Loilse Nachtwacht transforms into Heart of Loil


LOIL – Just after two o’clock, Eveline and her grandfather report to the door of the Loil church. Grandfather shows Eveline the church while telling her anecdotes. At the front of the church, behind the curtain where the altar used to stand, they find a group of people gathered in a still life. It’s Loilse Nachtwacht’s new style.

By Karin van der Velden

Grandfather has known the church for 60 years. He was baptized there, had communion and was married there. As so many Loilse residents did in the church that was built 112 years ago.

The inspiration for the opening of Loil’s Heart, which took place on September 11, is the painting Loil Night Watch. Edwin van Onna painted it and it was auctioned at the Kerkedak campaign. The profit was used to renovate the church. Representatives of all associations stand around the priests. The priests disappeared, the church was withdrawn from the service and became the cultural center of the village. From a place of worship, it has become a home for all Loilse associations.

Eline taps one of the characters. Martin Tiemessen, chairman of VVV, the Federation of Associations, comes to life and explains what Loil’s Heart means to the Montferland core. With around 855 inhabitants, Loil has seventeen associations. In order to feed these associations with new members, we fought hard for the preservation of the school. Before the summer holidays, the musical of group 8 was performed in Hart van Loil.

The stories continue. About Marcel van de Vrolijke Drammers, who sometimes acts like a priest, but for whom the Catholic meaning of carnival, carne vale or farewell meat doesn’t really matter. Amicitia’s trumpeter says that the Loilse fanfare was founded in 1913 by pastor Inde. “He appointed a number of choir members to play a musical instrument to accompany the procession.” And about the future: “It’s a paradise for us, just to stay close to the Bible. We can use the stage for our stage performances and concerts.”

Carnival prince Robert says that during the show session in 1994, the booth leaders Harrie Hieltjes and René Rasing were on stage as two priests. A year later they themselves were criticized by the priests.

At the end of the play, written by Frank Gies, Hein Harmsen and Edwin van Onna, all the characters from the Loilse Nachtwacht take a new place. And thus a human heart is created by Loil. Eline rings the bell, everyone present rises as if the priest is entering. And with that, Heart of Loil is officially open.

Councilor Henk Groote then gets the floor and says: “I have never experienced such a unique opening before. Loil is known for his stubbornness or individuality. That the village itself always takes the initiative, as is now the case for this house of associations, has not gone unnoticed by other centres. Loil residents may think it’s common, but it’s not. I think (nice to say this) that Loil’s Heart will remain the associations’ home for a long time to come.”

Weekend full of activities
Maarten Hoksbergen, secretary of the board of the Hart van Loil Foundation, says that there have been activities all weekend. “On Friday, we started a three-course dinner for those over 65. We organized this with the Loil Contact Council and SPOL, Seniors Platform Loil. The dinner was partially subsidized with money from the province. Deputy Peter van ‘t Hoog was also there. He was given a tour and was deeply impressed. Friday evening there were activities for young people from twelve to sixteen. Around twenty children took part in archery, the escape room and rappelling from the church tower. We catered for all age groups with a party night for people aged 16 and over on Saturday evening. Simone Verbeek from VVV says: “The former baptismal font was filled with ice cubes, which turned it into a cocktail bar. The statue of Mary still stands at the baptismal font, residents can still light a candle here.”

After the official part, there was an opportunity to look around the renovated church. Didam Archaeological Association was present with memories from the past and Kontaktraad Loil gathered opinions for the new village vision. Peter Bosman: “A survey showed what facilities people would like in the village. Today, they can mark with stickers what they find most important.”

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