The Dutch Squadron: The Report for 2010

The Chapter of June 26th.

The main event for the Squadron in 2010 was its Chapter, held on June 26th and as always as near as possible to the anniversary of the heroic death of d'Artagnan. The evening began in the Waldeck Bastion, in the vicinity where he met his death on the 25th June, 1673. Speeches were made by the Deputy Mayor of Maastricht, Responsible for Culture, and our Lieutenant-Captain, Camille Oostwegel, following which they placed a wreath at the foot of the monument dedicated to the memory of d'Artagnan. A scene representing our hero was then enacted by the Fencing Masters of the Royal Circle of Fencing of the Sauvenière de Liège, followed by a demonstration of this chivalrous and military art in one of the courts of the Bastion, which was watched by great interest by members of the Squadron and the public who had gathered in the courtyard. This demonstration, under the direction of Masters at Arms, André Fridenbergs and Guy Goffin, was organized by our Musketeer, Guy Jouhannet, a one-time Fencing Champion of France and a member of the Royal Circle.

Following the ceremonies, we gathered in the vineyard of the Château St. Gerlach, at Houthem, Valkenburg, for the inductions, in the presence of the representative of the Company General Staff, Serge Liberge, of the following new Musketeers :

M. Kees Kleinrensink Parrain: M. Jan Vlug
Mme Marianne Kuttschrütter Parrain: M. Ed Neven
M. Hans Schmidt  Parrain: M. Adriaan Norenburg
M. Wouter Verboon Parrain: M. Adriaan Norenburg
M. Volkert Batelaan  Parrain: M. Adriaan Norenburg
M. Jan Westerveld Parrain: M. Rob Lagro
M. Camiel Eurlings Parrain: M. Jo Cortenraedt

Following the aperitifs - the pousse-rapière - enjoyed in the wonderful atmosphere of the vineyard, the festivities ended in great conviviality with a banquet in the Great Hall of the Château.

Musketeer Father Piet van der Aart, our Squadron Chaplain. During the Mass a bronze statue of D'Artagnan, the work of the sculptor Alexandre Taratynov, a member of the Squadron and creator of the large statue of d'Artagnan that stands in the Aldenhofpark in Maastricht, was consecrated. The statue was offered by Mme Gertrude Januszewski, and will have a permanent place in the church, the place where d'Artagnan and so many of his comrades who fell during the siege of 1673, are probably buried. The celebration was accompanied by the splendid music of the Orchestra of Saint Peter and Saint Paul of Wolder, which held its annual festival on the same day. This happy coincidence has already given rise to many ideas as to our future collaboration. Following Mass, a guided tour along the ancient ramparts of the town of Maastricht by M. Thei Provaas, President of the Stichting Maastricht Vestingstad (The Maastricht Fortified Town Foundation) enabled us all to fully appreciate the physical context of the Siege of Maastricht. The morning concluded with an informal lunch in the La Bonne Femme restaurant, on the banks of the Meuse.

Secrets of history: Anne of Austria - and d'Artagnan !

At the beginning of the year, three members of our Squadron took part in the television programme about Anne of Austria, Queen of France and Regent to her son, Louis XIV, broadcast as an episode in the France 2 documentary series, "Secrets of History", presented by Stéphane Bern. In France, the historian, Mme Odile Bordaz, biographer of d'Artagnan and an Honorary Member of our Squadron, contributed her specialist knowledge on the career of the famous Musketeer, loyal servant of the Queen, her Minister, Cardinal Mazarin and above all her son, The Sun King. In Maastricht our Lieutenant-Captain Camille Oostwegel and his Aide-de-Camp, the historian Dirk Jansen, commented on and illustrated the last days of our hero. The documentary was broadcast on the 25th of August, 2010, and shown again on TV5 at the beginning of 2011. It is now available on DVD (See ).

The Great Chapter in Condom, September 4th, 2010.

Last year ten of the members of our Squadron went to Condom to participate in the General Chapter of the Musketeers, including our Lieutenant-Captain, Camille Oostwegel, and the sculptor, Alexandre Taratynov, compatriot, colleague et friend of Zurab Tsereteli, whose great statue of the Four Musketeers was officially unveiled immediately prior to the opening of the Chapter. During our visit we took the opportunity to visit many of the town's monuments and attractions, and naturally found the time to stock up on Armagnac.

Events in 2011

The 2011 Chapter of our Squadron will take place on Saturday, June 25thThis is an important date as it is the anniversary of the date of the heroic death of d'Artagnan. Details of the programme will be available as from next April. Preparations for the visit of a delegation to the General Chapter in Condom on the 3rd of September will be initiated at this time.

22nd January, 2011