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Preparations are now well afoot to celebrate the 20th anniversary of our National Trust Association Belgium (NTAB). Please save the date of 21st October, 2017, and the venue, the Château de Val Duchesse/Kasteel van Hertoginnedal, a place surrounded by a wonderful park with glorious ponds, in Auderghem/Oudergem, in the Brussels area.

We expect all our members and associate members to be present in great numbers for this festive celebration. Representatives of other organizations involved in heritage conservation in Belgium have already been invited to join us too: don’t we all belong to the same family of people committed to and engaged in the preservation of our heritage?

Mr. Justin Albert, NT Director for Wales, will be present to represent the National Trust headquarters. Supporter Groups from Southern England have also been invited, as well as the British Embassy in Brussels.

NTAB was started 20 years ago, on the initiative of Tom Burr, an NT staff member (Association’s Liaison Secretary). Having noted the high number of NT members living in Belgium, Tom suggested the creation of a supporters’ group here. Dozens of NT members in Belgium enthusiastically took up the idea, formed a Steering Committee and elected Max Osterrieth, an Antwerp banker and devoted NT member, as their first Chairman. The NTAB was born. The idea was clear: keep alive the link between NT members living in Belgium and the parent organization. This was in 1997.

On 21st October we have the opportunity to recall this achievement in the presence of some of our “founding fathers”. Their extraordinary enthusiasm and commitment from these early days of our organization explain the immediate success of NTAB.

Over the last 20 years the NTAB has remained firm on its founding principles: keeping alive the link of Belgium-based NT members with the parent organization in England, and promoting in Belgium the spirit of the National Trust, and particularly the heritage idea. I honestly think that NTAB has succeeded on both fronts.

Jan baron Grauls