Séthée Jerriaise was given in St. Peter's Parish Hall on Thursday and Saturday of last week, and was, in the opinion of all, a complete success.

A well-varied programme had been arranged by the organiser and all the items proved most enjoyable. At the beginning of the entertainment Mr. S. Maillard, compère, explained that this was not a concert in the strict sense of the word, but a "Séthée de Compagnie" as enjoyed by our forbears.

The programme opened with an old favourite, "Vive La Compagnie," which struck a jovial note. The "Bouons Compagnons" danced and sang this to the accompaniment of Hedley Egré's accordeon. This was followed by a well executed dance by Gloria Gilley in traditional Jersey costume, and was well applauded. Next came "La Chanson des Vraicheurs," adapted by Sidney Maillard, sung by Osmund Simon, who was supported by the company. The well-known dance, "Sir Roger" was given by the company was [sic] followed by a song, "Not' Jerri." Edgar Benest then sang "La Chanson Jimps," which proved a great success.

Next came an elocutionary item, "Entretchient à Trais," in which Edmund Hacquoil, Enid Egré and Harold de Gruchy portrayed a typical Jersey kitchen scene.

Hedley Egré then gave a well-played violin solo, which was greatly appreciated by the audience. An old-world dance arranged by Miss Valerie Renouf was given by Clara Egré, Enid Egré, Helen Priaulx and Florence Hacquoil; the beautiful dresses added grace and charm to stately movement. In her song "L'Ile de Jerri," Violet Huelin caused much mirth and laughter, and scored a very great success. "Ma Modgie d'Cidre" was then given by Edgar Benest and the company, and this proved one of the gayest items on the programme. Hedley Egré followed with the beautiful song, "Le Moulin à Vent." Next came a duologue entitles "La Belle de la Ville versus La Belle de la Campagne," by Enid Egré; this caused considerable amusement. The first half was concluded by "Man Biau P'tit Jerri," sung by Yvonne Le Mauviot, who also received a warm ovation from the audience.

The second half then opened with an amusing comedy "Cause Célèbre," written by F.M. and E. Hacquoil, in which the following took part:- Le Bailli, Cyril Benest; Le Juge de Hacelin, Clarry Maugi; Le Juge de Hambie, Brian Simon; Greffyi, Lawrence Le Bro'; L'Avocat Forcemain, Hedley Egré; L'Avocat Le Hardi, Edmund Hacquou; Mrs. de Granville, Florence Hacquou; Le Professeur Charles Edouard Pasdâne, Ph'lip Alexandre; Le Véterinaithe Grosnez, Reg. Baudains (Pèthe)); Betsy Cassetête, Hélène Priaulx; Jacqueline Emmeline Sorsolel, Violet Hueulin; Sukey Le Bourdon, Joyce Simon; Charlot Le Bourdon, Osmund Simon; Mrs. Saumon, Hilda Maugi; Pierre de Saurel, Edgar Benest; L'Huissier, Lloyd Simon.

This very excellent soirée was concluded with the recitation "La Bouonne Année," by Sidney Maillard, and the closing chorus, "Pour L'Amour du Vier Temps," by the Bouons Compagnons.

At the close of Thursday's performance Jurat F.V. Le Feuvre, in a few well-chosen words, thanked all those who had taken part in the evening's entertainment. He stated that the Comedy "Cause Célèbre," which they had just heard and appreciated so much, had been written specially for that Séthée Jerriaise by two members of the Bouons Compagnons, Florence and Edmund Hacquoil. He congratulated them on putting their talent to maintaining an interest in our local patois. Mrs. Mauger then asked Mrs. F.V. Le Feuvre to accept a handsome bouquet from the artistes.

On Saturday evening Mr. F.E. Luce thanked the performers and again emphasised the importance of preserving our ancient language, which was at the moment in danger of disappearing completely. He quoted the names of several well-known writers of our patois, and was happy to see that the tradition was being carried on. He then warmly congratulated the authors. (....)

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