Who we are -> Association history

Speech from our founder, Jean-Pierre Gerald, for the 20th birthday of Lyon International – April 7, 2000.

” I would like to dedicate this speach to our friends from around the world, because it’s thanks to you that the association exists today (a friendly dinner in a local family).

I will tell you how it happened, back in 1958, 2 students from ALEP, Syria, came to Lyon for their medical studies, and are standing in front the closed cafeteria on Christmas eve. Seing this, my father immediately invited them to share dinner with us, and we are very good friends since then.

Again, in 1964 – i was then a young engineer in the marine – when our boat was staying at Goeteborg in Sweden, Alfred and Anyta SYNEK invited me for dinner thanks to the association “Sweden at Home”. We spent a delightfull evening, as we happened to be both the same age, and soon to be married.

Instead of the traditionnal wine, we tried their home-made blueberry spirit, that really hit me. I had to walk my way home, and after a two hours walk as i could not find any taxi around. The day after, they were our guests onboard the PIMODAN.

The idea was born, now i had to make it happen, and the Chamber of Commerce of Lyon, member of JCI (international organisation of young entrepeneurs) gave me the perfect opportunity to do so. In 1975,  there was a big congress organised by the JCI, gathering around 2000 international participants and their families. In respect with the tradition of “Home hospitality”, we could make some local families discover the pleasure of welcoming international guests. Many thanks to Anne-Marie, my wife, for making this first attempt such a success.

Then, thanks to the support of Bernard LAMOTTE and Georges COUDERT, i finally decided to go forward and the association was born… “

How are things going after 30 000 invitations in 30 years ?

350 families, members of the association, are receiving more than 1000 foreigners per year !

Here are a few memories in the last 10 years of the association :

Comments are closed.