HOFSTADE-ZEMST, Belgium – Many Belgian ice hockey veterans attended a ceremonial opening of a 100 Years of Belgian Ice Hockey exhibition, which was staged by the Royal Belgian Ice Hockey Federation in the Belgian sports museum Sportimonium. The exhibition lasts until December 15th.
After a short introduction from the chairman of the museum, Prof. Roland Renson, RBIHF President Pascal Nuchelmans gave a warm welcome to the more than hundred guests present at the opening ceremony on October 26th.
Then the floor was given to Christian Pierre, RBIHF General Secretary and project manager for the exhibition, who gave an overview per decade of a century of Belgian hockey, focusing on the important role Belgium has played in the international ice hockey world as a co-founder of the IIHF, with two Belgian IIHF presidents and as organiser of the first Olympic Ice Hockey tournament in 1920.
The exhibition – a display of photos, posters, artefacts and memorabilia of a century-long history – was opened when hockey veterans Edgar Verlinden (born 1930), former player and co-founder of Olympia IHC and Brussels IHC legend and former Team Belgium player Georges Hartmeyer (*1923) together with President Nuchelmans cut the ribbon.
Also present were former national team players Jos Lejeune, Jan Van Beveren and Evy Seeldrayers, who played against the legendary Russian KLM-line when the CCCP team played an exhibition game on January 9th, 1981, at the Die Swaene ice rink in Heist op den Berg, the current home of Olympia IHC.
The opening ceremony was also the right time for President Pascal Nuchelmans to honour his predecessor Chris Clement and his wife Jeannine, Honorary General Secretary, for their long-time servitude to Belgian ice hockey.
At the ceremony a Centennial All-Star Team was unveiled as well:
- Bjorn Steijlen, goalie (*1977)
- Jef Lekens, Right Defenceman (*1911, †1973)
- Mike Pellegrims, Left Defenceman (*1968)
- Willy Kreitz, Right Wing (*1903, †1982)
- Bob Moris Sr., Centre (*1947)
- Bob Moris Jr., Left Wing (*1966)
From left to right: Edgar Verlinden, RBIHF President Pascal Nuchelmans, Georges Hartmeyer and RBIHF General Secretary Christian Pierre cut the ribbon. Photo: Ivan De Vijlder