Sunday, 14 July 2013

My Old Institute

By now I'm hoping that everything has been moved out to its storage place from the old institute until things can be moved into the new place, which needs a bit of a facelift or a good clean and a new coat of paint. I'm thrilled that the new institute will be under the same name Briam (pronounced Bree um), with a + added so it will be Briam +.

Yesterday I posted some old photos from 1951 to 1956 on facebook that I'd found in one of the office cupboards. However, the one I've posted here isn't one of them. The man in the middle is one the founders of Briam, which was founded in 1949. I never knew the founders, of course, but there were all kinds of rumours that the founders were Nazis who had escaped and come to Spain and the name Briam was some kind of code name. Then others insist Briam means British-American. The only thing that I'm sure of is that he was Belgian and there were probably more American teachers than British ones when I came to work there. Also when the institute was founded, French was much more popular than English. Nowadays few students study French, so Briam eventually closed their French department.

Another fact that raises more rumours about Briam and its origin is that there was only one other language institute that competed with Briam and that was Mangold. Many claim the founder of this institute's real name was Goldman, a Jewish name. It all makes for more intrigue. Anyway, when Mangold finally closed their doors in the 90's, they recommended that their students go to Briam. How many companies do you think would do something like that now? Briam's coat of arms that was included on all official documents said in Latin 'Honour is a virtue'. You can see the coat of arms in the photo. I don't know if Mangold had a coat of arms, but as educators they were thinking if their students.

So this is the history of my old workplace as I've been told it. Now guess what I'm doing at home off and on this weekend? Emptying out drawers and sorting papers - some of the same things I did last week and the week before helping my friends. The difference is I haven't come across so much dust, just a lot of papers that need shredding that I hate doing so much. Yesterday I was looking at some of my old posts I'd imported from Multiply and came across one from May two years ago where I was complaining about how hot it already was. I know some of you have expressed how pleased you are with the nice temperatures this summer, and I must say we haven't had it too bad yet, except those days I was helping to clean out the institute when we had a cautionary alert. Typical!

I need to get a few more things done round the house. I think I'll leave the laundry until tomorrow though. Have a good week all!



  1. Thanks for sharing such an interesting history of Briam with us, Brenda. I have enjoyed learning about it, and am intrigued with the Nazi/Jewish thing. Inquiring minds want to hear more and learn the truth! LOL

    We have companies here that will shred your documents for you, and it really isn't that expensive. We're about ready to get rid of some papers here, and will combine ours with another friends and split the cost. It is so much easier to have them do it for us. Their shredders will even shred notebooks and cardboard storage boxes, so you can just toss the entire thing. We use them at the Museum, too, once a year.

    Wishing you a good week, too, Brenda!!

  2. Great post, Brenda! It must have been fun coming across old photos and other items. I agree with Terri, the Nazi/Jewish story is so interesting. I wonder if there is any way you could find out what is correct?

    When I was a medical biller I would spend an afternoon each week shredding patient billing statements and other documents. It was really time consuming, I would have loved to have had a company do this task.

    Have a wonderful week!

  3. Hi Brenda.................thats interesting, I used to be the first in line to help clear out the storecupboards when I was working. There were always old year books, old photos, old text books and even old trophies and things.............its nice uncovering a bit of history about the place where you work.

    1. Where I worked, Loretta. The original Briam closed its doors in 2004 and I decided not to continue in the new start-up that was called Brima.

  4. I doubt very much if there is anyone who can verify the stories behind the two language schools. My boss, who was German but too young to have fought in WWII, went to live with one of his daughters in Columbia I think it was. He died a year or so ago. Thanks for your comments Terri, Kris and Loretta.