CREATION OF THE CLUB
This supposedly obvious concept of bringing together the most beautiful bays in the world within a club on exchange, action and reflection, was born, with 3 men from Vannes in Brittany, France: Mr Michel MET, Mr Hervé LAIGO and Mr Bruno BODARD, all members of the Vannes District Tourist Office in 1996.
At the origin, it’s after meeting with Jean Manquat, an unusual character, whose custom it was to disguise himself as Asterix to amuse his contemporaries that the idea came. However, he was both an unconditional “admirer” of the Golfe du Morbihan and a great traveller. On his many journeys, he never ceased to compare the site he visited and “his” Golfe du Morbihan. One day, facing the bay of Rio, he exclaimed: “It’s beautiful, but it’s not up to the Golfe du Morbihan!”, which made the people he was speaking to suspicious.
However, a sailor came to his help and fully agreed with him, saying that there was another site in the world even more beautiful that this one, referring to Halong Bay.
Jean Manquat immediately went to Vietnam to check what this sailor had said and went into raptures before the beauty of this site.
When he got back to Vannes, he came to see the Vannes District Tourist Office to suggest that we undertake a twinning of what he considered to be the two most beautiful bays in the world, the Bay of Ha Long and the Golfe du Morbihan.
However, to the Vannes District Tourist Office members, this would not have included the Venice lagoon, “daughter” of Vannes and the Venetes people, which is also a site of outstanding beauty and universal dimension. It would have been a pity not to include it. Rather than proceeding with a twinning, whose marriage often occurs before the engagement and which we know rarely resists the passage of time, this is where the idea of setting up the foundations of an international network came from.
The Vannes District Tourist Office, was already working on networking actions and considering that it was a more effective method of “constructing” something with others, chose to follow this principle. They sent a letter to the persons in charge of site as being among a list of some beautiful bays they supposed to be.
Following the interest that his project aroused, a first meeting was arranged to set up the bases for the future association. It was held in London on Tuesday 12 November 1996. There were a great number of highly motivated people present, not to mention those who were unable to attend, so it was decided to create this club and to unite everyone for a constitutive general meeting on 10 March 1997, in Berlin. During this meeting, statutes under French law for a non-profit making type of association (Law of 1901) were approved and a first committee was elected for three years, until end 2000.