Image --> BOWC members pictured in Sud Ouest in 1956
The Club was created in 1951 by American military wives living in southwest France. At that time it was called the Bordeaux Officers’ Wives’ Club. In the 1950s there were some 20 American military camps in southwest France, where around 60,000 US personnel were stationed.
The main goal of the club was to seek a way to welcome new arrivals to France, by providing recreation and entertainment and promoting social development. With the encouragement of the American and French governments, the club evolved and soon aimed to encourage contact and friendships between American and French women.
When the US troops left France in the late 1960s, the club was renamed the American Women’s Club. It soon began welcoming English-speaking women of all nationalities, and the name was changed again to Bordeaux Women’s Club (BWC) to reflect the increasing international membership. During the 1970s and 1980s, several large US companies such as IBM, Esso and Ford established subsidiaries in the Bordeaux area where American engineers or technicians were employed. Their wives were happy to join the BWC to meet other English speaking women. At that time, international phone calls were expensive and the Internet was unheard of, so it was difficult to maintain regular communication with their families and the BWC provided the means to have regular contact with English speakers.
In 1984, the BWC became an official association, recognised by the French government. Today, the membership is comprised of a dynamic mix of English-speaking women from more than 20 countries. Our aim is to help women in the international English-speaking community meet one another, to appreciate and adapt comfortably into French and bordelaises life and culture, and to foster cross-cultural ties. It is the wealth and variety of our individual experiences that we share as women, as fellow members, and even as world citizens, that makes the BWC such an engaging and special group.
Image --> Sud Ouest JM Silva 10-2020.
Sud Ouest, July 1, 2023
The Bordeaux Women's Club is an Association Loi 1901 organisation. Bordeaux France © 2021. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED