Mrs. Gaudin’s speech at assembly

lundi 3 novembre 2014
par  Ingrid Gaudin

Stella Maris, BONJOUR !

“I can no other answer make, but, thanks, and thanks and ever thanks,” as William Shakespeare would put it (Twelfth Night).

It is indeed from the bottom of my heart that, in the name of St Joseph’s School, I would like to express our deepest gratitude to Mrs. Comerford & to Mrs. Murray who has committed herself to this school exchange, with loyalty, energy and dedication. Gratitude is somehow the memory of the heart, so let us not forget, in this daring adventure, the extraordinary hospitality of the Stella girls & teachers – hospitality of heart and place is not only the spiritual theme of the year but also a reality at Stella Maris !

This flag, signed up by all the French students & teachers, will hopefully stay as a powerful landmark and a grateful symbol of the “First Fleet” of French students ! And this book might inspire you to come to our medieval town of Gailac, in south-western France, to see Cordes-sur-ciel (Cordes-upon-the-sky, elected prettiest village in France !).

Now, I have a word for Stella Girls : as a language teacher, I do know that learning a language is requiring (or daring, maybe)…requiring, sure, but it is part of this great human and spiritual adventure we are all part of, isn’t it ?

I believe that languages help us understand one another, help us break barriers, built bridges, cross oceans and fulfil dreams. I have a dream, I have a dream that one day, other students will keep this adventure going, that YOU come to our place, Yiribana, I might as well be tempted to say – after the name of gorgeous Yirbana Gallery we all visited on Thursday (you know, at the Art Gallery of New South Wales) – Yiribana means “come this way” : come to France, come to Toulouse & Gaillac. Dare the adventure !

Before letting Ibstissam sing “La vie en rose” by Edith Piaf, I cannot but quote somebody, Mother Teresa, who has inspired me when I was your age : 

“Life is an opportunity, benefit from it. Life is beauty, admire it.
Life is a dream, achieve it…. Life is an adventure, dare it.”

May God bless you all !



En aparté et ici : je tiens à remercier sincèrement le Rotary Club International qui, en 2002, m’a fait venir à Aix-en-Provence depuis Londres où j’étais en poste pour me former à la rhétorique du discours en public. La visée était alors double : en tant qu’ambrassadrice de bonne volonté de ma région Midi-Pyrénées au Canada, je devais savoir parler avec éloquence non seulement de mon pays du sud-ouest (Toulouse-Lautrec, les Cathares, les vins de Gaillac, Airbus et l’aérospatiale, des bastides tarnaises) mais aussi donner des discours pour lever des fonds pour lutter contre la polio dans le monde.

J’aime aussi à croire que la pierre de la faconde embrassée au château du comte Blarney à Cork en Irlande a fait son effet ? Il faut se contortioner en haut du château pour cela... ce comte qui fit tellement de "bla-bla" à la reine d’Angleterre pour ne pas payer des impôts...qu’on inventa l’expression en son nom. Acteurs et futurs professeurs aiment se rendre sur les lieux pour recevoir ce don !