On March 14, Annie Gourgue received the special family medal from the prefect Jean-Noël Chavanne.
An award that rewards his ardent commitment to the benefit of abused, beaten and murdered children. The children’s cause is undoubtedly life’s struggle for Annie, born Peklidonoglos in Ajaccio, on a fatal All Saints’ Day, to a Greek father who immigrated to the Isle of Beauty and a Corsican mother.
“My starting point was totally negative. Eleven days after my birth, my mother and my grandmother dropped me off in a basket in front of the hotel restaurant where my father worked as a chef in Ajaccio.” A biological father who knew nothing about his existence, “but a loving father who adored me. The beginning of my existence was therefore built on a rejection”.
The abandoned child she was finds a surrogate grandmother in this restaurant, but upon her father’s untimely death at the age of 42, her life is turned upside down, the victim of another abandonment of her stepmother described as a “stepmother”.
4 and a half years old, she was forcibly led by this strict woman, dressed entirely in black, to the door of the orphanage “Le Bon Pasteur” in Bastia. “A nun with a big bundle of keys picked me up with these words: ‘There’s the little one I told you about! I leave it to you, it’s not mine!’ Terrible memories that will never leave me. My struggle is directly linked to my abandoned childhood and my suffering as a little girl. ”Meanwhile, the war broke out, the convent moved to Erbalunga towards Cap Corse.
Double abandonment and loss of identity
The young Annie is confronted with the cold of the nuns, with a pious, rigorous education, without outflow, nor warmth and love. She will live there until she is 20 years old. Her adopted grandmother will never stop looking for her. But in the meantime, Annie was renamed Anita because the orphanage already had another Annie. Brutal loss of identity, lost amid 140 orphans, hours spent on knees, punishing: “What you remember in that moment is that your universe has collapsed. My father’s death in as a child was incomprehensible to me. I said to myself : either you walk, or you die, it was in my Corsican character.And one day when I was taking the sun to treat a sore throat – there were many breast sufferers among us – a sister came up to talk to me. She gave me some bread and a chocolate bar and a cloth to help her polish the furniture. It was the very first time we were interested in me. The day it was like a resistance force, I integrated the idea that my life would be such that and that I had no choice ”.
She decides to move on, opens up to others, participates in games, passes the school diploma, supervises children. An entire journey. “When you get abused, it’s not inevitable to become an addict! I’m a proof that if someone reaches out to you, like this nun, and if you take that hand, you can grow and rebuild yourself. I was not wished I was rejected and I receive this medal from the Family! My whole life paraded on March 14 at the gendarmerie on the occasion of the inauguration of the Maison de la protection de family “.
Annie became Gourgue thanks to her union with Alain, married in Algiers in Saint-Charles church on March 25, 1961, ie 61 years of marriage. And in the shadows, his greatest discreet support in devotion to children was embraced as a priesthood by Annie.
Algeria, another heartache
The promotion from the land of Algeria and the arrival in Nérac as returnees are experienced as painful. Once again, the rejection … of pied-noirs, the stigma, but the family grows happily, two children and six grandchildren, which parents and grandparents value.
It is on this childhood wound that his future is built. There is this crucial meeting one evening at the campaign headquarters on rue Ledru-Rollin, with the François-Poncet couple “signing for Alain and me, our political commitment”. She works in the General Council of the reserved cabinet. And then one evening in 1984 for a dinner with Jean François-Poncet, the then minister, the mayor of Colayrac-Saint-Cirq shows up to inform him that a little girl has disappeared when she left school. This is Magali Forabosco: “A friend from dance school, my daughter Marie”. A young girl was unfortunately found murdered in a mousetrap fifteen days later. The author, Robert Guinet, a repeat offender under house arrest in Lot-et-Garonne.
The support for Magali’s parents and in the wake of the families of child victims is thus outlined. Annie Gourgue mobilizes, evokes a march in Paris, and calls for an alternative to the death penalty, which Mitterrand abolished three years earlier.
30 incompressible years
for child killers
She invites herself to the National Assembly, crosses paths and challenges in the Laurent Fabius elevator that rolls. She besieges the Élysée, softens François Mitterrand’s private secretary, who wins her audience, but the president advises her to talk to the senators. A petition circulates and picks up speed. The case is mediated by Anne Sinclair and all media. Annie obtains compensation for the victims’ parents. First victory. She is pushing hard on the chancellery, meets Pierre Méhaignerie, proposing to the National Assembly the uncompromising sentence of 30 years in prison for the murderers of children who have committed barbaric acts. The proposal will be approved.
his biggest fight
Back in Agen, after obtaining this incoherent sentence for child murderers, La Mouette takes shape, spreading its wings. The association is appointed by the prosecution, ad hoc administrator of child victims of abuse, sexual abuse, violence: 902 children represented to date, and endless days in the front row of the court of Assizes to bring comfort.
With Marion Wagon’s sad affair, this little girl who was kidnapped when she left school in 1996, the association was set up, dedicated to defending and protecting children, helping and supporting victims, helping to search for missing children and finally in the fight against cybercrime. Marion is 15 million posters, 10 million packets of milk, TVs from Italy, England and Germany arriving at Agen. Audience with Jacques Chirac, Bernadette Chirac, Alain Juppé … Jacques Pradel’s broadcast, but also errors, media and dowsers, fake tracks.
25 years later, still this thirst for truth and unfortunately no trace of Marion, but Annie Gourgue does not relax in her action in her premises on rue Montesquieu. Well helped by her solid army of volunteers and very dear friends, she fights against the oblivion of the little girl with periwinkle eyes and always stays in touch with the investigation unit.
25 Melanie rooms and permanent matches
Annie Gourgue also co-founded Missing Children Europe (MCE) with Child Focus Belgium and Aurora Italy. She created the first Mélanie room at the Agen gendarmerie in 2009 (to date 25 rooms), including one in Athens, a moving moment given her Greek roots. Premises adapted for the filmed interrogation of minors who are victims of sexual violence, which La Mouette finances with the benefit of the compensation amounts during the trial against cybercriminals, and to the extent that the small victims behind the scenes are not identifiable. Not to mention partners and service clubs that also provide financial support for these premises. “One day I received a warning email from La Mouette with an attached picture of child pornography. I still have this horror picture in my head.” It all started from there. La Mouette will systematically file a complaint against X. She opened the International Day of Missing Children on May 25, signed in Brussels the establishment of the 116,000 “Missing Children” and co-founded with Nicole Guedj the creation of the “abduction alarm” .
This energetic and combative woman who does not hesitate to move mountains and loves her husband’s Greek honey yogurt and couscous, has received all the honorary awards, but her greatest victory is the work done with La Mouette: “I want to show through my story “that nothing is ever lost in advance. I wanted to give back to the children and their families what I received from Sister Bernadette, who came to my rescue”.