Thursday, May 31, 2018

The Damned

The Damned are an English rock band formed in London in 1976 by lead vocalist Dave Vanian, guitarist Brian James, bassist (and later guitarist) Captain Sensible, and drummer Rat Scabies.
They were the first punk rock band from the United Kingdom to release a single, "New Rose" (1976), release an album, Damned Damned Damned (1977), and tour the United States. They have nine singles that charted on the UK Singles Chart Top 40.
The band briefly broke up after Music for Pleasure (1977), but they quickly reformed without Brian James and released Machine Gun Etiquette (1979). In the 1980s they released four studio albums.
The Damned again reformed for a tour in 1991. In 1995, they released a new album, Not of This Earth, which was Scabies's last with the band. This was followed by Grave Disorder (2001), and their most recent album, So, Who's Paranoid? (2008).
The band is well known for being one of the first gothic rock bands and a major influence on the goth subculture with lead singer Dave Vanian's vampire themed costume and dark lyrics being major influences.
The Damned influenced future hardcore punk bands with their fast-paced, energetic playing style and attitude. Along with the Sex Pistols and the Clash, they helped to spearhead the punk movement in the United Kingdom. They are sometimes referred to as British punk's "band of firsts," having made accomplishments mentioned previously, as well as other "firsts" like the first punk band to break up and come back.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018


Lafayette Ronald Hubbard (1911 –1986), often referred to by his initials LRH, was an American author and the founder of the Church of Scientology. 
After establishing a career as a writer, becoming best known for his science fiction and fantasy stories, he developed a system called Dianetics which was first expounded in book form in May 1950. He subsequently developed his ideas into a wide-ranging set of doctrines and practices as part of a new religious movement that he called Scientology. His writings became the guiding texts for the Church of Scientology and a number of affiliated organizations that address such diverse topics as business administration, literacy and drug rehabilitation. The Church's dissemination of these materials led to Hubbard being listed by the Guinness Book of World Records as the most translated and published author in the world.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

The Bunker Museum of La Rochelle

The Bunker Museum of La Rochelle was an almost secret place that was visited by appointment only. During the war, the officers of the submarines of the Kriegsmarine, had requisitioned the hotel of the foreigners and built in the basements, under a ceiling of 3.5 meters of concrete, a refuge of 300 m².
Jean-Luc Labor in the Bunker Restaurant
They went down in case of alarm and soon decided to stay down there regularly by transforming it into a beer bar, with music and painted ceilings recalling the seabed with crabs, sirens and fishing nets. The submariners were considered heroes in the German army and they were entitled to some adjustments to the normal discipline, such as permission to listen to American swing music.
In 1984, Jean-Luc Labor found this bunker where only the paintings on the ceilings had survived. Little by little, like a collection of stamps, he says, he began to look for the memories of the war years in La Rochelle. Gradually he transformed it into this amazing place that today brings together tens of thousands of documents and objects recalling the destiny of the city and its inhabitants during the second war.

Monday, May 28, 2018

The Kherson Synagogue in Ukraine

After many years, the Jewish community of Kherson, Ukraine, is receiving a spiritual home befitting of its modern revival. Taking part in the project is Pavel Miripolsky, a Soviet-born designer who moved to Israel in 1991.
There were 14,837 Jews (19% of the total population) in the town in 1926, and 16,145 (of a total population of 96,988) in 1939. The Germans occupied Kherson on August 19, 1941 and on August 29 they killed 100 Jews; in early September 110. On September 7, a ghetto was established, and a Judenrat and Jewish police were organized. On September 24–25 Einsatzkommando 11a murdered 8,000 Jews. Jews found hiding were executed, and in February 1942 some 400 children of mixed marriages were killed.
Avraham Fried, owner of the Artist Studio, holds up a sketch of the new synagogue
In 1959, there were 9,500 Jews (6% of the total population) living in Kherson. The last synagogue was closed by the Soviet-Ukrainian authorities in 1959 but was returned to the community in 1991 as Jewish life revived despite the emigration of most of the Jews.
Since 1991 there has been a revival of Jewish life in Kherson and a growing number of Jews attending services at their revived synagogue. 

