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Berhe and Zénaïde

BLANC Zénaïde (1817-1883)

Zénaďde Blanc, whom Berthe Cavaillé called her "bonne maman", died in Nîmes on June 13 1883. She was the sister of Madame Aristide Cavaillé-Coll and Hippolyte Blanc, civil servant at the Administration des Cultes.

She came to Paris in 1873 with her entire family, on the same wave of enthusiasm that brought many natives of Marseilles on the heels of Adolphe Thiers. Her first marriage, on September 2 1852, in the Trinité Church - in the presence of the man of letters, Louis Reybaud - was to a widower, Alexandre Camus-Girard, who had one son, Alfred. The latter was appointed by Aristide Cavaillé-Coll in 1856 to register the Cavaillé-Coll & Cie limited company that was founded with Mr. Rédier and Mr. Brunton.

They lived at No. 69 rue Blanche, along with an already famous "pianist": César Franck. Her father, Joseph Pierre Laurent Blanc, cashier for the newspaper "Lestafette" (the newspaper of the "Journaux") that gave the official news at the same time as le Moniteur, died there on October 11 1852, a month after his daughter's wedding. Alexandre Camus-Giraud, in turn, departed this life on October 4 1854 leaving Zénaďde Blanc almost alone. It was suggested that she remarry and her wedding to Vincent Cavaillé-Coll, took place in 1858, giving Berthe Cavaillé, who was only thirteen, her "bonne maman"!

Zénaďde Blanc/Cavaillé watched over her husband, the organ builder's interests. She wrote to her brother, Hippolyte: "My dear, I hope you will use your influence a little to help a poor organ builder from Nďmes and that he will get the Perpignan business. In any case I know you will do all that can be done".

Thus the civil servant devoted himself to protecting family unity through a few contracts for his brothers-in-law, Aristide and Vincent.

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