Web article courtesy of  
Version française 

The 95 years of the doyen Emile Barbaras

Emile Barbaras.(Photo DNA)

 This 4th of December is a big day at Petit Château, since Mr. Emile Barbaras, the oldest man at Petit Château and the village of Beblenheim, celebrates his 95th birthday.  He was born in Ostheim where he grew up in a family of four boys and one girl, steps from the railroad in a watch house where his father worked for the railroad. After finishing school, he had several jobs during his service in the military. He married Mina Ortlieb on April 6, 1935 in Beblenheim. They had two sons. André, who died early, left two children; Fernand settled in Beblenheim with his wife and two girls. Four young children are the great joy of this grandfather and he speaks of them with pride and tenderness. He also recalls the sad period of World War II where he fought at Rethel in the Ardennes and was taken prisoner. In the American camp, he saw his comrades fall and be hastily buried.  He spent his long professional career at Fromageries Rentz where he worked for 34 years. In 1966, while he was the foreman, he was awarded the certificate and vermeil medal of service for his thirty years of employment. He was a long time regular -veteran it is said- of the Sonnenglanz club of which he was president before being named honorary president. With his wife, he returned to the Petit Château where they spent several years together, but Mrs. Barbaras passed away in September 2000. His daily existence was thus forever changed and, bit by bit, difficulties began to appear. Television and radio are his companions, he is said to follow all the matches of RC Strasbourg. As is the custom at the Petit Château, Mr. Barbaras will select the menu for his birthday.  DNA joins with everyone in sending our best wishes and we wish him many more beautiful years and good health.

© Dernières Nouvelles d'Alsace, Mercredi 4 Décembre 2002.