Francis Le Brocq, Homestead.
Jersey Evening Post, Friday 8th December 1905
Banquet and Presentation to Mr. Frs. Le Brocq, Cattle Exporter. 30.000
head of cattle exported in 35 years.
La Priethe du Fermi.
Lànnaie tchi vain, la v`chin pourtant tout près, Né
s`passe pas jéspèthe gu` Frank Le Bro`ne vainne nos vaie.
Some months since a number of representative Jersey farmers met together
and decided to start a testimonial in favour of Mr. Frs Le Brocq, the well-known
cattle exporter, as a slight recognition of the services he has rendered
to the local farming community by purchasing thousands of our well-known
breed of cows for exportation. The idea met with acceptance, and eventually
the testimonial became an insulair affair, the following representative
committee and collectors bringing the matter to a successful issue:-
Committee -Messrs. H.P. d`Auvergne (Chairman), A.P. Le Rossignol (VIce-Chairman),
Josué Dorey (Treasurer), John Le C. Arthur (Secretary).
Collectors. - St. Brelade: Messrs. J.P. Fiott, J.H. Boutillier and
John Le Brocq; St. CLemens: Messrs, John Pallot, F. Le Lievre, P. J. Le
Masurier and P. Billot; Grouville: Messrs P.W. Falle and C.W. Holt; St.
Helier: Messrs. H.E. Pinel and P.C. Mourant; St. John: Messrs J.G. Le Couteur
and J.J. Renouf; St. Lawrence: Messrs N. Cabot and F.D. Helleur; St. Mary:
Messrs J.S. Arthur and W. ALexandre; St. Martin: Messrs Chas. Perchard
and Thomas Renouf; St. Quen: Messrs F. Le Brocq, J.P. Le Feuvre, J.J. Le
Masurier, Ed Vautier, P. E. Bowditch and J.F. Vibert; St. Peter: Messrs
W.P. Amy and G.W. De Carteret; St. Saviour: Messrs J.H. Rive and G. W.
Marett; Trinity: Messrs John Godeaux and J.F.A. Gibaut.
About 115 farmer friends etc. assembled last evening around the festive
board at the Hotel de L`Europe to do honour to Mr. Le Brocq, the guest
of the evening. The chair was taken by Mr. A.P. Le Rossignol, Vice-Chairman
of the COmmittee, who officiated in the unavoidable absence of Mr. H.P.
D`Auvergne, the chairman of the Committee. Sir William H.V. Vernon (Bailiff)
who made the presentation, sat on the Chairman's left, and Mr. F. Le Brocq
on the right. Mr. J. Le C. Arthur (Secretary) and Mr. Josué DOrey
(treasurer) were in the vice-chairs, and others present included Messrs
Chas. Mauger, Ph. Bailhache, Chas Perchard, J.A. Perrée, F.P. Hacquoil,
W. ALexandre, jun., Ph. Le Brocq (St. Quen`s), A. Le Sueur, Advocate Giffard,
J.W: Labey, J.G. Romeril, W.J. Mallet, F.O. D`Auvergne, Nicholas Cabot,
G.W. De Carteret, Captain F.J. Renouf, Messrs. C.T. Maine and J.F. Belford.
Specially attractive menu cards were printed for the occasion, the
front cover hearing an excellent photograph of Mr. Le Brocq, while on the
back cover figured either a coloured Jersey rural scene with Jersey cattle
in the foreground, or the picture of a typical Jersey bull.
The Dinner was excellently served by Mons. Tremel, the following being
May good digestion wait on appetite,
And health on both.
Halibut,, Sce. St. Pierraise.
Pommes à l`Anglaise.
Civet de Lièvre, Blanche Banques,
Côtes de Bæuf au "Golden Lad,"
Choaxfleurs, Sce. Fermiére.
Poulets de Grains au Cresson.
Salade de Saison.
Fruits et Desserts.
Covers having been removed.
The Chairman rose at 9.15 and in succession, the usual loyal toasts
of "The King," "The Queen and Royal Family" were proposed.
