City’s Glenn Flanagan receives highest French honour

2011-06-07 00:00

CITY resident and top tour guide, Glenn Flanagan has been awarded France’s highest decoration, the Legion d’Honneur, it was announced at the weekend.

The award is in recognition of Flanagan’s promotion of the many South African/French connections via such cultural tourism development initiatives as the “French Presence in KwaZulu-Natal” and “La Route de Prince Imperial Louis Napoleon”.

“The full impact hasn’t hit me yet,” Flanagan said. “I’m overwhelmed, honoured and humbled by the recognition of a lifelong passion that I have tried to apply as well as I could for everyone’s benefit.”

The award was announced at a function in Dundee on Saturday night by Guy de la Chevalerie, Counsellor, Head of Cooperation from the French Embassy in Pretoria. Earlier in the day a wreath had been laid at the site of the death of Prince Imperial Louis Napoleon, near Vryheid, on June 1, 1879 during the Anglo-Zulu War.

The Legion d’Honneur was instituted by Napoleon Bonaparte, First Consul of the First Republic of France in 1802 and the roster of recipients feature leading figures in international political and cultural life.

Flanagan joins Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Nobel-prize winning novelist Nadine Gordimer as the third South Africa recipient of the award.

Other living holders of the award include Clint Eastwood, Richard Attenborough, Celine Dion and Martin Scorcese.

Flanagan was earlier honoured with the equivalent of a French knighthood, the Chevalier de L’Ordre National du Mérite.

She is also a Fellow of the International Napoleonic Society, and has received medals from the Institut des Hautes Études de la Défense Nationale as well as from the Collège de L’Enseignement Supérieur de l’Armée de Terre. Last year she was a Shoprite Woman of the Year nominee.

Flanagan will be presented with the Legion d’Honneur at a function in Pretoria. The date has yet to be announced.

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