Addressing the assembly prior to the run were Hashmaster Mike ("Softwood") Cowan, FSB1, FSB27, the Presidente of the Alliance Francaise and Grand Inquisitor John ("Joy Boy") Albanie who took the opportunity to inform the distinguished audience that 45 years ago, almost to the day, an embarrassing event took place in Canada during the visit of French President Gen Charles de Gaulle, which has remained a touchy issue within the Entente Cordiale.
Addressing a crowd of French-speaking Canadians in Montreal that day in July 1967, the good general ended with the words "Vive le Quebec Libre'. This created something of a frisson in diplomatic circles which is remembered to this day.
Standing arm in arm with FSB1 (who is Corsican) "Joy Boy" reminded the assembly of this difficult diplomatic impasse and stated that he would be “putting an end to it at today's Bastille Day Hash”. Wearing the hat of another great Corsican, "Joy Boy” ended his welcoming speech with the words "Vive la Corse Libre" (see photos). Said "Joy Boy" : "I feel that in my own modest way I may have put much needed closure to this sad chapter in Anglo-French relations. Perhaps. Peut-etre."
Then, for the benefit of the French participants, he ended with a helpful quick update on the Tour de France which is currently taking place, announcing that the Number 1 and Number 2 positions were at the moment held by two Englishmen.
The pack were then set on their way.