The 1st Chapter of the Europe Squadron took place n the 16th of October in the famous Gothic Room of the Brussels Town Hall, located in the wonderful and legendary Great Square, a World Mankind Heritage Site. The event was presided by Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandre of Belgium.
As in Condom, the reception to the Chapter was enhanced by the presence of 4 mounted Musketeers. Following the sampling of the indispensible "Pousse –Rapier de Montluc" aperitif in the famous marriage salon in the company of the Brussels Burgomaster, a Musketeer since 2009, the 95 specially invited guests gave a standing ovation on the arrival, heralded by a fanfare, of the General Staff of the Company preceded by Company Standard. Following an emotional opening address by Lieutenant-Captain Louis Schmitz, during which he presented the excuses of Count Alain de Taillac, unavoidably absent due to illness, the Lieutenant-Captain inducted 17 new Musketeers, each one being introduced by a brief, and often humorous, presentation.
After an initial visit to the splendid cold buffet – as befits an historical monument – and accompanied by fine Gascony wines, an unexpected induction threw into disarray the meticulously arranged programme organized by Musketeer Antoine Bru. To his great astonishment he found himself promoted to the rank of Lieutenant, Aide-de-Camp of the Europe Squadron, with which he had been involved with from the beginning.
It was then the turn of Deputy Prime Minister Reynders to receive the Cross and to give a spirited and humorous speech. He was followed by Melchior Wathelet, Belgian Minister of State, a noted orator, who gave a remarkable and talented response. The whole room erupted in gales of laughter, with everyone regretting not having a filmed record of the proceedings.
The lovely face of Her Royal Highness Princess Alexandre of Belgium showed great emotion when her friend, Musketeer Christine Beckers, spoke of her kindness and courage and evoked memories of her beloved late husband. Louis Schmitz then cited a phrase from Franz Lizt; "The height of understanding is kindness".
After the Solemn Oath, our three inductees raised their glasses of Armagnac together before the evening ended with delicious desserts and conversation which went on into the small hours, thanks to Burgomaster Freddy Thielmans having extended the usual midnight closing time so that he and all those present might enjoy the moment to the full.
It was decided to hold a friendly get together of the Europe Squadron at the Brussels Motor Show on the 23rd of January, 2011.
Also see the site of Musketeer Didier REYNDERS, Vice-Premier Minstre : www.didier-reynders.be
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