It is with much sadness that we announce that Grand Maître Robert Baty passed away on September 9, 2012, aged 90.
In becoming Grand Chancelier/Président, Baty followed the great Jean Valby – a founder member of the modern-day Chaîne and its leader for over 30 years until 1993, when, in his nineties, he decided it was time to hand over the reins to his protégé.
Given his heritage and standing, Valby was always going to be a difficult act to follow but Robert Baty had been well-groomed by his predecessor. Whilst having great respect for the past, Baty was conscious that a page had turned and he realised that the Chaîne needed to modernise its outlook and appeal.
One of his first projects was to modify the by-laws to suit the modern age. This was successfully achieved, thanks in a great part to the input of a Member of the Conseil d’Administration: a young lawyer called Yam Atallah.
Robert Baty’s dearest wish was to develop the international nature of the Chaîne. He relentlessly encouraged members to travel, to learn the history and customs of other countries and to spend unforgettable moments in Bailliages whether national or local. In personally achieving this goal he travelled extensively to preside over Induction Ceremonies – the absolute embodiment of his ideology.
Before devoting his life full-time to the Chaîne, Robert Baty was proprietor of the Hôtel Le Mancini in the French town of Saintes (Charente-Maritime). His wife Simone passed away some years ago. He is survived by his son, François.
His passing will, I know, be mourned by those who counted themselves amongst his many friends around the world.
Marie Jones, Managing Editor
Here is a selection of photos of Robert Baty from his visits around the world over the years . . .