Bonne et heureuse année! / Good and happy new year!

Original typescript of L-A. B.’s 1936 new year editorial

Bonne et heureuse année!/Good and happy new year! (PIP #14)

By Louise Peloquin

How would Louis-A. Biron have welcomed in this new year?

At the dawn of 1936, here is an excerpt of his address to L’Etoile readers. (1)

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     Just as the torrent rushes towards the abyss, time flows. A year barely begins that another competes for its place. The days, the hours disappear with the speed of a bolt of lightning. We even have difficulty perceiving the chain of days, somber or mirthful, connecting us to our surroundings. History repeats itself, nothing lasts. Everything passes, often without leaving any traces. Sometimes peace, sometimes war, no sun without clouds. The present time especially offers us a heavy atmosphere. Nations who desire the peace promised to men of good will live in restlessness, absorbed with dark anxieties. Ambition and hate drive unconscious peoples towards the abyss. The treasures of the earth no longer suffice to satisfy their greed. Italy thinks it has found a clause in Adam’s will bequeathing it Ethiopia. (2) ….carnage, shed blood without any other valid motive than the reason of the strongest. A very sad picture 1935 offers us as it flees. However, there is reason to hope, the Prince of peace has spoken, praying, asking with insistence that the vertigo of governing heads would change into a light illuminating the world more safely and that 1936 would come upon us with its cortège of peace and happiness for nations, happiness for families, and for all men of good will. Let us hope that a moral force will dissipate the clouds which darken the sun of justice which alone can guide heads of State and give durable peace. The fulfillment of the wishes for prosperity…the clearest like the most sincere, will, we dare believe, echo as soon as 1936 dawns. These are the few words L’Etoile especially extends to its readers, its clients and to all who are interested in the Franco-American survival in this country.

          – L-A. B.

  1. Biron’s biography, “A Star on Prince Street,” posted on August 22, 2023, and the 13 PIP’s, posted since September 8, 2023, are all translations from French by Louise Peloquin.
  2. In 1934, Ethiopia (Abyssinia) was one of the few independent states in a European-dominated Africa. Italy had unsuccessfully tried to conquer it in the 1890’s. A border incident between Ethiopia and Italian Somaliland triggered Benito Mussolini’s October 3, 1935 invasion which ended with an Italian victory and the annexation of Ethiopia to Italian East Africa. Ethiopian arbegnoch guerrillas, along with the British Empire, drove the Italians out in 1941. The Italo-Ethiopian War is often seen as one of the episodes that prepared the way for World War II. Ethiopia is the oldest independent country in Africa and one of the oldest countries in the world.

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