Chu Preunmié Noué launched to acclaim

November 11th, 2013

Jèrriais Logo

Chu Preunmié Noué launched to acclaim

Office du Jerriaisbooks, La Fête dé Noué, La Société Jersiaise, songs

Le Don Balleine annonche:

Chu Preunmié Noué launched to acclaim

The latest booklet to be published by Le Don Balleine Trust was launched last night at the Members’ Room of La Société Jersiaise. The booklet tells the story of That First Christmas in Jèrriais with an English translation and is in the same format as the recently published set of six Early Readers “Toute la Pêque”.

Trust President Jean Le Maistre welcomed everyone before the booklet, projected on the large screen, was read aloud by children fresh from their triumph at last week’s Jèrriais Eisteddfod ably assisted by Audrey Lucas for which they each received a complimentary copy of the booklet. Mr Le Maistre congratulated them all before outlining the Trust’s work with children at Les Pallions, the four primary schools set to become “centres of excellence” for Jèrriais. He also thanked Geraint Jennings for the wonderful illustrations in Chu Preunmié Noué and Toute la Pêque and the other team members at L’Office de Jèrriais for all their hard work.

Finally Mr Le Maistre announced that working with Jèrriais folk/rock band Badlabecques the Trust now has available to download a seasonal mixture of well-known and popular carols and wished everyone a Bouan Noué.

A full copy of Mr Le Maistre’s speech is available and the booklets themselves are on sale at Waterstones, La Société and at L’Office itself.

Jean Le Maistre:

A very warm welcome to you all. Thank you for giving up the time to attend this event.

The main purpose of this evening is to launch a very special little book, but this is also a celebration. Rather appropriately, at this time of the year, this small publication celebrates the First Christmas, “Chu Preunmié Noué” but also importantly it celebrates an important part of our culture and our history. It continues to build on and strengthen the range of teaching material which introduces our ancient and living language to young children. Do have a look afterwards at the range of books on offer and perhaps purchase a somewhat different Christmas gift at the special prices.

I consider myself very fortunate to have been born and brought up in a Jèrriais speaking family and that Jèrriais is my mother tongue. It enabled me, with very little effort, to be bi-lingual at a very young age and at the age of 5 I became tri-lingual learning English at Primary school.

The introduction and availability of “Chu Preunmié Noué” follows closely the launch of the six little booklets called “Toute la Pêque”…all of which are the result of the considerable work and inspiration of Geraint Jennings. I applaud and thank Geraint for using his creative skills to produce the illustrations and bringing it all together with the support of Tony and Colin at l’Office! Le Don Balleine is proud to publish these wonderful little books. I also wish to recognise the influence and encouragement of MAGA, the Cornish Language Partnership, which provided the inspiration for these projects. You may be interested to know that this link came about through the good work of the British Irish Council and their enthusiasm and encouragement for the development of minority languages.

The Jèrriais teaching programme has recently changed and our team are now running a six week course in all Primary Schools entitled Jersey Studies. Our aim is to introduce some 1000 Jersey children – in year 4 – to the wealth of our history and our culture. This includes the part that Jèrriais has played and continues to play in shaping our unique Island and culture which sadly over the years some of us feel has been rather taken for granted. We believe that developing a pride in our community is important. Having an understanding of what makes Jersey special must surely help all who make up our community, to value what we have, what is special and what we are able to enjoy. Following this 6 week programme in Primary Schools, children are being encouraged to attend 4 “Pallions” which will become centres of excellence for learning Jèrriais. The term “Pallion” is Jèrriais for a place where people meet to have a chat. The Primary schools chosen are St Louothains, St Pièrre, Grouville et La Preunmié Tou. St Lawrence, St Peter, Grouville and First Tower. We have received the full support of Headteachers, the Director and staff of the ESC Department and, of course, the parents who encourage their children to learn Jèrriais. Recently the Eisteddfod enabled youngsters to share their grasp of the language in a public forum, and this evening we are delighted to welcome some of those young people and we look forward to their contribution.

* * *

Thank you to all the youngsters and to Audrey for your participation. It is greatly appreciated and I want to encourage the youngsters to continue to develop their Jèrriais.

Recently, I, together with Deputy Bryans and Tony Scott-Warren visited the Isle of Man to see how they are getting on with their Manx teaching programme. Their determination and success is quite amazing and, not only are they nurturing tremendous pride in their Island community, but they are also committed to and believe in the considerable benefits of developing a community which is bi-lingual or even tri-lingual.

Many of the students are further developing their language skills not just in Manx but they are learning French, Japanese, German, etc.

With our unique history and our geographical position, we are well placed to encourage our young people to become multi-lingual in a similar same way to the Isle of Man. Being multi-lingual genuinely provides a competitive edge when it comes to future employment opportunities.

I want to thank Badlabecques for their excellent CD, which incidentally must be one of a very few music albums produced locally to carry the Genuine Jersey mark. I thank them for their co-operation in producing nursery rhymes for use in schools and the production of 10 Christmas Carols which are available to download. They have proved to be extremely popular at a wide cross section of events which have included the National Trust Concerts, the Portuguese Fair and they have performed in Guernsey, Sark and Normandy. They are proving to be great ambassadors for Jersey.

I need to mention that there will be Carols en Jèrriais being sung outside M&S at 5.30pm on Thursday 6th December.

As I mentioned earlier, please look at the range of books on offer tonight and perhaps purchase a different Christmas gift at the special prices. Thank you again for supporting the work of the Don Balleine.