Our Vignacourt Program in the classroom.
Our new Vignacourt Program takes shape..............
Liam Dougherty from St Joseph's School in Childers joined us for 2 days to meet the Vignacourt kids. Liam will return to Australia with French Soldier mascot Roger Thuillier the Vignacourt Rabbit mascot.
Our Billy Makes Mates program is up and running in Australia and Vignacourt now.
Billy has been to St Joseph's in Childers and both Childers StTe School,and Bargara State School. He is now in Vignacourt with the kids there. He has been around the battlefields and is learning a lot about France.
He has been joined by Robert - the rabbit of Vignacourt to help spread the news of Vignacourt across the world.
Billy Makes Mates
ICG is very proud to launch our
"Billy Makes Mates" project.
A loveable Aussie Soldier Bear Private Billy Court will provide the opportunity to rekindle friendships made 100 years ago during the Great War.
Vignacourt Primary School in Picardy, France will be joined by Childers State School, St Joseph's Childers and Bargara State School from Queensland to take part in a range of educational opportunities to promote, culture and history and our two wonderful countries.
The four schools will become ICG partner schools.
Both Childers and Vignacourt are closely linked due to events that took place nearly 100 years ago . Childers had the most enlistments in the Great War per head of population in Australia and also had the greatest loss of life per head of population.
Both towns are green havens . Childers with sugar cane farms and Vignacourt surround by fields that bloom with poppies. Both towns are of similar size and posses interesting histories.
Vignacourt was behind the lines and many families lost their menfolk during horrific campaigns such as Verdun, but offered a place of rest and recuperation for the Aussie diggers, as well as soldiers from other countries. Louis and Antoinette Thuillier took photos of the soldiers as they passed through Vignacourt. These photographs captured on glass photographic plates have become known as the Lost Diggers of Vignacourt and tell an amazing story of relationships between French villagers and Aussie soldiers.
Two soldiers from Childers, William and Thomas See were recently identified as being Lost Diggers from Childers. The relevance and opportunity to create these links during the years of commemoration of the Great War are going to provide an ongoing legacy beyond the 100 year events.
Bargara State School will remember the 400 plus Australian soldiers that lie in Vignacourt British Cemetery. They will be commemorated with a beach ceremony on ANZAC day this year and crosses prepared by the students. These crosses will be transported to Vignacourt and the Vignacourt students will lay them at the Aussie headstones in the Vignacourt cemetary following on from a promise made by the Vignacourt Mayor in 1919 to never forget. The Bargara students will also research the Aussie Diggers who are buried in the cemetery. Vignacourt will exchange emails with the Aussie school.
St Joseph's Childers will commence the travel buddy program by having Private Billy Court the Anzac Bear first in their school to take photos and write a diary. Private Billy will then travel to the Vignacourt school. He will be presented to the School by Michael and Donna Fiechtner at the ANZAC Day BBQ in Vignacourt. This experience will open a variety of cultural and historical aspects between the students of both countries as well as creating a bond of mateship.
Each school that is working on the project with ICG will have the chance to have Bill attend their class/school and share their way of life and activities . These activities will be recorded in Billy's Diary and shared backwards and forwards between France and Australia.
Childers State school will make postcards and exchange them as did Aussie diggers during the Great War. They will highlight the important role that Louis and Antoinette Thuillier played in the soldiers lives. Photos will become an important part of the Childers State School project .
The Qld schools will make paper poppies which will be strung together and laid at Vignacourt Cemetery on Anzac Day. All schools will welcome Billy into their community at some stage over the next twelve months between ANZAC day 2016 and ANZAC day 2017. Michael and Donna Fiechtner both qualified teachers and Directors of Intercultural Consulting Group will launch the project to these Queensland schools on the 9th and 10th of March with some activities in the lead up to Anzac Day 2016.
They will then spend time in Vignacourt in June 2016 working with the French teachers, students and the community there to develop the project further and share and learn.
Every School will benefit from the project as the schools form bonds and friendships as did the soldiers and villagers in the Great War.