Martine and Patrick Morel

Organisers of the staff "Fun Day"

Fun and games have been a big part of our lives at the ESRF for the last 25 years. On top of our regular jobs as secretary at the works committee and technician in the technical infrastructure, we organise the gigantic barbecue and party for staff and families at the beginning of the summer: the Fun Day. We’ve become quite expert in event organisation over the years, dealing with the authorities to install big tents and bouncy castles, getting all the safety arrangements in place and organising the food, drinks and fairground entertainment for 500 people. One of the challenges is to maintain the most popular activities year after year and to introduce a certain amount of surprise or novel attractions. The Fun Day is a pillar of ESRF social culture. In the 80s, most staff members were young and single so the day revolved around an inter-division football tournament, fuelling friendly rivalry between teams. As time went on, staff started to bring their partners, then the children started to arrive and we adapted the day to them. Our priority shifted to making it an unforgettable and magical day for the children, and a relaxing day for the parents. It’s always been a great event to organise, from the comradery among volunteers to meeting the children of colleagues and seeing them grow up. Some of them come to the ESRF as teenagers for summer jobs and they still remember us and have fond memories of the Fun Day." 

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