Decease of Mr Pierre Lecat


Yesterday morning, 8 of July, Mr Pierre Lecat is gone - or "Tchou Pierre" as we all called him. I went to his burial and funeral mass that afternoon and I wanted to write a little about that special character of Hamel.

Pierre was well known by the inhabitants. And those who have assisted to ceremonies here have certainly noticed him. He was one of the few "flag-bearers" of the village as a veteran of the Algeria War. A dozen of his fellows where here at that afternoon and the tricolour he was so proud covered his coffin.
Pierre has been a village employee for years. Before he worked as farm worker and at the local factory. Seing him working in the streets was a common sight. I remember him, when I was a kid, with his hand bell screaming in the street to announce the local news. He was then equipped with a megaphone and hearing him was quiet an experience. Before and after his retirement, Pierre volunteered to look after our church, especially the heating or ringing bells. Among the numerous services he gave, he used also to sell the veterans calendar. I remember how on that occasion my mother offering him an orange juice. He did refused because - one have to say it - Pierre enjoyed too much a good beer and wine... And maybe it explains his death. But one can guess that his old single life was not always very happy.
He was a very sensitive man with tears in his eyes at masses or at ceremonies. He said it was because it  "reminds him his comrades at war and his sister". He never missed a Franco-Australian commemoration, a very serious matter from him. Last ANZAC Day, he was nearly too cry because many people asked him why he was not without his flag. What he was not responsible of...

Pierre, you have always been there when needed, sure you will always be in our memories.