Last Saturday, February 22nd, 2014 saw the 33rd Gouden Duif celebration take place in Broechem-Ranst , Belgium.
“The feast of feasts “could once again rely on the masses and several thousand pigeon fanciers experienced a brilliant pigeon event.
Like so many previous times the Gouden Duif could rely on many foreign guests that included not only the Japanese delegation led by Kenichi Yoshihara, but also Taiwan with Johnson T. S. Kiang and China made an appearance . The largest part of the gathering obviously came from Belgium … Netherlands …and Germany . But we were also very honoured with some visitors from England and Ireland … and even a group of Argentinian fanciers came along for the party.
Jan Hermans declared the Gouden Duif Celebration open to a packed hall and it remained so until the very early hours of the next morning.
After his opening remarks Jan Hermans handed over for a few words from the Antwerp provincial chairman Jef Van Elsacker and the Dutch Secretary Leo Mackaay . Both spoke words of congratulations and wished the Gouden Duif celebration every success.
Then there begun the honouring of the winners of Belgium …Netherlands … Germany … and the Gouden Duif Junior. Rik Hermans and Dirk Leekens were the men on duty on the stage graciously assisted by Birgit and Miki .
And then we came to the legendary sale of a limited but very select number of donated pigeons for the Gouden Duif Auction. The bids for these unique gifts were very generously given with great enthusiasm and many wanted to own a new little champion.
Once again it was Gust Raeymakers who conducted the auction and as usual he was able to encourage a great barrage of bids. The average price paid for the lots was over 1900 euro.
Some of the head-liners were the lots from Günter Prange ( 4600 euros ) , Cor Heĳde ( 3000 euros ) , Dirk Van Dyck (5500 euros ) , Dolf and Ruud Bakker ( 2600 euros ) , Gaston Van the Wouwer ( 2600 euros ) , Marcel Wouters ( 2800 euro ) , L.B.J. Geerinckx ( 2800 euro ) , Jan Hooymans ( 3300 euro ) , Danny Van Dyck ( 2800 euro ) , Gebr . Scheele ( 2400 euro ) , Leo
Heremans (5000 euro ) , Eddy Janssens (6000 euro ) and the very last lot the daughter of ” Cowgirl ” presented by Rik Hermans ( 13,000 euros )…
Then, the Superstars of the Year awards for Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands were called to the stage.
The Gouden Duif celebration grew to its climax when publisher Jan Hermans took over the microphone and presented the prestigious Gouden Duif winners Germany , Netherlands , Belgium and the winner of the International Gouden Duif competition Long Distance took to the stage.
A wonderful moment was when young Seppe Donckers thanked everyone on behalf of his father for their enormous support especially during the period after the severe accident that had recently befell him .
We could only conclude with the presentation of Günter Prange … Henk Scheffel … Stickers- Donckers and …Arjan Beens . They were the best of 2013 and everyone looked admiringly at their performances.
At 11.30 pm when all of the prizes had all been presented the socialising began and fanciers showed yet again what great revealers they were and it seemed they had only just begun , and as already pointed out everyone remained partying until the small hours !
The Gouden Duif celebration still stands as a high point in the Pigeon Sport year ! It was a magnificent party … and we wish all celebrants much success for next season .