He died at the end of July: until the end, Francis Guillaume knew how to continue fishing, in Argentan

Francis Guillaume was an experienced fisherman. (©DR)

Francis WilliamofArgentinianin L’adornsis deceased Monday, July 25, 2022 at the age of 71.

He leaves the memory of a man who has spent a long time invested with others, both at trade union level in the company SolexMagneti Marellithat at the associative level within Argentine Gaul.

It’s a fine name Comrade, it’s a good name you know. In my beating heart, to live forever…”

On Friday, July 29, at the Argentan crematorium, it is by humming the tune of Jean Ferrat that Francis Guillaume’s friends therefore accompanied their comrade on his last journey.

Blue-white-red tribute

The septuagenarian died the Monday before, exhausted by a two-year battle against the disease, which he fought without ever complaining. Around him, a carnation in hand, his friends paid him a blue-white-red tribute.

Blue like his work coat: born in September 1950 in La Ferté-Bernard (Sarthe), the young man arrived in 1973 in Argentan, where he first found a job at the Speed ​​​​factory before joining Solex – the former name of Magneti-Marelli – the following year as trader.

This is where he spent his entire professional career, ending up as a highly skilled worker.

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Work overalls were strongly marked by the red of his union and political commitment to serving the interests of the working class.

“As early as 1974, we helped structure the CGT in Solex,” recalls Robert Gautier. “Francis was more likely to put the chains on the front doors than sign a memorandum of understanding…”, smiles his former brother-in-arms.

The Santa who amazed the children

Elected to various bodies (CHSCT, Works Council, Staff Representative), where he fought tirelessly to defend the workers, Francis Guillaume also knew how to put himself at the service… of the staff’s children, putting the costume on every Christmas tree Solex. – red – by Santa Claus.

His good nature and his impressive beard naturally did the rest, which had given him several of his many nicknames (Santa Claus, Goat…).

That he captivated generations of children! Seeing the wonder in the eyes of these dozens of children was enough to make her happy.”

Years after his retirement, his disinterested commitment to the benefit of others remained current, as evidenced by his commitment within Indecosa-CGT to defend the interests of the tenants of HLMs in the Vallée d’Auge, the neighborhood where he had always lived.

Founder of sport fishing in Argentan

Both blue and red, Francis Guillaume was also a fan of white.

If he happily liked to share a small mouthful with his friends, he loved to accompany them with “white” fish (bleaks, cockroaches, heaps).

Because the man was an experienced fisherman, equipped with a strong appetite for competition, which had led him to found in 1990 the sports fishing department of Gaul Argentanaise, supported by his faithful friend Michel Lemesnil.

A section that he will therefore have been president of for 32 years and participated in numerous competitions – he will be the title of champion of Normandy during the 1990s – but also in organizing them.

From the body of water to the French team

But what he loved above all was sharing his passion, and we saw him distill his advice to the youngest. So around Lake Argentan, he will encourage a certain Stéphane Linder to join the ranks of the local club. We won’t tell you how proud President Guillaume was when, a few years later, his former protege became French Coarse Fishing Champion and then World Champion with the French team…

On Friday, many of his fellow fishermen came to pay their last respects to Francis Guillaume, and it was only natural that his ashes were scattered not far from a river, far from the tumult of men.

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