Les Courmettes is celebrating its centenary in 2018. The estate has a long history prior to 1918, but the purchase of Courmettes by Pastor Stuart-Léo Roussel on 31 August 1918 marks the beginning of the modern era at Courmettes. Pastor Roussel’s vision was to open a “sanatorium that would be open to everyone, without denominational distinction, but with evangelical leadership and with the Bible and the person of Christ as the foundation for everything that takes place there” (writing in L’Aube, Revue d’Action du Réveil, 1918).
We are planning various activities for 2018:
1) We are organising a festival and celebration on Friday 31 August and Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd September (put the date in your diary – more information to follow)
2) We are preparing a book on the history of Courmettes which will be published before 31 August 2018 and which will update and expand on the book by Nicole Bertholet on the French Girl Guides’ years at Courmettes (L’Aventure des Courmettes et la Fédération Française des Éclaireuses). We are doing research in archives and interviewing people to discover additional information which we can use in the book. Do contact us if you have anecdotes or memories of Courmettes that you could share with us.
We are also looking for volunteers who could help with the historical research. For example we are looking for people who can spend time searching through the regional newspapers (predecessors of Nice-Matin) to find articles about Les Courmettes. These newspapers can be consulted on line using your own computer or can be consulted at the Alpes-Maritimes departmental archives in Nice (for further information contact Jean-François Mouhot)
3) We are preparing an exhibition of photographs and historic videos on Les Courmettes. We are interested in any documentation (photos, films, etc) on Courmettes. In particular we are looking for photos of the estate prior to 1918 and for the period from 1920-1930. This exhibition will be complemented by an exhibition of photos ‘Courmettes in 2018’ created by the photographer Ellen Teurlings – Pixel.len photographie.
4) We are seeking to restore and renovate the historic buildings of Courmettes with a major fundraising campaign, through which we have already been able to raise almost € 210 000 in six months (our target is € 300 000). You can support our “Eco-Project: Les Courmettes, 1918-2018 : what next ?” by making a tax-deductible donation to our association : www.courmettes.com/en/get-involved/make-a-donation/
Resources on the history of Les Courmettes:
a) Films made in the 1950s at Courmettes, shared and posted with the permission of Denise Zwilling, President of the Association of former members of the French Girl Guide Federation –youtube.com/channel/UCz3s921fxgsL54Il4IciVHg
b) We organised a “Courmettes History Day” in November 2017; some twenty people met to exchange memories of and documents on Les Courmettes. Nice-Matin published an article about this event. See: https://www.courmettes.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/Article_Nice-Matin_Centenaire_Courmettes_11-2017.pdf