Remembering 2005
What happened 15 years ago?
" This is the Chaîne: an instrument of friendship and peace beyond any borders and barriers "

2020 will of course be remembered for the pandemic that is COVID-19. Whilst of course looking forward to better times ahead, here are some memories of what happened 15 years ago in 2005.

Worldwide events of note
2005 started on a Saturday in the Gregorian calendar. The 5th year of the 3rd millennium, it was designated as the International Year for Sport and Physical Education and the International Year of Microcredit. 2005 was also the end of the International Decade of the World's Indigenous People (1995–2005).

Pope John Paul II passed away; over four million people travelled to the Vatican to mourn him. Pope Benedict XVI succeeded him becoming the 265th Pope. In the USA George W. Bush was inaugurated for a second term as President. In November Angela Merkel assumed office as the first female Chancellor of Germany.

YouTube was launched by a group of US college students, eventually becoming the largest video sharing website in the world. The sixth book by J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Half Blood Prince, hits the stands worldwide.

The Airbus A380 “superjumbo” jet made its first flight. Bringing the year to a close, on December 31st another second was added 23:59:60 to end the year, the first time since 1998!

The International Chaîne des Rôtisseurs
For the Chaîne, reviewing the year President Atallah was encouraged that the content of the official international website launched in 2004 was already rapidly expanding, its development being designed to bring Professional members into contact with Non-professionals - a fundamental Chaîne concept. Equally the international magazine relaunched in 2004 was forging ahead to provide a superb showcase of the Confrérie’s diversity.

Internationally the Grand Chapitre and its associated annual meetings were held in Deauville in June. Among those inducted by President Yam Atallah was Don Hall as Bailli Délégué of the newly-formed Bailliage of Macau. The International Final of the Jeunes Chefs Rôtisseurs Competition was hosted by the Bailliage of Bermuda.

National Bailliages
Costa Rica was also inaugurated as a new National Bailliage at a Chapitre in Guanacaste. Burton Hobson, Member of the Conseil d’Administration from the USA, inducted Alain Taulère as Bailli Délégué together with the other National Officers and Bailliage members.

Slovakia too joined the international Confrérie in 2005, although sadly it is no longer active. We remain hopeful however that one day there will be a rebirth - as in the neighbouring Czech Republic too.

Belgium celebrated its 50th Anniversary with a Grand Chapitre in Brussels. The Induction Ceremony in the magnificent city hall was presided over by Marie Jones in her capacity as a Member of the Conseil D’Administration. A special ceremony was later held just off the main square when Mannekin Pis, the oldest burgher of the city whose statue, the star of the capital, was dressed in chef’s whites and adorned with an Officier ribbon to demonstrate his allegiances to all members of the Chaîne, both Professional and Non-Professional.

Elsewhere around the Bailliages, Turkey and Greece held their first annual culinary union weekend when a party of 25 Turkish members came to Athens to join their Greek counterparts for a weekend of gastronomy and culture.

Egypt held a Grand Chapitre the Induction Ceremony of which was held in front of the Pyramids with the Gala Dinner in a marquee situated literally at the foot of the Pyramids and the Sphinx, all of which were especially floodlit for the occasion. Those were the days!

A new local Bailliage was inaugurated in Portugal’s Algarve - and since then has certainly gone from strength to strength!

Daniel Jäggi was inducted as Bailli Délégué of Liechtenstein by President Atallah at the Germany Grand Chapitre held at the Ritz Carlton in Berlin. Chancelier Roberto Zanghi was promoted to Bailli Délégué in Italy. Carita Wallman Larsson accepted the role of Bailli Délégué in Sweden.

Last, but not least, the Annual National Grand Chapitre of the USA held in Naples, Florida, became the “Wilma Survivor Show” given that Hurricane Wilma invited itself to the proceedings meaning that less than half of the participants could get to Florida let alone take part! What’s more, emergency restrictions imposed by the authorities meant a considerable rethink of the programme. Chaîne camaraderie to the fore saw a “Band of Brothers (Confrères)” spirit seeing everyone helping each other to survive the ordeal.

Vive la Chaîne!
This is the Chaîne: an instrument of friendship and peace beyond any borders and barriers. A Society in which members do not simply belong to a group of friends who meet from time to time at local events, but who are part of an international society present in some 80 countries.

Marie Jones
Managing Editor

NB. Photos illustrating this article are taken from Chaîne events held around the world in 2005