Fighter, essayist, veteran of French television, André Célarié, out of the ranks, will no longer regale us with the friendly banter with which he knew how to tell many stories nourished by the experiences of an extraordinary journey. At 99, he dropped the pen on September 28 in the Crozon peninsula where, after a career as a radio and television man, he had taken up residence with his wife Martine. It is there, in the hamlet of Montourgard (Finistère), that he never stopped producing his news until the end in front of his fireplace.
He who had known the last fights of the Liberation in Alsace, learns the trade of the radio in the occupying forces in Germany and Austria. Wounded in the battle of Masevaux in November 1944, he joined his battalion sent to the small Austrian town of Dornbirn, south of Lake Constance. He seized his chance by volunteering to join the radio occupation forces that were being set up. Nothing predisposed him to that.
Born in Paris on September 15, 1922, he did not have an easy childhood. His mother, originally from Illifaut, in Côtes-d’Armor, not far from the Brocéliande forest, had to leave very young to find work in the capital. She met her husband there but raised her two sons on her own. At the age of 15, on the eve of the Second World War, André, out of school, multiplied odd jobs to help his mother. Too young to be mobilized in 1939, he was incorporated into the armistice army in Loches (Indre-et-Loire) and ended up in a forestry work camp in Brittany. He manages to return to Paris, where he escapes the compulsory labor service, and manages to find a place in a factory in the suburbs. At the Liberation of Paris, he enlisted in the battalion formed at the Lycée Janson-de-Sailly, near his mother’s home, to join the 1D army.
Peace led him to try his luck at Radio Maroc, before independence. He was very proud to have met Edith Piaf there. Returning from Rabat to Paris in 1955, he met his wife there, from a very different background. For several years, the couple increased their stays in African countries, in the midst of decolonization. André Célarié has a series of cooperation contracts there. It is there, in Senegal, that their eldest daughter, Clémentine, will be born, followed by two sons.
The period is rich in events, André is everywhere, crosses paths with a lot of people. The self-taught person is encouraged, because of his activity, to integrate a course at the School of Higher Studies in Social Sciences, from which he will graduate. Back in France, he joined the ORTF, where his career led him to become regional director of the third channel in Lille and Lyon, then editor-in-chief at TF1 from 1979 to 1980.
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