It is an unwritten rule that fly-ins organised by IFFR Benelux are alternately held in Belgium and the Netherlands. Even Luxembourg is not forgotten. In 2007, thanks to our board member Egide, who passed away too soon, we had an excellently organised fly in in Luxembourg.
But this year it was in the Netherlands again. Maurice Tax with his wife Hijlien and assistance from Huub organised an excellent fly in at Seppe.
Around noon, we welcomed the IFFR flyers from England, Scotland, Norway, Belgium and the Netherlands on a sun-drenched Friday. Here, a sumptuous lunch was enjoyed in the Cockpit, after which we were given an excellent tour by the Flying Museum volunteers courtesy of Jan, Nathalie’s partner. The restored Messerschmitt ME-109G-5 in particular made a big impression, especially as helped by Jan, we were allowed to take a seat in the cockpit. Apart from oldtimers like the Pipercub, Saab, Chipmunck, Tigermoth etc … there were also various types of aircraft engines on display, among other things, with aviation-related objects.
Around 3pm, we checked in at Hotel Keyser (no relation to our chairman) in Breda.
After this, under the guidance and explanation of Maurice Tax – our treasurer – we took a walk through Breda, the city where he was a student at the Royal Military Academy (KMA) at the time and therefore obviously knew it well, especially the pubs. The evening dinner was enjoyed at Humphreys. It was cosy and the weather cooperated fantastically.
On Saturday morning we visited the KMA in Breda, which was of course neatly looked after by Maurice, as an ex-student at this academy. This academy has been training Dutch officers for the army, air force and military police since 1828 and is housed in Breda castle. In Den Helder, officers for the navy are trained. This is a university course.
The tour of the KMA was done by the information department Miriam and Baudouin, who welcomed us in the pigeon loft – the turret – where we were given a detailed explanation of the castle’s history. There are many buildings on the 5-hectare site, but the castle is the showpiece, having been built in 1353.
After the visit, the company walked to Big Belly where lunch was consumed. Followed by a quiz by Maurice with much hilarity in the company.
After this, we had some time to walk around the city, to the delight of the ladies.
At 19:00 gala dinner at the hotel and traditionally in black tie and nice dressing. Apart from the food with drinks being well taken care of, there was also live performance by our house band – Dance Music – which struck the right chord with the participants and got (almost) everyone on the dance floor.
Satisfied and fulfilled, the gala ball ended around 11 p.m. to leave the next day at 9.30 a.m. by bus to Seppe airport cq Breda Airport or in our language EHSE.
And at the end of every IFFR Benelux Galadiner: we sing & dance together on ‘Country Roads Take me home’ by John Denver… a new tradition introduced by Maurice Tax, our treasurer.
by Huub van Heur, Past President IFFR Benelux