The Marseilles Hotel School
Some of the head teachers, directors and lecturers who had come from all over Europe for this Christmas in Europe in Marseilles were green with envy. The Marseille-Bonneveine Hotel School and Apprentice Training Centre were rebuilt a few years ago and large quantities of high quality equipment were installed. 1,400 students are enrolled on various courses, and there is an accommodation block with 280 beds. As well as 9,000 square metres of practical areas!
Youth in Action
This European Commission programme is intended to support activities in favour of young people, so as to encourage the European spirit among them. It is also thanks to this programme that schools lacking in financial resources could travel to take part in Christmas in Europe. This was also why the ‘Youth in Action’ flag was prominently displayed during the event in Marseilles.
Father Christmas was there too!
It was natural that Christmas in Europe should also play host to Father Christmas, who did his rounds during lunch to give a little sweetmeat to each guest. As you would expect he was accompanied two reindeer – symbolic ones of course – who smiled a lot!
An air of Provence
To spice up the inaugural parade the Allergo folk group had joined the party. But some students, also wearing traditional costumes, couldn't resist posing for a photo with them, to everyone’s great delight – and to the delight of the numerous onlookers. It was before boarding the bus for the centre of Marseilles.
A famous musicologist
He was walking around the hall among the stands with his fipple flute and his tambourine, wearing his suit and his loosely tied bow. Who was he? It was André Gabriel, a reputed musicologist, who has a collection of 2,000 instruments and who travels the world in search of new musical sounds. Here deep in conversation with Christiane Keller who is always on the lookout for information.
A message-bearing Christmas tree
At a busy crossroads in the exhibition hall proudly stood a Christmas tree decorated with strange labels, each of which bore a sentence, a thought or a wish. This was a splendid idea which allowed the scribes to express a wish, always welcome at Christmas.
The information stand
Recognisable by their green scarf or pouch, the students responsible for giving out information, for anticipating the desires of the participants and for helping them in case of need – these students also had a stand where information was available at all times – together with a smile!
Unusual and screamingly funny
There were four of them. Two teachers and two students. Buttoned up tight in black suits with white shirts and bow ties. Like head waiters. Except that they came from the Lycée Ermesinde Mersch in Beringen (Luxembourg) and it was their job to provide entertainment in their own way at this Christmas in Europe. Perfectly po-faced, they played to the gallery with their completely crazy tricks. No surprise really – they were from their school’s theatre department.
Toy collection for deprived children
The organisers had thought of everything, even providing a container for the collection of toys for deprived children. Alas, it was not as successful as expected.
Outdoor trapezius muscle massage
As he left the School, your reporter found himself face to face with students in the middle of a trapezius muscle massage – these are the muscles that run from the neck towards the shoulders. He also had the chance to benefit from this treatment, with guffaws of laughter into the bargain!
A questionnaire for the visitors
At the initiative of the School’s Parent-Teacher Association, a questionnaire about different aspects of the stands had been distributed to the visitors, who came in large numbers. It was their job to give marks and comments. The result was that the Reggio Emilia stand was the winner, with the added bonus of a fine present given to the team at the European buffet.
Just before taking leave on the evening of December 13th each participant was presented with a bag containing gifts: a bottle of pastis, a bottle of red wine produced by the School, a porcelain mug with the School’s crest as well as several packets of Provençal spices. These would ensure that they remembered Christmas in Europe in Marseilles for a long time to come!
A golden book to end with
What a good idea to open a golden book of the event. The School Director herself took charge of it, moving from table to table to enable everyone to leave their mark in it. ‘This is how we will keep a trace of the event in the future,’ she confided.