Pirie Rotary's 'Three Amigos' travel to France

TRIP: The 'Three Amigos', Rotarians Peter Arnold, left, Sebastian Mezzino and Craig Rimmer report to a recent meeting on their France trip.
TRIP: The 'Three Amigos', Rotarians Peter Arnold, left, Sebastian Mezzino and Craig Rimmer report to a recent meeting on their France trip.
CHIC: Elsa and Maxime Pochon were pictured on their wedding day in France with Sebastian and Angela Mezzino, representing the Rotary Club of Port Pirie.

CHIC: Elsa and Maxime Pochon were pictured on their wedding day in France with Sebastian and Angela Mezzino, representing the Rotary Club of Port Pirie.

The much-travelled "Three Amigos" of the Rotary Club of Port Pirie are back home.

Wearing French berets, instead of Mexican sombreros, they spoke about their trip to France for the wedding of former Rotary Exchange Student Elsa Isambert.

Sebastian Mezzino, Peter Arnold and Craig Rimmer told Rotarians they were thrilled to catch up with Elsa and her new husband Maxime Pochon.

Elsa was chosen in 2009 as an exchange student to Port Pirie and immediately made an impression with her high energy.

Before she went home, host parents Sebastian and Angela Mezzino made up a T-shirt for her and members featuring the words "I survived Cyclone Elsa".

Mr Mezzino said the marriage ceremony had been "more like a strong wind, actually".

"She has calmed down a bit since her trip to Port Pirie," he said.

Elsa and her husband both work as accountants for Deloite and keep fit by competing in triathlons.

Mr Mezzino, Mr Arnold and Mr Rimmer attended the wedding ceremony with their wives after being invited to do so by Elsa.

"This is probably an example of how the Student Exchange Program has steered the lives of not only us 'Three Amigos', but many Rotarians from this club who have hosted students," Mr Sebastian said.

"When Elsa arrived as an exchange student she was 'full-on' from day one and we could tell she was going to have a great exchange."

During the trip they were impressed with Elsa's home town of Millau, with its beautiful scenery, including the world-renowned Viaduct.

Mr Mezzino told members that while Elsa was on exchange in Port Pirie, her parents Allain and Magalii had visited her.

"They were a terrific couple and had a great time here, but on their way home they had a stopover at Heathrow Airport and while there Elsa's dad had a heart attack and died," he said.

"As you can imagine this was a very heavy time for Elsa and everyone involved with her exchange.

"As one of the host parents and at personal financial cost, Dianne Arnold took it on herself to take Elsa home for her father's funeral.

"We would not have been surprised if she decided to cut short her exchange and stay home. But within a short time she returned with Dianne and continued her exchange to the point that we nicknamed her Cyclone Elsa.

"About four years ago while back in France as part of her accountancy course she had to find a company outside France for a three-month placement so she applied to her ex-student counsellors Craig and Annette Rimmer and did the placement with them.

"She returned to Port Pirie with her 13-year-old sister Leonore who went to St Mark's College while they were here.

"Craig must be a pretty good tutor as Elsa now works with her new husband at Deloitte's accounting and consulting firm in Paris."

He said the trio and their wives were well looked after by Elsa's mum Magalii and their family.

"We enjoyed the many outdoor eateries while watching hang gliders jumping off the nearby mountain, the huge weekly markets, and the region's world-famous Rocherforte cheese."

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