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OUR NEXT EVENTS: Eclectic London - Weekend trip Fri Sep 08, 2017 @08:20

Preparations have now started for the celebration of the 20th anniversary of our Association. First decisions have already been made so please save the date which is 21st October, 2017. The venue is the Château de Val Duchesse/Kasteel van Hertoginnedal, a place surrounded by a wonderful park with glorious ponds, in Auderghem/Oudergem. Celebrations will start at 3 o’clock.

NTAB was started 20 years ago, on the initiative of Tom Burr, an English NT member. Having noted that many of his fellow countrymen did not renew their NT membership once settled in Belgium, Tom Burr suggested the creation of a supporters’ group here. The idea was clear: keep alive the link between the NT members living in Belgium and the parent organization.

Max Osterrieth, an Antwerp banker and devoted NT member, enthusiastically took up the idea in Belgium and shortly afterwards our association, the NTAB, was born. This was in 1997

I think this simple ‘coup de coeur’ so enthused members that action needed no written texts as our archives contain little material from this period. My impression is that it was the extraordinary enthusiasm, commitment and motivation at the start which explain the immediate success of NTAB. All over its 20 years’ history, this energy has neverfailed our association. Today, NTAB is as vibrant as ever.

From the start the intention was twofold: on the one hand keeping alive the link of Belgium-based NT members with the parent organization in England, and promoting the spirit of the NationalTrust, and particularly the heritage idea, in Belgium on the other. Ihonestly think that NTAB has succeeded on both fronts. NTAB has also become a vehicle for social networking and friendships.

Since its creation 20 years ago, NTAB has had only three chairmen – the founding father Max Osterrieth, Johan Vanbrabant and Marc Servotte - and under their leadership NTAB has grown and become a fixed feature of the ‘heritage landscape’ in Belgium. And of course, NTAB would not be what it is today without the enthusiasm of both its volunteer Committee members and its members ‘tout court’.

I am proud to be your Chairman and have gladly agreed to be in charge of the 20th anniversary celebrations this year. In the coming months we will be working on the details of the celebrations within the NTAB Committee. Please do not hesitate to share your own thoughts with me so that our 20th anniversary celebrations will become an unforgettable event.

Jan baron Grauls