AntwerpTV and radio personality Luc Appermont (72) and techno entrepreneur Jürgen Ingels (51) were allowed to pick up a Gulden Spoor at the Schoonselhof on Monday. Bart De Wever (N-VA) paid tribute to Lode Craeyback (1897-1976). This legendary mayor was the architect of post-war Antwerp and a leftist Flamingant in his youth. He went to jail for it.
No one was mayor in Antwerp for as long as Lode Craeybeckx. He stayed there for 29.5 years, until he died on July 25, 1976. He led the city towards a merger with eight surrounding districts, opted for a huge expansion of the Antwerp harbor and was one of the founders of the University of Antwerp and of the open-air museum Middelheim.
Craeybeckx may have been a convinced socialist, Bart De Wever also sees many similarities. “Burgerzin was close to him and dear to my heart. If you invest in it, you get a lot in return. Say hello to each other on the street, stand up for the elderly, respect everyone’s orientation and take a taxi if you’ve had a glass too much.”
The latter also builds a bridge to Craeybeckx’s joie de vivre. “He was a handsome, charming figure, a tradition among mayors”, joked De Wever. “He loved our city and the Sinjoren and tasted the Burgundian life to the fullest. He was highly regarded both in the pub and in the art gallery.”
“I wonder how he would look at the constitutional Belgian knot today”, mused De Wever, who also pointed out that Craeybeckx kept repeating that Antwerp would not let go of Brussels.
Luc Appermont, accompanied by his husband Bart Kaëll, succeeds predecessors such as Will Tura, Connie Neefs and Chris Lomme with his Golden Spoor for Cultural Appearance. He was the first male announcer at the then BRT and would later present a whole range of fine TV and radio programs. In 1990 he switched to VTM, which he helped to develop.
An De Moor, chairman of the Flanders-Europe Movement that awards the Golden Spurs, calls Appermont a monument from Flemish showbiz. On Monday, Appermont argued in favor of a Flemish House for Sound and Vision, after the Dutch model, which, as a media institute, can safeguard the collection of audiovisual material for the next generations. “And it would of course be fantastic if that could come to Antwerp.”
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Jürgen Ingels, who was born in West Flanders, but moved to Mechelen, was awarded the Gulden Spoor for Economic Merit. Ingels succeeds Fernand Huts, Vic Swerts and Hans Bourlon, among others. He is considered a venture capitalist and made a name for himself with his financial technology company Clear2Pay and his role in the VIER program De Leeuwenkuil. “Always focus on your talents, don’t waste time on things you’re not good at,” he advised. “Tell your kids to try to make their eight or nine a ten instead of doing a subject where they only get 5 out of 10.”
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