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Allowing retirement home (EHPAD) residents to remember and talk about a past that they lived intensely; such is the project tested by “Les Amis de La Martinerie”, from February 19 to 26 at the BALSAN residence in Châteauroux, with the help of Fabienne, host of the residence.

Indeed, the visit to the barracks room at “la maison départementale de la mémoire militaire” always leads to numerous comments by our visitors aged sixty and over. it is from this observation that came out the idea of of a travelling exhibit that could be brought to our elders who cannot come and visit our premises.

The first exhibition of “Les Amis de La Martinerie” was inaugurated on Tuesday February 20th in a retirement home and involved transferring the barracks room into the reception hall of the Balsan residence. Why the Balsan residence? For two reasons. First of all, because we made a promise to one of our elders, Guy Luscan, member of the board of directors of the association, resident at the EHPAD, who unfortunately passed away before the exhibition could actually take place. Second of all, because the residence was built on a former military site, the General Store of the Military Health Service which had been transferred from Paris to Châteauroux (Bordessoulle barracks), in 1889.

Quickly becoming too small, this service was transferred, in 1915, to the Domitis and Balsan residences and then, in 1963, to Ardentes, thus freeing up land very close to the center -town of Châteauroux.

It is worth noting in photo 5.5, the presence of Mr. Dupressoir who worked in building 001, in the current office of the association, within the Civil Engineering branch.

The association is currently supported by the Centre Val de Loire Region, ONaCVG, SMLH 36 and other partners should join us soon (We will discuss it in more details later). This future support will allow us to install this exhibition, one week per month, in all retirement homes in the department.

Thanks to Delphine Raymond, chief of staff to the president of the departmental council for her comment: “The photos are evidence of the past; these testimonies bring our history back to life. This exhibition on military sites is the combination of all of this. A substantial and fascinating work carried out by “Les amis de La Martinerie” and presented to the residents of the Balsan nursing home in Châteauroux. The exhibition should travel across the Indre department in the coming months and stop in other retirement homes.

A great initiative 🙂 Well done to all the volunteers 👏”

La NR article dated February 21, 2024

Click on images to enlarge
Photos credit: Delphine Chevalier – Jean-Jacques Bérenguier

Assembly by our volunteers
Assembly by our volunteers
A break around a coffee offered by Fabienne
A break around a coffee offered by Fabienne
The rest of the assembly
The rest of the assembly
Authorities and residents during the inauguration
Authorities and residents during the inauguration
Madame Delphine Raymond discovers the photos of the former MCSSA
Madame Delphine Raymond discovers the photos of the former MCSSA
Monsieur Dupressoir résident et son épouse en visite
Monsieur Dupressoir résident et son épouse en visite
Exhibition dismantling
Exhibition dismantling