“The image of the Pays Royannais has been affected by the tourist economy, but we feel that its identity is evolving because it is so rich,” said Thomas Valadoux…
“The image of the Pays Royannais has been affected by the tourist economy, but we think its identity is evolving because it is very rich,” said Thomas Valadoux, director of the reception center of the Destination Royan Atlantique community tourist office. This is why in our heritage enhancement program, we focus on books. Sell existing ones at reception desks and republish old works. The idea is to understand how this rich history of the territory has developed over time. »
A community has changed
It is in this context that a year ago, the idea was born to update “Mornac and the Mornaçons” that a certain Émile Jeanneau, self-taught oyster farmer, started in 1958. Between the town hall , the house publishing house Bonne Anse and Destination Royan Atlantique, has started an extraordinary editorial adventure. The raw material is more than important, as the mayor of Mornac Emmanuel Crétin points out.
“In the 1950s, excavations began at the church where ancient remains emerged. A group of students, led by the architect Pierre Ducou de Chatressac, mingled with the population and, from there, the whole face of the town changed. »
Because this event will make Mornac-sur-Seudre, a small port of oyster cultivation, a port for many workers who have created a contemporary image of one of the “Most Beautiful Villages of France. This marriage between ” locals” and this student’s spirit is almost “sixty-eight” before the clock runs. That’s the spirit of the mornaçon, that little extra soul that lasts through the generations.
“When the craftsmen came to live here, it was before it was fashionable, an example of a social and solidarity economy, underlines the Mornaçonne Anne Boiteux, whose sister Annie Fouquet-Boiteux wrote the preface to book. Today, the spirit of unity remains and all this is done in harmony in the world of fishing and oyster farming. »
The “Three Rogers”
Émile Jeanneau is one of the young volunteers in the archaeological dig episode, because he introduced Pierre Ducou to the Community Art Center and its craftsmen. “He found himself moved by the history of the village and recounted it with distance and humor in a mimeographed document in 1958”, explains Annie Fouquet-Boiteux in her foreword. A research work that takes its origin from the notes of Amédée Pilloton, received indirect contributions from Mornac, written in 1895.
“This first draft was distributed in several copies, then the Mornac tourist office made a first illustrated edition of it in 1985, indicates Pierre-Louis Bouchet of Bonne Anse editions. Here is now the third version that born of our common will. The book is enriched by the proofreading work of the “three Rogers”: Roger Chotard, Roger Roux and Roger Cougot, passionate about both history and Mornac.
“The image of the Pays Royannais has been affected by the tourist economy but we think its identity is evolving”
The Horsebite Virus
From the founding post-war episode, a particular spirit remains in the village. An authenticity that many tourist towns envy and the current municipal team, made up of natives and new blood, is trying to continue. “We set up an incubator for workers, says Emmanuel Crétin. We support them for three years, so they test their activity and, when they are ready, they launch. There are about 20 a year. This initiative is the direct legacy of what happened in the 1950s.”
“From the established period after the war, a certain spirit remains in the village”
With 870 year-round residents and sometimes up to 4,000 visitors per day in high season, Mornac stands by the desire to keep the village alive all year round. 200 new housing units are planned, the school is still there thanks to working people and a reasonable number of retirees. And then there is the mysterious atmosphere, this “mornaçon virus” as described by Roger Roux, one of the contributors, which we reluctantly caught but for his greatest pleasure it seems…