Sir William H.V. Vernon, rising a few moments later, said he could
have wished that Mr. H. P. D`Auvergne, the Chairman of the Committee, had
been present, and could have had the delightful function of making the
presentation. Next to his regreat at Mr. D`Auvergne`s absence, he wished
to express the pride and delight it gave him to make the presentation to
his old friend -their guest. Mr. Le Brocq was one of his closest neighbours
and one of his oldest friends. 30 years since, when he (the speaker) was
placed at a young age in the position of municipal chief of St. Peter`s,
Mr. Le Brocq was his senior Centenier and Chief of Police, but he was more,
he was his friend. Mr. Le Brocq`s extensive local knowledge had helped
him (the speaker) to win the regard of his fellow-parishioners, and had
more effectually enabled him to do his duty to the island. He wished to
express the gratitude of the committee at the numbers who had responded
to the invitation to be present that evening. Their numbers almost made
the place too small. Some might ask why such a presentation was being made
in particular to Mr. Le Brocq. The answer was, however, very obvious and
simple. He might say that it was quite customary for farmers to testify
their feelings of gratitude and esteem to those in Mr. Le Brocq`s position.
He thought he was correct in saying that the cattle export trade of Jersey
was about a century old, and a handsome testimonial was given to Mr. Simon,
one of pioneers of the trade. Then some years after, there was a similar
testimonial to Mr. Le Bas, and later to Mr. Fowler. What had their guest
that evening done for the Jersey farmer, while at the same time making
in the business of his life? For five and thirty years, year in, year out,
Mr. Le Brocq had exported no less than 800 head of cattle per annum, and
some years the number have reached 1.200 to 1.300. If they took the average,
they would arrive at the grand total of 30.000 head of cattle exported
by Mr. Le Brocq to the advantage of local breeders. (Applause). If this
was not sufficient reason for showing their gratitude, he did not know
what would be. Apart from this, there was further the feeling of
esteem they felt towards one who had unsparingly sacrificed time for the
public welfare. ALthough having family cares, and being at the head of
a business, Mr. Le Brocq had performed gratuitous public duties. It might
be thought proper in some quarters and in the name of progress to poke
fun at honorary positions, but he had seen his friend working ad an honorary
policeman, and much of the work could be far better done by, an honorary
official than by a paid hireling. Then, finally, they liked Mr. Le Brocq,
and to some this might seem a woman`s reason, but it was unanswerable
- they liked him. The speaker, who had been speaking in ENglish, here reverted
to the official language, and said that all present were Jersais, and he
wished for a moment to use the language of the "pays". Then addressing
Mr. Le Brocq, Sir William asked to be permitted, on behalf of the subscribers,
to read the terms of the address, which, together with a purse, he had
been asked to present. The address was as follows:
A Monsieur Frs. Le Brocq, Exportateur du betail Jersias.
A une réunion d`un certain nombre d`agriculteurs tenu le 29
Juillet dernier, il fut décide à l`unanimité de vous
présenter un témoignage dèstime et à cet effet
un Comité fut nommé pour recueillir des souscriptions. Or,
aujourd`hui, nous avons le plaisir de vous offrir cette adresse et cette
bourse que nous espérons vous nous ferez l`honneur d`accepter comme
une faible expression de la reconnaissance des souscripteurs.
Pendant les trente-cinq années que vous vous êtes intéressé
dans commerce de l`exportation vous n`avez cessé de vous inquiéter
du bien-être du fermier, de l`avancement de l`agriculture insulaire
et de la prospérité de l`île en général.
Agissant avec droiture et probité dans toutes vos transactions avec
ceux qui out eu des relations commerciales avec vous, vous vous êtes
fait estimer des agriculteurs en général et ils ont cru bon
de vous donner cette preuve tangible de leur affection et de leur reconnaissance.
Sans doute, de tout temps, le fermier Jersias a escompté le
produit de la vente de ses bestiaux pour faire face à son budget
annual; mais c`est grâce à vous que, le vendeur étant
tout trouvé, l`acheteur, a été mis en communication
avec ce durnier, au plus grand profit de l`un et de l`autre. Vous avez
été depuis de longues années le trait d`union avec
l`étranger désireux d`acheter de beaux spécimens de
notre race bosine si c'lèbre -et à juste titre -et l`agriculteur
Jersiais. Sans vous, ces relations dont l`importance grandit tous les ans
n`auraient pu s`etablir et une somme considérable d`argent aurait
été perdue pour L`île.
En vous souhaitant, ainsi qu`a Madame Le Brocq, votre digne épouse,
et à votre nombreuse famille, de longues années de bonheur
et de prospérité.
Vos tout dévoués,
H.P. d`Auvergne, President du Comité
A.P. Le Rossignol, VIce-President
Josue Dorey, Trésorier.
John Le C. Arthur, Secrétaire.
