Bon­jour, new Aussie

Port Douglas & Mossman Gazette - - NEWS -

AR­MAND Bou­vier only in­tended to spend a year in Aus­tralia when he ar­rived in Perth in 2007.

Last week at a cer­e­mony in Cairns, he be­came an Aus­tralian cit­i­zen, with the right to for­get the words to the sec­ond verse of the na­tional an­them and scream “Aussie, Aussie, Aussie” in a French ac­cent.

A na­tive of France’s sec­ond-largest city Lyons, Mr Bou­vier spent six months in the world’s most iso­lated cap­i­tal city be­fore hit­ting the road.

Af­ter four months do­ing the south-east Aus­tralia crawl, he landed in Port Dou­glas and re­alised he had ar­rived in par­adise.

Mr Bou­vier said be­com­ing an Aussie was “a big achieve­ment” but he had been in Aus­tralia for so long now he felt more like a Port Dou­glas lo­cal these days than a tourist.

“I love the Aus­tralian cul­ture,” Mr Bou­vier said. “It’s a real melt­ing-pot. “Peo­ple from ev­ery­where bring the best of their home coun­try.”

Al­though he in­tends to travel more around Aus­tralia, Mr Bou­vier said he wanted to re­turn to Port Dou­glas.

“Peo­ple are very wel­com­ing,” he said. “You learn to re­lax very quickly.

“I like the fact that ev­ery­one knows each other, and just about ev­ery­one’s happy to be here, in­clud­ing the tourists.”

Af­ter sev­eral years man­ag­ing a lo­cal restau­rant, Mr Bou­vier is leav­ing to spend six months in Mel­bourne.

“When you live in par­adise, you can for­get how beau­ti­ful it is,” he said.

How­ever, Mr Bou­vier ad­mit­ted there was one el­e­ment of Aus­tralian cul­ture his palate sim­ply couldn’t get used to.

“I still can’t eat Vegemite,” he said.

Photo by NEIL WEAVERS

Aussie, Aussie, Aussie: new cit­i­zen Ar­mand Bou­vier

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