MHS Centennial Organization: Le Club Belge [The Belgian Club]
In 1905, Louis de Nobele and his father-in-law Theophile Elewaut suggested they form a club so that Belgians who, at that time, were arriving in Manitoba in large numbers would have a venue to meet each other. At first, members of Le Club Belge met in an old boarding house on Lombard Avenue in Winnipeg moving, a year later, to St. Boniface so it could be nearer to where most of its members lived. In 1907, they purchased land on Provencher Boulevard for $1,600 and constructed a clubhouse that is still its home today. A century later, many of the club’s 5,000 members are descendants of the founders. Still true to its origins, the club remains a cultural home for Belgians from around Manitoba, and it is an active participant in Winnipeg’s annual Folklorama festival, with such attractions as demonstrations of Belgian bowling and pole archery, and such goodies as Belgian chocolate, waffles, and, of course, good Belgian beer.
On 3 April 2005, an MHS Centennial Organization Award was presented by Lieutenant-Governor John Harvard, Jacqueline Friesen, and Gordon Goldsborough to Neil Pryce, Past Secretary and Member-at-Large of Le Club Belge, and the great-great-grandson of Edward Lammens, one of the club’s 45 original members.
“Theodor Bockstael heads Belgian Club,” Winnipeg Tribune, 13 May 1938, page 14.
“Theodore Bockstael dies in hospital,” Winnipeg Free Press, 2 December 1958, page 8.
Obituary [Evelyn Simoens Baltessen], Winnipeg Free Press, 30 March 1998, page 16.
This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough and Neil Pryce.
Page revised: 6 July 2017