History of the FRBCE-KBFS

nl - fr - en

The Royal Belgian Federation of Fencing Clubs (FRBCE-KBFS) was established on October 25th, 1896, at the instigation of Brussels’ fencing enthusiasts Eugène Wetrems and Léon Fadeux. At its foundation, the new federation already counted 25 affiliated associations; from Antwerp, Brussels, Ghent, Leuven, Liege, Mechelen, Ostend, Tournai and Verviers. The first board was formed with representatives of the most prestigious fencing clubs in the country:

president: Col. Gaston Hynderick de Theulegoet (Cercle d’Escrime de Bruxelles)
vice-presidents: Frédéric Van den Abeele (La Concorde, Antwerp)
Albert Feyerick (Sint-Michielsgilde, Ghent)
Eugène Wetrems (Salle Léopold Merckx, Brussels)
secretary-general: Oscar Grégoire (Salle Henri Dupont, Brussels)
secretary: Octave Maus (Salle Arte et Marte, Brussels)
treasurer: Gaston St-Paul de Sinçay (Société Littéraire, Liège)
commissioners: Capt. Jean-Baptiste Meiser (Touring Club de Belgique, Brussel)
Léon Fontaine (Salle Desmedt, Brussel)
Capt. G. Verstraeten (Division d'Artillerie de la Garde Civique, Brussel)

Eugène Wetrems organised the first Belgian championships in 1898 and soon national teams were presented for the grand international tournaments. Later on, board members of the federation played an important role in the foundation of the International Fencing Federation FIE.
The federation was already given the honorary title of ‘royal federation’, awarded by King Albert I, in 1927.

The successive presidents of the FRBCE-KBFS were: 1896-1905 col. Gaston Hynderick de Theulegoet, 1905-1919 Albert Feyerick, 1919-1921 Albert Sarens, 1921-1931 Ludo Van den Abeele, 1931-1937 baron Henri Langlois van Ophem, 1937-1953 col. Fernand Van Den Heuvel, 1953-1962 Julien Eggermont, 1962-1969 Charles Debeur, 1969-1973 col. Pierre Francisse, 1973-1978 col. Verstegen, 1978-1984 Marc Willemart, 1984-1991 Hugo Brioen, 1991-1992 Paul Melchers, 1992-1993 Henri Collart, 1993-1994 Guido Geysen, 1994-1995 Alexandre Walnier.
Since 2005 the president is Louis Coomans de Brachène.

A 1977 decree obliged national sports federations to split up in order to qualify for funding. This meant Belgian fencing clubs had to divide themselves over a Flemish and a French-speaking association; Vlaamse Schermbond and Ligue Francophone des Cercles d’Escrime de Belgique (now: Fédération Francophone). The FRBCE-KBFS remained only as a national umbrella and a contact point for foreign organisations.

Read the original statutes of the federation (in French), approved by the founding assembly at the City Hall of Brussels on October 25th 1896 (copied from: Le Cycliste Belge Illustré, 10/29/1896).