Derwa-Luxem (Herent, BE): a deluxe pigeon family!

The town of Herent is about 20 km away from Brussels and it is the home base of Albert and Francine Derwa-Luxem, the combination that has been performing very well in recent years. Season after season they manage to compete with the best fanciers in Belgium with a small number of pigeons, in the sprint and the grand middle distance.

Albert Derwa with 'De Zoon'

They have had a few great seasons and 2012 was no exception. These are the achievements of 2012:

Union Hageland 5:
Date    Released in Distance  Number Category   Prize 
14-04   Momignies   104 km    613    yearlings  1-2-9-11-29-30-32-38-61, etc. (15/ 21 p.)
14-04   Momignies   104 km    455    old birds  2-15-32-46, etc. (7/ 9 p.)
21-04   Soissons    201 km    335    yearlings  4-5-9-16-17-24, etc. (11/ 19 p.)
21-04   Soissons    201 km    220    old birds  4-5-7-28, etc. (7 /8 p.)
29-04   Nanteuil    241 km    394    yearlings  2-33-40-47, etc. (10/ 20 p.)
29-04   Nanteuil    241 km    273    old birds  4-29-42, etc. (5/ 8 p.)
23-06   Soissons    201 km  1.831    youngbirds 1-4-19-23-49-75, etc. (32/ 58 p.)
Middle Distance Flemish Brabant:
12-05  Pithiviers   354 km    440    old birds  2-48-71, etc. (7/ 8 p.)
12-05  Pithiviers   354 km    554    yearlings  2-4-15-26-73-74, etc. (11/ 18 p.)
26-05  Pithiviers   354 km    837    old birds  4-5-9-17-22, etc. (8/ 8 p.)
26-05  Pithiviers   354 km    784    yearlings  2-3-5-12-29, etc. (12/16 p.)
21-07  Pithiviers   354 km    978    youngbirds 3-4-5-7-8-9-10-14-18, etc. (44/ 56 p.)
11-08  Pithiviers   354 km    845    youngbirds 1-3-4-21-23-24-28, etc. (26/ 30 p.)
18-08  Pithiviers   354 km    412    youngbirds 1-2-4-6-7-8-11-12-14-30, etc. (26/ 31 p.)

Albert plays both with the cocks and the hens. In the beginning of the 2012 season he basketed the cock and the hen of his couples together. After a while he noticed that the cocks were not performing as they should so he decided to keep the female partners at home. These partners joined the training flights of the other racing pigeons. As a reward for their achievements in the past season they could send their top class pigeon ‘De Zoon’ to the Olympiad in Nitra as the third pigeon in category D for Belgium.

'De Zoon'

This is unusual because ‘De Zoon’ has only been basketed once this season for the race from Momignies. He won a second prize against 455 pigeons. ‘De Zoon’ had had an amazingly successful 2011 season and the fanciers were in doubt. Should they basket the pigeon again with the risk of losing him or should they just enjoy the prizes he has already won? Given the already impressive coefficient of this pigeon they decided to no longer basket ‘De Zoon’.  

Here is an overview of the most important results of ‘De Zoon’:

Datum     Release site      Prize         Against          Distance(km)
09-04-11  Momignies          7             590                104
17-04-11  Soissons           1             212                201
24-04-11  Soissons           1             577                201
01-05-11  Nanteuil           1             615                241
07-05-11  Pithiviers         9           1,263                354
14-05-11  Pithiviers         4           1,373                354
21-05-11  Pithiviers         1           1,200                354
28-05-11  Bourges            1             460                457 
11-06-11  Chateauroux        5           8,092                506  
02-07-11  Argenton           3             407                535 
14-04-12  Momignies          2             455                104

Imagine having such an excellent pigeon in your loft! He feels great too, with vibrating muscles and a soft plume. It must be a great sensation to see this pigeon arrive home after a race of between 100 and 500 km. Consider that in 2011 there were a few races where ‘De Zoon’ arrived home simultaneously with his brother ‘Primo’ B09-2027029, who is one year older. This was also the case in Chateauroux, where ‘De Zoon’ won a fifth prize against 8092 yearlings and ‘Primo’ settled for third against 6281 old birds. The two brothers stem from the great racing and breeding hen ‘Paulien’.

The Derwa family

Albert takes care of the pigeons and his wife Francine carries out the administrative tasks for this top class pigeon loft. She knows quite a lot about pigeon racing as well. Albert is retired now but he still goes to the monastery every day, where he started as a maintenance worker in 1977. He used to work fulltime in a hospital; now he works part-time in the monastery. He works three hours a day, usually as a maintenance worker but sometimes he also makes biscuits for the nuns. Could it be that the tranquillity and loyalty of Albert have a positive influence on his pigeons as well? One thing is clear: Albert really enjoys his pigeons and everything related to it. This explains why he has a fairly small team of birds. “Tranquillity and a good overview” is beneficial both for the fancier and the pigeons. Francine couldn’t agree more.