SEATED: Sharon Fontenot, Dale Francois, Michel Levay. STANDING (L-R): Van Reed, Gerald Trahan, Lynn LeJeune, Carol Trahan, Geno Delafose, Mayor Curtis Joubert, Alderman Jason Bertrand, Marianne Hastir, Claude Grajeon, David Pulling, Pierrette Grajeon, Alderman-At-Large Jack Burson, Pat Dossman, Alderman Marion Sattler, Candace Reeves, Dwight Jodon
EUNICE, LA, May 12, 2015 – Representatives from Jouars-Pontchartrain, France (approx. 35km from Paris) met with representatives of Eunice, LA on Tuesday, May 12, 2015. The connection was made as a result of planning for the Experience Louisiana Festival. In April, festival planners were contacted by Gerald Trahan (Lafayette). Mr. Trahan is friends with Claude and Pierrette Grajeon, who represent the town of Pontchartrain. He indicated that Pontchartrain is interested in connecting, and possibly twinning, with a Louisiana city that has a French heritage and where French is still an active part of the culture. Jean-Robert Frigault (Lafayette), who has been a part of festival planning, suggested that they contact Eunice. After a round of phone discussions a meeting was scheduled.
Accompanying Mr. & Mrs. Grajeon were Marianne Hastir and Michel Levay of Brussels, Belgium. Marianne assisted Mr. Grajeon as interpreter during his presentation.
The meeting was a wonderful time of sharing and learning. Claude Grajeon briefly discussed the history of their city, noting that Pontchartrain hosts a festival every other year to which they invite a Cajun band and a Zydeco band from Louisiana. Their next festival will be in May of 2016. Mr. Grajeon expressed a desire to twin with the City of Eunice, a gesture that would connect the two cities, allowing for opportunities to share such valuable cultural commodities as food, music, and language.
Former Eunice Mayor Curtis Joubert spoke of the enormous benefit of cultural partnerships, especially international ones.
Alderman-At Large Jack Burson, along with Eunice City Councilmen Marion "Nootsie" Sattler and Jason Bertrand, warmly welcomed the visitors and expressed an interest in pursing a twinning of the two cities.