It was with great sadness that we learned of the passing of Gilbert Ducasse and Jean-Noël Ducasse’s father, Ignace Ducasse, in Melbourne on September 12, 2023.
Through his personality and his commitment, Ignace Ducasse helped the French-speaking world to shine in Melbourne. A mass will be held in his honor at St John Vianney’s parish on Wednesday, September 27 at 12.p.m. We extend our deepest condolences to his family and friends.
Born in Mauritius in 1931, Ignace Ducasse joined the British Army in the late 1940s before being posted in Egypt. After returning to Mauritius, he became a teacher, where he met his wife Gisèle, with whom he had two children, Gilbert and Jean-Noël. While working in the audiovisual department of the Ministry of Education in Mauritius, he discovered the world of radio, which then he used as a teaching tool. Mr. Ducasse also became a member of several Mauritian committees. He was President of the Cerné Club, Secretary of the Club National de l’Etrier, member of the board of directors of the Racing Club de Maurice and manages a horse-riding club.
He and his family moved to Australia in 1973. He began his career as a teacher, later joining the civil service of the Department of Education. Two years later, he launched the first French-language section of radio 3EA Melbourne, aimed at French-speakers in Australians. 3EA went on to become today’s well-known Radio SBS on January 1, 1978; which he coordinated for 10 years, until 1988.
At the same time, Ignace Ducasse was deeply involved in Melbourne’s Francophone and Francophile community. He joined the committees and board of directors of the Alliance Française in Melbourne from 1974 until 2009. He was also an examiner for the Berthe Mouchette French language contest several times a week for many years, as well as a member of the Alliance Française’s Education sub-committee and a drama contest judge… among others.
After his retirement, he launched a small interpreting and translation business for the corporate world and became a hospital interpreter. In 1990, with a team of young people, he launched the Mauritian section of radio 3SER FM, in Melbourne, and remained on the air until 2018.