Ville Platte- A standing room only group of residents, public officials and dignitaries were on hand Tuesday at the Evangeline Parish Police Jury meeting conducted all in the French language. It has become a tradition for the police jury to conduct their last meeting of the year in French to show their support to the French Cajun/Creole culture of the area.
Special guest at the meeting was the newly appointed Consulate General of France in New Orleans, Jean Claude Brunet. Brunet, a native of Paris, was appointed four months ago. He said “It is a pleasure to see my cousins in Louisiana”. Brunet recognized the recent 100th birthday of Evangeline Parish and Louisiana’s bicentennial celebration in 2012.
In his remarks to the overflow audience, he said “Nineteen years ago, I visited Louisiana for the first time as a tourist and I love what you have been able to preserve.” He thanked the police jury for their efforts in supporting our French culture locally.
Also speaking at the meeting was Brenda Monier, a native of Ville Platte who resides in Lafayette. She said “I am so proud to stand here today attending the only public governmental meeting conducted all in French.”
Also in attendance at the meeting were representatives of the Council for the Development of French in Louisiana (Codofil) and a number of local, parish and state officials including Appeals Court Judge John Saunders, Senator Eric Lafleur and State Representatives Bernard LeBas and Steve Ortego.
In other business, the police jury:
--watched as President Eric Soileau presented plaques of appreciation to outgoing police jurors: J.D. Soileau, Bob Manuel and Sidney Fontenot;
--heard from Gilbert W. Aucoin announce that the 2012 Dewey Balfa Cajun and Creole Heritage Week will be held April 20-27 at nearby Chicot Park;