Saturday, July 31, 2010

More One-Off's at South Pacific Berets

More berets are available in the One Off Only section of South Pacific Berets.
Vintage French Basque berets with peak from the 1950's, berets made on special order by the Royal Police of Oman and the Egyptian Navy, Brown berets, Extra-Lite tropical berets and berets made in Australia and New Zealand.
Have a look here.
Since there is only one of each in stock, be quick if there is anything to your liking.

Vintage Posters of Basque Sports

A beautiful collection of posters depicting pelote; artists and years of publication unknown. 

And not a single player without a beret, of course!

Friday, July 30, 2010

Gauloises in Britain

This is not the vision of the French by the British, but the French vision of how the British see, or rather should see the French! The game of stereotypes is always a game of mirrors ... 
Poster for Gauloises cigarettes for the English market in the early 1970s.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

One Offs at South Pacific Berets

Sometimes, at South Pacific Berets, we have only one or two of a specific beret in store; show models, special orders, berets made for a special occasion (festivals, games, etc), try-outs, extra-ordinary sizes... 

All these One Off Berets are listed on this page - when sold, there is generally no more. Take your pick for something special!

"Jeunesse au Plein Air"

The J.P.A. was founded in 1938 on the initiative of Georges Lapierre, deputy general secretary of National Union of Teachers. 
Several organizations from unions and lay movements joined the J.P.A., including the French League for Education, the Federation of Pupils of Public Education and the General Confederation of Labour.
From 1939, fund raising is organized in the form of sale of stamps and cards. The first stamps were designed by Francisco Poulbot.
The FNOLVEA is temporarily dissolved during the occupation and the Vichy regime. It was revived in 1945. The campaign to sell stamps is relaunched in 1947 under the name Jeunesse au Plein Air.
Look at these beautiful posters from an era when French children were permanently wearing the beret!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Allow me to introduce my friend (and youngest customer) Mattia, from Italy. 
Here Mattia shows his new Australian made Christies beret. According to his dad Francesco, Mattia is a very lively 5 year old mischievous boy who is good at combining more than one prank or trouble at home, but at the same time shows a deep affection for colour and, like his artist father, loves to paint.
Keep wearing your beret, Mattia! I'll ensure you'll get a few berets to choose from (one is never too young to start collecting berets...).

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Sanaa Mehaidley

I can just repeat my opening of my post of the 23rd of July; "The hero for one is the terrorist for..." etc. And again, who am I to judge.

I was brought up with the holocaust very present in my life and learned at an early age about antisemitism and where racism (and stupidity) can lead to. It was (an understandable) one-sided perspective and when I visited the 'British Prison' in Jerusalem (a museum, now), it was an eyeopener to find that Jewish settlers before and after 1948 used the same tactics that I so despises in the Palestinian terror groups.
And from there, having worked in medical aid in a good number of war zones over the years, my beliefs in "good" and "right", "heroes" and "bad guys" fell further and further apart.

O well, a long introduction for Sanaa Mehaidley - a hero to many, a terrorist to many... Look here or here for the background and attempt to make up your mind. 

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Bosnian Series #5 - Muezzin Haghi Abdul Gani Hosi

Sarajevo muezzin Haghi Abdul Gani Hosi , 73 years old in 1997; considered one of the greatest muezzins by many Bosnians, can be seen and heard here.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Happy Birthday Emile!

Sunday is the day-off for The Beret Project, but how can I let the birthday of my beloved brother Emile go by without a small post on this blog..?
Congratulations, Bro - and may you have many more happy years in good health and happiness under your beret!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

More from Bosnia (or "The Bosnian Series #4")

I am always delighted when I find beret-related stories, photographs, anecdotes or other information from Bosnia (see previous posts, here, here and here). The pictures and -little- information below, I found on this blog.
Sulejman in front of his beloved mosque
Eighty-two year old Sulejman is the muezzin of a small village in Bosnia and like many Bosnian Muslims, a faithful wearer of Basque berets.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Carlos The Jackal a.k.a. Ilich Ramirez Sanchez

The hero for one is the terrorist for the other and who am I to deny Carlos the Jackal his place on The Beret Project?
Ilich Ramírez Sánchez (born October 12, 1949) is a Venezuelan convicted in France. After several bungled bombings, he achieved notoriety for a 1975 raid on the OPEC headquarters in Vienna, resulting in the deaths of three people. For many years he was among the most wanted international fugitives. He is now serving a life sentence in La Santé Prison in Paris for the murder of two French agents of the DST (counter-intelligence) and an alleged informant.
Ramírez Sánchez was given the nom de guerre Carlos, when he became a member of the leftist Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). Carlos was called The Jackal by The Guardian when Frederick Forsyth's novel The Day of the Jackal was reportedly found among his belongings.
The new film 'Carlos' is now showing on the Wellington Film Festival.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Portuguese Border Jumpers

The poor economic and social conditions in Portugal for 60 years (poverty, Colonial War, subsistence farming), led to the emigration (often illegal) of more than 60 percent of the population of the county of Sambucus. 
Smugglers Ti John Rite of Soito with the Basque beret on his head, and Joao Pereira (in Soito known as John Russo)
They called it "over the border jumping", ie without a passport (incidentally, issue of passports was practically always rejected by the regime to almost all workers who applied for one).
There were the '
Indians' and the 'smugglers'. The 'Indians' were those who tried to emigrate and the 'smugglers' the Portuguese or Spanish locals who helped them across the border, in return for a fee.

When someone was caught he had committed the crime of illegal immigration. In the photograph we see a group of emigrants, from Soito who wished to emigrate to France in the early '60s.
Persecuted by the Guardia Civil in Spain, arrested and taken to prison, where a police officer took this picture (later offered to one of the emigrants).
Those with the beret are the '
smugglers', Spanish, in this case. The rest are all from Soito.
This time their attempts failed. All of them tried again and succeeded. 

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Historic Frisian Pictures of Berets

On a Dutch Frisian web site I found this beautiful collection of historic photographs of Lemmer, a fishing town in the South West of Friesland. Many of the menfolk wear berets, or alpino's, as they are generally called in Dutch (and smaller in diameter than it's Spanish counterpart).

Unfortunately, not much for explanations with the pictures, you need to use your own imagination. 

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

British beret @ £639.-

From the Go-British web site:

"This stunning beret will ensure you are the talk of the town! Victoria Grant has created this piece exclusively for us. You can be sure no one else will have it.

Inspired by Britain’s rich Royal heritage and London’s rock and roll culture this is a masterpiece from hand-blocked fur felt, traditional millinery Petersham, and crystal chain.

It has been masterfully finished off with a miniature Swarowvki crystal crown at its centre, and has a hidden crystal veil attached to the inside of the beret for the wearer to choose whether to wear it as-is, or to add a touch of demure coquettishness to ones ensemble.

This beret can be worn just as easily with something sophisticated as it is to be styled in a more offbeat way with casual wear.

Material: Felt and Swarovski Crystals"