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Courmes, Dominique Albert

(1843-1914). Prominent early member of the Theosophical Society (TS). He was born in Rouen, France, on August 4, 1843. Courmes had a distinguished career in the French navy reaching the rank of Commandant and was awarded the Légion d’Honneur. He resigned from the navy in 1896.

In 1880 Courmes joined the TS and in the same year he translated Henry S. OLCOTT’S Buddhist Catechism into French and, when he later visited Sri Lanka, the Buddhist High Priest thanked him for his help in spreading a knowledge of Buddhism in the West. In 1884 Courmes was host to Helena P. BLAVATSKY and H. S. Olcott at Marseilles and spent some time with them and in 1886 he was instrumental in bringing Theophile PASCAL, who became the first General Secretary of the French Section, into the TS. He saw Blavatsky shortly before her death in 1891 and promised her that he would translate her work, The Secret Doctrine, into French which daunting task he accomplished. Courmes organized a Theosophical International Congress which was held at Paris in 1900, which subsequently became a regular event. He died on January 17, 1914.


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