Vale Dr. Hubert Lelieur, a Pillar in French-Victorian Relations

On February 16, the former mayor of Villers-Bretonneux, Dr Hubert Lelieur, passed away at the age of 88. After the Second World War, this city saw the creation of a welcoming committee to receive and express gratitude to the ANZAC veterans, who had liberated the city from the German enemy during the First World War, but also toward their families.

In 1984, this welcoming committee became the Franco-Australian Association and its mayor Hubert Lelieur with the help of his deputy introduced, on his own initiative, the twinning of Villers-Bretonneux with an Australian city. The choice, a moment focused on Melbourne, was then definitely set on Robinvale whose social and economic configurations are close to those of Villers-Bretonneux.

The twinning was also made possible due to the interest of the Hon. Alan Wood, a member of the Victoria Legislative Assembly, and his wife. They came to visit the city of Villers-Bretonneux and were welcomed by the Franco-Australian Association, and after the Australian politician worked immensly for this twinning to happen.

Since this initiative, to bring the two countries closer together, trade has continued to grow. The most remarkable action of the committee remains the effort to launch a fundraiser for a school in the State of Victoria, ravaged by fire in 2009. In Australia, this action had a great impact and helped to strengthen the friendly relations between the two nations.

Hubert Lelieur in 2007 with the Australian rugby team visiting Villers-Bretonneux