Guido Defour wins the six-monthly Cultural Prize Pittem

Pittem Culture Council awarded the two-year Culture Award for the tenth time to someone who has engaged in cultural and associational life in Pittem and Egem. This year the award went to the former journalist Guido Defour.

Since 2003, the Pittemse Cultuurraad has awarded the Cultuurprijs every two years. The purpose is to pay tribute to a person or association who has engaged in the cultural field or in association life, and who spreads the name Pittem beyond the municipal boundary. After two rounds of voting, three nominees were selected: Guido Defour, Ward Pollet and Luc Vandromme. The award was presented during an academic session on Sunday morning, November 13.

In his introductory speech, moderator Wim Popelier saw clear similarities between the three candidate winners. “They have more than earned their stripes in education, books are a red thread through their lives for all three, and the three graduates have a quick pen. One as a journalist or employee of club magazines, the other as a writer. In any case, all three of them have a versatility in different cultural domains in common.”

Ambassadors for the municipality

Culture spokesperson Heidi Lievrouw emphasized the importance of culture in our society in her speech. “For me, culture is the beating heart of society and what binds a community together. For the three nominees, they are all ambassadors for our municipality, and they all carry culture in their hearts and souls. The many nominated candidates show that the culture is definitely alive in Pittem.”

Moderator Wim Popelier joined seamlessly with an overview of the benefits of third and second place in the results. “When I say ‘100 days’ and ‘visual diary’, it already rings a bell for many, and we soon reach the third in the results, Luc Vandromme. He is a creative all-rounder: painter, writer, jazz singer and fun-loving. He once told me that he doesn’t look for ideas, they come naturally.”

“We know Ward Pollet, the second in the result, as an inspiration for youth movements and chairman of, among others, Gezinsbond, Davidsfonds and recently Samana. He was also the driving force and chairman of the annual essay competition and chaired the library’s governing body for no less than 26 years.”

Cultural centipede

“Winner Guido Defour is a cultural master, and we know him as a teacher at Pittem Primary School and as an inspirer and co-founder of several associations such as Cultuurraad, De Kunstkring Ter Cauwe or Davidsfonds. As a member of the Zotte Monday Committee and the Committee for Children’s Day, he was also for many years an inspiration for the Pittemse fair weeks and was one of the creators of the Pittem Zotteke figure. He also sang in various choirs, played theater and wrote several books. In addition, he was a journalist for various newspapers and that since then, as he himself puts it, “people still visited people and there was coffee and biscuits, everything still had to be typed, the telex still existed and the word ‘thank you’ had a different meaning.”

Guido wouldn’t be Guido if he hadn’t taken everything into account, so (just in case) he had also prepared a little speech himself. “A French politician once said: Culture is what remains in man when he has forgotten everything. I’m turning 76 soon, I’ve actually forgotten a few things, but luckily a lot has been archived. The cultural award has been on my bucket list for years, and I would like to thank the associations that have now awarded it to me.”

Archiving and digitization

“With regard to archiving, I have an agreement with Heemkundige Kring that I supply their archive with, among other things, a box that contains part of my father’s photo archive. In addition, I myself have a wealth of super-8 film and an archive of at least 100,000 negatives. We therefore call on the mayor to provide Heemkundige Kring with the necessary material to digitize this.”

Guido Defour received an artwork by art photographer Carlos Laethem. It was a 3D photo that contained an open book and a picture of the village center of Pittem. Two things that, as the artist himself said, are close to Guido’s heart. (JG)

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