Sunday, May 27, 2018

2016 Adidas UEFA Euro 2016 Beret

For the Euro 2016 Championship, France being the host country, Adidas came out with an official UEFA 2016 beret.
The beret's sweatband boasts the colours of the French flag and the béret was finished with an embroidered Adidas logo. If you are keen on one, check South Pacific Berets' One-Offs-Page, where some of the last of these berets are offered 

Saturday, May 26, 2018

Stadthaus Hotel Hamburg

In 1987, parents of eight differently-abled classmates decied they wanted to provide their kids with a solid work- and living situation after they had finished school. They decided to start a project to turn this into reality and that project became the Stadthaus Hotel.
Eight years later the hotel was ready to open. It started with seven large rooms with eleven beds in total. They chose a small-scale hotel to avoid possible financial losses. The money for the hotel came from both the parents themselves, donations and subsidies.
The future employees had two years of professional training. Their class was modified for them and ever since, the training school has taught a class with differently abled people!
At first the hotel did really great but unfortunately, they had some problems after a few years. Their fixed costs were too high and expanding proved to be the solution. Six extra rooms were added along with a bar, making the hotel very suitable for larger groups of people. The hotel hasn't just been doing fine ever since, it has been thriving, with an average room occupancy of 80%! Not only is the hotel very popular, it has also become a three-star hotel.
Part of the employees live above the hotel in a commune. This is according to the founding parents' original wish to provide both a solid living- and work situation. And yes, Werner Pietsch of Vorstand JHJ Hamburg, is a boinero too!

Friday, May 25, 2018

New at South Pacific Berets!

Just arrived, the brand new gaucho work-gear by Arandú!
The cotton berets by Arandú are heavy-duty work gear; comfortable, hard wearing berets that are worn by gaucho's all over Argentina, Chile and Brazil. 

Fitted with a solid cotton lining these berets protect from the sun, keeping the head cool in the heat while easily withstanding the occasional shower. 
The standard beret measures approximately 31.5cm in diameter; the beret with the woven diamond pattern is slightly smaller at approximately 30.5cm diameter.

Meet Mr Christopher Flansburg

I don’t usually portray customers of South Pacific Berets, but there are exceptions to any rule. These pictures are of Christopher Flansburg, from Maine.
Christopher got his first beret some 35 years ago, serving as a paratrooper in the US military and added a second one when becoming an MFO in the Sinai Desert in 1985.
Since then, Christopher has been working on boats; mostly on sail training ships and tall ships. 
His free time is divided between his BMW R90/6 with sidecar (1975), the blacksmith forge at his farmhouse in rural Maine and his fly rod.
Great to see a man wearing a beret so naturally, pipe and facial hair included!

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Beret Throwing in Berzème

A small village in the French Ardèche organizes the world championship beret throwing.
The sport may have fallen to oblivion a few years ago, it is now experiencing a revival. Berzème, a modest village in the Ardèche (counting less than 200 souls)welcomes large crowds every summer for the world championship of ‘Lancé de béret. An unmissable event that brings together dozens of participants and many more watchers, every summer since 1989.

The world record is held by the Landais Jean Marquet. In 1994, he threw the beret at 35.20 meters. An unmatched performance since, but only approved in 1995. To beat this original record, go to Berzème next summer.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Dances of Universal Peace

From the "Dances of Universal Peace" in Albuquerque:
Amir has a master's degree in Percussion Performance from the University of New Mexico. A freelance artist, he plays drum set, vibes, and hand percussion with several Albuquerque bands. Amir is a certified dance leader and a member of the Mentor Teachers Guild.
The Dances of Universal Peace are a compendium of simple, meditative, joyous circle dances. They use sacred phrases, chants, music and movements from many of the world’s wisdom traditions. The Dances have no performers or audience. No musical or dance experience is necessary, and everyone is welcome to join in. New arrivals and experienced dancers form the circle together. Participants join hands in a circle with the Dance leader and musicians in the center. Throughout their time together, the leader teaches the group the words, melody and movement before each Dance. Themes for the Dances include peace, healing and the celebration of life’s great mystery.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Albany Poets & Beret Toss

