BACKGROUND

It is in Flanders and Italy that the first major towns emerge. Medieval Ghent (Gent) developed in the shade of the impressive Castle of the Counts and was bordered by Flanders' two most powerful abbeys: St Peter's and St Bavo's. Thanks to its production of famous luxurious cloth, which was exported all over Western Europe and Northern Africa, Ghent became the largest and most populous city in Flanders; a city of European significance and north of the Alps only surpassed by Paris.

As for the leaders of Ghent there was above all the Emperor Charles the 5th, born in Ghent in 1500 and who returned to Ghent to punish of the city.

Today Ghent is still an uncommonly fascinating city, " one of the most beautiful historic cities in Europe ", as Fran├žois Mitterand said during his visit in 1983. The high level of cultural life is maintained and Ghent is one of the few Belgian cities where artistic initiatives have an international aura.

HISTORY OF THE ORDE VAN DE BELLEMAN

Mr Julien Pauwels was town crier in Drongen (near Ghent) since 1972. In 1977 Drongen became part of Ghent, so Mr Julien Pauwels arrived as town crier in Ghent.

The Orde van de Belleman was established in 1984 and became a member of the English " Ancient and Honourable Guild of Town Criers ". In the same year, Mr Julien Pauwels was nominated and installed by the city counsel as the official town crier of the city of Ghent.

In 1989 the Orde van de Belleman organized "The 2nd World Town Crier Championships". 96 town criers and their escorts participated to one of the most beautiful and best championships ever.

Since a couple of years, and due to the success, two more town criers are following his footsteps. Their nomination was also endorsed by the city counsel. Mr Willy Van De Putte and Mr Jean-Pierre Van De Perre are now also officially representing the city of Ghent. These men are very active in Ghent and abroad to represent our town in the European and World Championships and won many prices.

In the year 2000 the "ORDE VAN DE BELLEMAN" organised the MILLENNIUM WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP FOR TOWN CRIERS - 2000 GUILD OF TOWN CRIERS EUROPEAN CONTINENT.

MEMBERS OF THE BOARD

Deputy Chairman: Dhr. Jacques Vervaet
Permanent secretary - Tresaurer: Dhr. Gilbert Demaringo
Town Criers: Mr Wille Van De Putte, Mr Jean-Pierre Van De Perre, Mr Marc Vervust
Public Relations: Mrs Esther van der Helm
Giant responsible: Mr Freddy Manssens

EVENTS The "ORDE VAN DE BELLEMAN" can be contacted:
Every Sunday from May to September, a city tour of the markets. Secretary: Gilbert DEMARINGO, Koekoeklaan 56, B-9000 GENT (BELGIUM)
On special request they make a special humouristic city tour. International tel & fax: ++ 32 9 222 67 43
Only for connoisseurs they make an evening pub tour adapted to the taste of the public. Internet: http://www.towncriers.be
A city tour starting with a small boat trip and some local gin is a tourist classic. E-mail 1: info@towncriers.be
Announcing of the local fancy fairs of the city of Ghent. E-mail 2: belleman-orde-gent@hotmail.com
The very funny new year drink in February. E-mail 3: gilbertdemaringo@hotmail.com
Announcing all weddings, events - business and private - as long as it is for people with tradition, a good hart and lots of fun.

Guild of the Town Criers of the European Continent - npo

Under the auspices of the " ORDE VAN DE BELLEMAN " is funded the 1st of February 1999 the "GUILD OF TOWN CRIERS EUROPEAN CONTINENT".

The purpose of this association is to unite all Town Criers of the European Continent, to make the cultural patrimony and places of interest well know. It organizes also scientific-, touristic- and recreative activities for all its members and sympathizers.

The statutes of the Guild were published in the Belgian national Gazette 27/05/1999.


Info: towncriers-euroguild-belgium@hotmail.com