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International Obituary - Joseph M Girard

Paris (France), January 31, 2023

Grand Argentier from 2003-2019
" Joe passed away peacefully at home "

It is with much sadness that I announce the passing of my good friend, our former Grand Argentier.

A lawyer by profession, Joe Girard was admitted to the State Bar of California in 1955. He joined the Chaîne as a Chevalier member in the USA in 1981, rose to become Chancelier and then served a term as Bailli Délégué from 1993-1996, during which he was a Member of the Conseil d’Administration for the first time, including a spell as International Vice-President.

In 2000, when Yam Atallah became President, Joe was elected once more to the Conseil d’Administration and was appointed Grand Argentier in 2003. A most important post which he held until standing down in 2019.

The title of Grand Argentier is bestowed upon the member carrying out the role of Treasurer to further the ideal of linking the present-day Chaîne to the Guild of Rôtisseurs of the Middle Ages. Dating from the 13th century the term ‘Grand Argentier’, taken from the Latin argentarius, had the sense of the modern day ‘banker’ or ‘funds manager’.

Colbert, the Grand Argentier (Finance Minister) to Louis XIV, King of France, is quoted as saying ‘Sire, faites-moi de bonnes politiques, je vous ferai de bonnes finances’ = Sire, give me a good political situation and I will give you a good financial one.

Thus, it was that President Yam Atallah and his Board made a good ‘political’ situation and were able to draw on Joe’s extensive legal and administrative background for the astute management of the Chaîne’s finances.

On standing down as Grand Argentier, Joe was appointed a Member of the Conseil d’Honneur - the Chaîne’s prestigious body for members granted the distinction because of an important service they have rendered.

Joe passed away peacefully at home. He was a few days into his 94th year.

Marie Jones
International Vice-President

Caption: Joe is pictured with his wife Peggy at a Chaîne event in February 2007

Paris, June 11, 2022

Presenting new members of the Conseils

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