Jersey, Ce 7e jour de Décembre, 1905.
The address, together with the signatures of the subscribers,
was enclosed in an album, the cover of which bore the recipient`s monogram.
The address was headed by a vignette of "The Homestead", Mr. Le Brocq`s
residence, and the recipent`s portrait appeared on the succeeding page.
The address was handsomely illuminated, and appended thereto were the signatures
of the 800 subscribers, which, said Sir William, the recipient could read
at his leisure, as the night would be too short were he to attempt to read
the names. The company sang "For he`s a jolly good fellow," and followed
this up with hearty cheers.
Mr. Frs. Le Brocq, in thanking the donors, said he found himself in
much the same position as he did several years back when at a show in England.
He was requested to see the secretary, and duly presenting himself, he
was calmly informed that he was requested to be there at three o`clock
to meet Her Majesty the Queen. He found himself near the Grand Stand at
the appointed hour, and the Queen arrived with her suite to view the exhibits.
He got nervous, nervous because of their generosity. He well remembered
the day when Mr. Simon came to him and told him that he was the man to
replace him in the cattle trade. In the early days they had not the same
advantages as they had now. There were no special boats, and it was quite
a usual thing to leave home three mornings following at 3 or 4 a.m. He
had often been called up at 2 and 3 a.m. to attend to his business. Now
they did not ship cattle until 6 a.m. He could say that he had always been
honest in his dealings with farmers. Sometimes a farmer said his cow was
worth so much, and he felt he could not give the price, so he always told
the farmer not to send it away if he thought it was worth more than was
offered. The great majority were most amiable, and always ready to extend
the hand of fellowship, and fix on a price. He was sure his family would
prize the testimonial, and he hoped that whoever of his children succeeded
him in business that they would, also do their duty by the farmers. Provided
the merchant secured his commission, this should be sufficient, and he
ought to give the full price. Last year he met in Jersey a gentleman from
America, who said he had come over to buy cattle, and that he had been
referred to a certain person as one who would not take him in. He need
scarcely say how flattered he felt to hear these remarks. After again thanking
the subscribers, Mr. Le Brocq referred to his long friendship with Sir
WIlliam Vernon, who, he said, had got on too quick for them (Laughter).
What Sir William was as a young man, so was he to-day. (Applause) He wanted
to learn and know everything in connection with the Island, and went everywhere
with the honorary police, even to visiting publichouses. (Laughter) Continuing.
Mr. Le Brocq said that if spared he would continue, if he could, to do
good to the Jersey farmer. He might say that the supply was likely to be
too small for the demand and farmers should receive £2 to £3
per head more for their cattle in the near future. Even now he could not
fulfill all orders. He trusted that if he was able to do good, he wood
continue to do so (Applause).
The Chairman said the next toast was on which was always well received,
and never with more enthusiasm than by a company of farmers. It was a long
time since he had seen such an assembly of Jersey farmers. It would be
presumtuous of him to praise or flatter Sir Wm. Vernon. They were
all familiar with him, and tonight greeted him as a fellow farmer. During
the past few years Sir WIlliam had associated himself with farming, and
was now a most successful one. He did not quite agree with a speaker at
a recent dinner, who said that Sir WIlliam was the only farmer who was
making money. Farmers worked under such different circumstances. Many who
had early land easily made money, but Sir William possessed land which
was neither early nor late. The fact was that he farmed on right principles,
and he (the speaker) had had the pleasure of visiting Sir WIlliam`s farm.
Personally, he was not a practical farmer, although he had dabbled in farming
for some years, but Sir WIlliam had sprung from a lawyer to a practical
farmer. He (the speaker) had seen potatoes being dug on Sir William`s farm
in the early part of May, where the yield was five to six cabots a perch,
and this is an open field in the middle of St. Peter`s, was exceptional.
He also witnessed experiments being made with various grasses for hay,
and was told that a heavy crop depended on the selection of clover seed.
He would again urge all farmers not to put all their eggs in one basket.
In conclusion, he wished to say that when they met and decided to ask Sir
William to make the presentation they visited him at his chambers, and
he at once said "Yes", and that he would make the presentation with pleasure.
Sir William was always ready to identify himself with anything affecting
the welfare of the farmer, and they could not do better than drink his
very good health. The Committee wished to convey their very best thanks
to Sir William for having made the presentation.
The toast was accorded musical honours and three times three.
