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The founding of the Comité Tricolore by Jean-Yves DEFAY, Consul General of France in Washington DC in 1990

"I’m constantly on the move in my consular district, and Marie-Chantal, my assistant, juggles skilfully to keep my schedule evenings and weekends. In this respect, one thing horrifies her and me: the dozens of French and Franco-American French or Franco-American associations in the Washington area don’t take their respective calendars, which they don’t even know. But most of them are active, and some days I’d have to multiply myself to respond to their invitations to attend meetings, shows, conferences and other events.

I therefore propose to the two CSFE delegates and the presidents of the larger associations to organize "a consultation meeting for the French French community". This led to the decision to set up a "consultation committee" with weekly meetings at my residence, more discreet and convivial than my office. The committee’s first goal is to draw up a list of associations, their contact details and the contact person for this inter-association consultation.

With this list, I then issue a general invitation to a tour de table each group to introduce themselves to the others, with the aim of getting to know each other better and consider possible synergies.

At my first invitation, twenty-one structures gathered around me. A great success. I begin the round table by declaring my admiration for the quality of the French and Franco-American volunteers represented around the table. I distributed the folder I had prepared for them, containing mainly press clippings and press clippings and analyses of France’s international policy. In Washington, I was fortunate enough to be able to call on the Embassy’s extensive press service, which was very sympathetic to my efforts to get our fellow citizens more involved in the promotion of France in the United States. I enclosed with this information some tourist and cultural material (posters, regional maps...) to decorate some of the rooms. I asked everyone to introduce themselves and answer my only question: are you willing to let my secretariat know well in advance what events your organization has planned, so that the secretariat can pass them on to the concertation committee, which will warn the associations concerned of any calendar conflicts?

As the months went by, these conflicts disappeared and, thanks to a French sponsor, an answering machine was set up to announce events in the French-speaking community. I continued to convene, once a month, what I call "le comité tricolore" or, sometimes, "la place du village"."

Translated with DeepL.com

Consuls Généraux de France in Washington DC since the creation of the CT:

1989-1994 Jean-Yves DEFAY (Fondateur) Le CT fût fondé en 1990 et le premier Bastille Day eut lieu en 1991.
1994-1997 Claude FAY
1997-2000 Alain de KEGHEL (Premier président du CT Victor OBADIA)
2000-2003 Gilles MONTAGNIER
2003-2007 Jean-Michel ALLEX LYOUDI
2007-2011 Michel SCHAUFHAUSER
2011-2015 Olivier SEROT ALMERAS
2015-2019 Michel CHARBONNIER
2019-2023 François PENGUILLY
2023 Caroline MONVOISIN

Programs of the first three Bastille Day galas: