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Championnats du Monde 2018 à Desbiens (Canada)

Championnats du Monde 2018 à Desbiens (Canada)

credit photo: Claudio Mamino

Championnats du Monde 2016 à Antananarivo (Madagascar)

Championnats du Monde 2016 à Antananarivo (Madagascar)

crédit photo F.I.P.J.P.

Championnats du Monde 2021 à Santa Suzanna (Espagne)

Championnats du Monde 2021 à Santa Suzanna (Espagne)

credit photo Claudio Mamino

CIEP 2023

vartanA great Mister of Pétanque has left us - After a difficult childhood in Marseille, then in Alfortville, marked by the aftermath of the Armenian genocide, and brilliant engineering studies which led him to a long career in the Merchant Navy, Vartan, as everyone called him, often ignoring his family name, devoted his entire retired life to two passions: the cult of the family and Pétanque...

figuier B vartan

Of course, this brilliant inventor created, among other things, a revolutionary coupling - the VBO - which equipped hundreds of thousands of planes and high-speed trains, but his mind, always in turmoil, worked above all for Pétanque, which he practised more than assiduously, to the point of colonising both the Place des Invalides in Paris and that of Port Grimaud, where this sailing enthusiast moored his boat in front of his residence.

He was notably the first to invent "coloured bowls" by having the idea of introducing epoxy resin into the grooves of the bowls, hence the first advertising bowls with logos distributed by JB.

With Henri Salvador as standard-bearer and the Haut-Marnais metallurgist Marle - hence the acronym VMS as manufacturer - he was the creator of the Boule à Plots, which recalled the old studded boules, and then, with the same people, of the Boule Tortue.

Fascinated by both high quality and regularity - he refused to accept bowls made of what he called "donkey shoe steel" - he imagined, at the FFPJP request, an infallible tool to control the bowls: the famous "plate", a mixture of ingenuity and pragmatism.

At the same time he had launched specific bowls equipped with internal edges to limit rebounds with different superstructures according to the players' abilities, but this was still not enough to make him happy and he worked on the realisation of his dream became ultimate : that of making all competitors play with bowls identical in material, weight and diameter.

In close collaboration with the manufacturer Boulenciel, whose bowls are close to perfection in the field of balancing, the first models have just been released for testing and he proudly showed them to all his friends on Sunday mornings at the Invalides. They too will inevitably become part of the history of the evolution of Pétanque equipment.

Finally - but in reality there was never a "finally" with Mister Vartan Berberian and his departure will not be an end either! - before embarking on the writing of a book dedicated to his childhood and to the Armenian memory - Le figuier de mon père -, he was the initiator, still with Henri Salvador as his emblem, of the magnificent comic strip - by Marcel Uderzo - "Passion Pétanque" which has not yet known any equal or sequel, except for some foreign repeats.

The departure of each one is certainly inevitable but, while waiting for our own, just as inevitable, his departure will not take away the marks of humanism, simplicity, respect, comradeship and love  he left us.

Claude Azéma - FIPJP President