In October 2018 at the AVEN Conference in Montauban following many successful years leading the organisation, Jean-Luc Sans retired as AVEN President. The new AVEN President Patrick Subreville introduces himself and speaks about his vision for the future of nuclear veterans
May I introduce myself in a few words:
I am married, with three children.
My wife Marie-Hélène is the daughter of a veteran who was a French Air Force Captain who served in Algeria and French Polynesia, he died of radiation-related cancer. I am strongly motivated by the memory of my father-in-law and the need for recognition of all victims of nuclear tests.
Until March 2018 I worked with the ‘ENGIE’ electricity group as a research engineer for alternative energy (natural gas – biogases – hydrogen). I was recently honoured with the title “Chevalier de l’Ordre des Palmes académiques” (Knight for outstanding achievements in the field of education) and am also recognised as a premier craftsman in France for my work as a blacksmith.
France was determined to claim her place as a world nuclear power to maintain her international respect. This decision to develop nuclear capabilities was why a large number of servicemen and civilians have been sacrificed without the least warning about potential risks. I firmly believe it is the duty of our nation to ensure that they do not sink into oblivion, their sacrifice must be recognised.
The AVEN board of trustees met in Montauban and appointed me President of AVEN. I accepted this challenge with great pleasure and I thank all trustees for the trust and confidence they have placed in me, but I am at the same time aware of the task which faces me.
However, I know I can always rely on Jean-Luc Sans’ support as the new “Honorary President”. Jean-Luc will keep the media relations active and will assist my entry into relations with the Government and Parliament. With his support, the transition of the representation of French veterans is assured.
Jean-Luc will continue to ‘advocate’ (act as claimant representative) for the claims of veterans that appear before the Compensation Committee. Together with Ms. Cécile Labrunie (from the TESSONNIÈRE law firm) our veterans will continue to receive the best and most successful representation AVEN can provide.
I know I can also rely on cooperation from Jean-Louis Camuzat, deputy president, as well as from all the other members of the board. I intend to involve all board members in the running of AVEN by delegating assignments according to their fields of expertise. I will be the spokesperson of the Association, and I fully recognise the need to earn the support of all our members.
I will continue listening to the needs of everyone and wish to tackle all the coming issues we face:
- Official recognition
- Continued Compensation
- Welcoming international organisations
- Open dialogue with public authorities
- Awareness raising within the young generations
- Promote the duty of Remembrance
- Collaboration with OBSIVEN and develop cross-generational studies.
At our AGM meeting in Montauban, we welcomed representatives from NCCF and OBSIVEN International along with the NAAV (National Association of Atomic Veterans USA). This was a great pleasure to meet and discuss the shared issues and problems we all face. We felt we have so much in common and we are looking forward to working together on joint actions.
I hope that through OBSIVEN, AVEN can act as a partner and a federating organisation together with our friends Jeff Liddiatt and Don James from the NCCF, Nigel Heaps MBE from OBSIVEN UK and Keith Kiefer from NAAV, to pool our actions and federate other countries and overseas territories in order to achieve recognition of our situation.
President of AVEN