12 Sep 2006

Founder of Caledonian Union Party dies aged 93

1:28 pm on 12 September 2006

The founder of the Caledonian Union Party, Maurice Lenormand, has died in Sydney at the age of 93 following a long illness.

Mr Lenormand, who was a French pharmacist before arriving in New Caledonia, became an MP in 1951 and gained a profile for his concern of the well-being of the indigenous Kanaks.

He formed the Caledonian Union in 1953 under the slogan 'two colours, one people'.

In 1963 he lost his parliamentary seat after being given a suspended one-year jail sentence following a mysterious bombing of the party's newspaper.

At the age of 85, he acquired a doctorate in literature after editing the first dictionary of French and Drehu, which is spoken in New Caledonia's Lifou island.