Tribute to Mister Camille Rayon

Up to the end, he shaped his own legend

“When we have to fight, we fight”

These words, released in a hallow voice, as a motto, would be enough to summarize Camille Rayon, Resistance fighter from the very beginning, then businessman. For him, the defeat of 1940 is worse than an injury.

“A slap, a humiliation”

Once discharged of military, he opens in August 1940 a bar very close to Juan le Pins post office. The innocuous looking café quickly becomes the meeting place to be of the Resistance fighters.

When he finds out that the General De Gaulle took refuge in London to continue the fight, he does not hesitate at all. In a few months, he becomes “The Archduke” within the “network action” of “Free France”. Resistance fighter in the Southeast, Commander Camille Rayon is arrested on four occasions and escapes each time.

In 1942, he crosses the Channel and joins the Intelligence Department of the General de Gaulle. His personality and determination will be without defect.

“During the war I knew how to demolish, then, I learned to build…”

He will Joke years later. Parachuted several times in France, he was one of the essential cogs of the ally plan within the prospect of the landing in Provence.

“I risked ten times the firing squad, the prison or the deportation”

he told.

“In my section, there were 180 deaths – almost one in ten – it is the kind of experience that sets up the ideas once and for all.”

The first steps of a big project

“The sea ate away the coast, I wanted to take back what it stole us.”

…said with poetry Camille Rayon.At first a hero of the resistance, Camille Rayon becomes a builder.

He initiated, in Juan les Pins, the” Maison des pêcheurs”, in the sixties.

In contact with the sailors, he realizes that they are lacking shelters for their boats… A typical but especially visionary, he then dashes into the conquest of maritime spaces to create shelters to welcome their boats.

Inventor of the modern concept of marinas, he is the promoter of around thirty harbour work sites. The list is long, from the “Port Gallice” to the Marina of Hammamet in Tunisia.

His consecration in the harbour domain takes place at Golfe Juan on July 1st, 1989 when the Municipality decides to baptize his last master piece “Port Camille Rayon” as a reward for his commitment and to dedicate the very strong links which unite them.

Rare are the urban designers who have the honour to see their work bearing their name. His Name takes pride in the port of Antibes: the “Quay Camille Rayon” Commander Rayon was a big lover of the Sea with charming and outstanding personality.

At over hundred years old, he continued to plan ahead.

“I would need to live 1000 years in order to realize all the projects I have in mind.”

Our Honorary president Mr Camille RAYON

passed away on September 13th, 2014 at the age of 101

in his hometown, Antibes.