Oh what a beautiful day! This is what all those who attended the tribute paid this Saturday in Ibos to Roland Bertranne must have said to themselves, by christening the rugby stadium with his name. The association Les Amis de Roland, in partnership with the municipality, organized the day in a remarkable way. Each of the moments had been meticulously prepared.
Everything about this day was imbued with respect, admiration, generosity towards Roland Bertranne, “exceptional rugby player and sporting partner” as Sylvain Pebay, the association’s president, pointed out in his speech. Denis Fégné, the mayor, also drew a glowing portrait of the player and insisted on the values of the rugby spirit. Values that we still find today. If the rules have changed, the physical requirements have evolved, respect, sharing, solidarity, admiration are still there.
Roland Bertranne in turn wanted to thank the organizers and the participants for all the marks of affection towards him and especially his family for their permanent and unfailing support.
After the speeches, a meal brought together many personalities from the world of rugby, but also Iboscéens from the local club. This moment served as the setting for several very moving tributes, in particular the film concocted by Davina, Roland Bertranne’s daughter, who retraced her life as an athlete on the field and behind the scenes, with the meeting in her youth with his wife, also present on this day. Franck, Davina’s brother chose the microphone to express to his father all his love, his pride, his recognition. The whole room was like him moved to tears. The applause rang out for a long time in the Pierre Comet room.
Then, some of his international friends told a few anecdotes that made people laugh or smile. Like that, told by Francis Pagès, junior in Ibos with Roland, Sylvain and the others…, of their Easter float which served as a means of transport for them to go dancing in Bordères and overturned near the Bois du Commandeur not resisting not to the “sporty” driving of the tractor by Roland (but not hurting anyone). All the players have very kindly lent themselves to the game of selfies requested by the participants in the meal…
At the stadium, the crowd waited for the moment of the planned tribute. Between admirers, journalists and the public, it was difficult for Roland Bertranne to reach the right place. It was in the company of Léo, his grandson, Denis Fégné, the mayor and Jean Trille, deputy mayor for associations, that he unveiled the plaque produced voluntarily by Allen Tani, head of the Etri company.
The teams from Bagnères and Lannemezan faced each other in a friendly way on the Iboscéenne lawn, a festive evening closed the day, mixing the inhabitants, the players, leaders, locals and internationals.
Sylvain Pebay, very moved by all the compliments for this impeccable organization, said he was “happy that Roland Bertranne was the center of the day, in continuity with his magnificent place as an extraordinary 3/4 center on all grounds”. He wanted to thank Roland’s family, all the members of the Les Amis de Roland association, the municipality, the JSI Rugby, the partners, the people who responded, concluding with a majestic: “Roland, thank you for your talent, your discretion, your kindness, your humility, thank you for everything”.