UW Faculty Auxiliary

August 31, 2018

Bastille Day 2018

The French Conversation Group’s annual Bastille Day party on July 14th was historic.  It marked not only the 50th anniversary of our celebration of “le Quatorze, but also 50 years of Yolande Siki’s leadership.  Since the late 1960’s our “professor”, mentor, and friend has guided our efforts to improve and maintain our French fluency with enormous wit and patience.

"Yolande Siki has not changed a bit"

“Yolande Siki has not changed a bit”

With her help, beginners have blossomed, practiced speakers become more confident and the truly fluent have provided incentive and encouragement  Everyone has looked forward to brief bi-monthly escapes into French and enjoyed the friendships grown from our shared experience.

The 14th’s festivities began on a familiar note: food, drink, talk, laughter. Our activity even drew a condo resident who followed the sound of his favorite language to the club room and asked if he could join the party.  He could, and he did, running upstairs for another bottle of wine.

"Not a crumb was left"

“Not a crumb was left”

And for dessert, a Bastille Day cake with a frosted  Eiffel Tower  and an inscription to Yolande.  Happily, Francois Siki was with us to help toast his mother with ample champagne, thanks to hostess, Helen  Szbalya.

Finally, Laurel Lisez led the ritual singing of La Marseillaise.   We may still stumble in the shaky spots in words and music, but we clearly remember the past chorus of old friends, those who always took the high notes and the basses who boomed below.  Fifty years of memories ……!

"Allons, enfants de la patrie..."

“Allons, enfants de la patrie…”

"More champagne?"

“More champagne?”

Vive l’Amitié!

Vive la France!