Frédéric Dumas International Diving Museum
Sanary sur Mer ~ Historical city of diving

A brief history of the MOUSQUEMERS
By Gérard Loridon – December 2006

In 1938, as Phillipe Tailliez was following some bass along the bottom of the Brusc cliff, he felt like he was being observed. Looking above, he recognized Frédéric Dumas, a boy known for being a famous spear fisherman, and whom he had wanted to meet for a long time.
They started talking about spear fishing, fish and sea and went on spear fishing all summer and fall.

Philippe Tailliez had just met Frédéric Dumas.

Philippe soon introduced Frederic to his friend, naval lieutenant Jacques Yves Cousteau.

As the “Monde du Silence” recounts, these three pioneers have shared a long and adventurous underwater life. The beginning of these adventures are made official through the creation of a bronze stele in Bandol. It is also a reminder of the first use of the open-circuit diving breathing developed by Cousteau and Gagnan in June 1943.

A few years ago, during the inauguration of the Frédéric Dumas museum in the Romanesque tower in Sanary, I asked Philippe Tailliez – who had been my commander in the Navy, and my friend later on – how he came up with the idea of calling these three great men “the Mousquemer”. - “I am going to tell you, Gérard” he said. “I was thinking of the ‘Mousquetaires” (Mousketeers) but that sounded too terrestrial. Therefore, I invented the Mousquemers*

This is how the famous expression was invented by Commander Philippe Tailliez who was immortalized on October 25, 2006 at the inauguration of a roundabout in Sanary, historical city of diving.

* Note from the Translator :
‘Mousquetaire’ (a noun meaning musketeer) is pronounced ‘mousketerre’, and ‘Terre’ means land or earth.
  ‘Mer’ (meaning sea) replaces ‘taire’ in ‘mousquetaire’ to create the new word ‘mousquemer’, or ‘mouskesea’ – mousketeer of the sea!

Translation: Evelyne Skorczynski
Reviewer: Rod Carr

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