Albany Poets is a local organization whose goal is to promote the poets and poetry of Upstate New York.
Albany Poets mission is to give everyone the platform to share their poetry with the world. Whether it is at an open mic, on a website, or in print, Albany Poets strives to integrate poetry and spoken word into the Capital Region.
Albany Poets’ website,, is the most comprehensive resource in the region for news and events listings for poetry and spoken word. 
True to poet identity, their annual event opens with the “beret toss” at the Robert Burns statue in Washington Park.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Jerry LeDuff

Jerry LeDuff was born in Alexandria, Louisiana to Creole parents Mary Elizabeth Esnault and Octave LeDuff and was raised in Pontiac, Michigan.
Blues music was an integral part of Jerry’s childhood experience. Jerry was introduced to jazz in the 1950s by twin jazz aficionados: brothers Obadiah and Rashid McConnell of Pontiac.
In 1961 Jerry joined the Navy “to see the world” and was stationed for three years at the Great Lakes Naval Station outside Chicago, Illinois. For a travel-hungry recruit this station was a disappointment, but for a jazz musician, not a bad concession. Jerry had the home advantage of proximity to Chicago and Detroit bars and jazz scenes.
After leaving the Navy in 1964, he purchased his first conga drum. At this time Americans had little access to authentic African music. Over a few years, visiting African drummers provided the needed instruction and guidance to develop the fundamentals of African drumming.
Having lived with the blues and studied and performed African and jazz music, Jerry LeDuff naturally extended his interests into World Music. Jerry’s music career has afforded him the opportunity to play and record with many great jazz musicians.
Jerry LeDuff was honored as guest artist at Oakland University, teaching students Brazilian rhythms and music, culminating in a performance with Akwaaba and Pan Jumbies.
Jerry plays congas, cuica, berimbau, tabla, suordo, ethnic flutes, ocarinas and many other percussion instruments. Jerry uses his large collection of ethnic and contemporary percussion instruments in performance, recording and lecture presentations. Jerry plays Latin Jazz and World Music. He composes, arranges and performs music for television, film and dance.

Sunday, May 20, 2018

La manufacture de Bérets Beighau

It is not that long ago that the South of France (and more specifically the area around Oloron Sainte Marie) counted many small beret manufacturers. These days, there is only Laulhère left of the historic manufacturers.
Until 1996 there was also Beighau.
110 years before, Zechariah Beighau set up business as a wine merchant in Oloron St Marie, and in 1928 his son Xavier started the manufacturing of berets under the family name Beighau. The business expanded rapidly.
In 1945, son Maurice joined his father in the company (he took over the business in 1980). This is still the time that many Frenchmen (and many others) saw the beret as a standard part of their clothing and berets were manufactured in great numbers. Only in 1977 Beighau produced 450.000 berets (65% export!) and employed 40 people.
The general decline in wearing hats and strong competition from Asian countries made Maurice, and his son Pierre decide to end the business in 1996. Most machinery went to Laulhere (including the ownership of the labels).
The factory building still stands in the centre of Oloron Sainte Marie, some machinery and equipment still present, but used principally as an exhibition space. 

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Martin Fourcade

Martin Fourcade (1988) is a French biathlete and Sous-lieutenant in the Chasseurs Alpin.
He is a five-time Olympic champion, an eleven-time World Champion and a six-time winner of the Overall World Cup. Fourcade and Ole Einar Bjørndalen of Norway are the only male biathletes to have won the overall World Cup six times, with Fourcade the only one to do so six times in a row. 
As of February 2018, he is the most successful French Olympian of all-time.