Sir William H.V. Vernon, in reply, thanked all present for the kind
manner in which they had been pleased to drink his health, and he fully
appreciated the kindness of his countrymen. He felt that he could never
do enough for the Island, and for his fellow Jerseymen for the kindness
he had received for so many years from one and all. He felt as a friend
among friends, and hoped this feeling would ever endure. Continuing, Sir
William said that in his case there had not, as suggested, been an evolution
from the lawyer to the land. He had merely reverted to the land, for in
his youth he was intended for a grazier. His earliest impressions were
of Shorthorns on his uncle`s farm, but he had been promoted by the circumstances
of Providence to Jerseys. He could never describe the surprise he caused
when as a young man of 19 he returned to Derbyshire, and informed his relatives
that he intended settling in the land of his birth, that he was going to
join the local Bar; and intended to take up the land he inherited from
his grandmother. He informed his friends that farming in Jersey was not
merely looking at the land from 10 to 4 o`clock; that there was no hunting
two days a week, and no leaving the land fallow every third year. When
he told them that the land was always under cultivation and bore two crops
a year, they must have thought that he had gone across St. George`s Channel
and kissed the Blarney Stone. He made such statements after a small show
in the district, and afterwards, man after man came up to him and said:
"Are you sure, Sir?" He had always longed for the day when he could go
back to the land. The best thing for the nation would be to do what the
newspapers have so persistently preached, but he feared in vain -go back
to the land. Jerseymen were brought up, to love the land they worked,
and their lives were composed of hard work, frequent losses and small profits,
and through it all they kept a cheerful countenance. He rejoiced that in
Jersey they had stuck to the land, and the man who belonged to the land,
was the man who politically in the long run was the backbone of a country.
The more man went away from the land the more he would and must decay.
Pent up in towns he must deteriorate physically and morally. On the whole,
the Jersey farmer was fairly prosperous. The holdigns were small and there
was no concentration of wealth so that in a small way there was much of
real prosperity, and much of real independence. The owner of the land felt
the pride of possession, and many presnet had no conception how much better
off they were here than in ENgland, where farmers had only a copyhold tenure,
and where legislation had to be continually invoked to secure improvement.
The land here belonged to the Jersey farmer, who hoped to transmit it to
his descendants. They held an enormous privilege over farmers ind England,
who were only tenants.
Mr. J.A. Perrée :The breeders of the island could also pay Mr.
Le Brocq a tribute, as, being a successful breeder, for he had shown them
the value of the Jersey cow as a dairy animal. Years back Mr. Le. Brocq
had the pluck and determination to purchase the bull Wolseley for £100,
which was then considered a high figure. Then he bough Golden Lad and took
it to the west of the island for the benefit of the later stock. He contended
that the stock of the island had improved by some thousands of pounds through
the energy of Mr. Le Brocq. He had also been the means of impreasing the
value of the stock of his fellowbreeders.
Mr. A.P. Le Rossignol, in reply thanked the Jersey farmer for responding
so well to the appeal of the Committee. As there were so many members on
the Committee he would depute Mr. G.W. De Carteret to be respond.
Mr. Josué Dorey, the Treasurer, responded in French, a language
with which he said he was, as a son of the soil, more familar. He had done
his best, and there was no need to eulogise him, and he could only have
wished that considerably more money might have passed through his hands,
for Mr. Le Brocq deserved all they could do to him. His experience led
him to say that Mr. Le Brocq was the only living man who had done his best
for the agriculture of the island. They might sometimes have had a thousand
head of cattle too many in the island, and these only fit for the butcher,
but, thanks to their Danish friends, they now despatched large numbers
to Denmark every year, through the agency of Mr. Le Brocq. There were about
1.200 head of cattle on the island, and averaging these at £4 per
head, made a total value of £48.000. The speaker concluded by referring
in an amusing manner to the different value placed upon our cattle by English
and American buyers.
Mr. J. Le C. Arthur, Secretary also replied, and said he was extremely
gratified with the result of their work. Mr. Le Brocq had done a great
deal for the Jersey farmer, and he trusted that the "Prièthe du
Fermi" would be fully realised for many years to come.
Mr. G.W. De Carteret replying on behalf of the Committee, said he saw
many Englishmen present, and he doubted not that they would prefer
to hear his bad English rather than the best French spoken that evening.
Mr. De Carteret referred at some length to the many kindly services rendered
by Mr. Le Brocq both to himself and to many Jersey farmers, these acts
of kindness ...................................