There were many lofts in Belgium in those days, flying the Commine pigeons most successfully. The true successor of Charles Commine was unquestionably Padre Brusseel, of Gijzegem. In 1946,
Padre Brusseel sold practically his entire stock; he held back an old hen and five late-breds, purely for sentimental reasons, and not to race. It is a known fact that, over the years, the good Padre helped many fanciers obtain some d pigeons. Today, in 1972, many fanciers still speak most highly of this fine fancier and always with great praise. Included among the fanciers to
whom he gave birds, we must include the following: Marcel Desmet, Norbert Durieu of Kortrijk, Robert Lefebure of Harelbeke, as well as the Weyn Brothers, of St.-Niklaas. Frans Weyn, of course, was one of his best friends, and we must presume that the Jurist of the Belgian Pigeon Fanciers Federation has also been one of his pupils.
Relative to this present study, a history of the strain of Julien Commine would be very interesting. But, because the pigeons in the loft of the Padre were identical to the ones present in the lofts at Leers-Nord (Fr.), we will confine our study to the Padre, who has always been an example of fine sportsmanship and a great Belgian champion.
The period of which we speak goes back to the years 1905 through 1910, at which time Padre Brusseel was still Professor Uyttenhove, having Charles Commine as one of his pupils. Charles was the son of the well-known Champion, Julien Commine. At that time, the professor was a fancier of note, and was a friend of the family of the great flyer, Julien Commine. As a result of
this, Padre Brusseel came to own descendants of the very best birds to be found in the Commine lofts, and when he was installed as a Padre in Gijzegem, he was abie to start there with the pure Commine strain.
What were these Commine pigeons, and where did they originate? First of all, we must mention that they consisted of a pairing of a cock from Karel Wegge with a hen from Michel Fache, of Westouter—out of "De 25." We shall submit further particulars about Karel Wegge, later on in this book.
Here, we are happy to present some details concerning Fache, at that time, a pigeon fancier of great fame. Fache, a contemporary of Karel Wegge, started his loft in 1886-1887. At the time, he happened to be the owner of a famous stock-pair; the male was a checker from the loft of Dedeurwaerder of Pittem, while the blue hen, his mate, came from the loft of one Delcroix of Herseaux. From this pairing, 25 youngsters were eventually bred — and all of these were known as " The 25." One of these, Commine paired to the Wegge cock, and from this mating resulted a whole series of first-class pigeons. From this above-mentioned pair, a checker cock was mated to a blue hen from the loft of Master Vandevelde of Oudenburg — this blue hen was a daughter of his " Vuil Blauwe Duivin" (the Smokey blue Hen). In the loft of Julien Commine, this new pair became the parents of his world-famous "Napoleon," who tor many years was known as the bast flyer and breeder in all of Belgium. This very bird, "Napoleon," was the bird that first brought fame to Commine. "Napoleon" only received his name later on in life, and only after he had achieved such wonder ful performances. While he was racing, he was always referred to as "De Kleine Vuile Blauwe" (The Little Smokey Blue). Thus, "Napoleon" was twice baptised !
It was "Napoleon" who really made history, and it was also "Napoleon" who later gave Padre Brusseel his claim to fame. Commine, however, had made other crossings, in addition to the pairings mentioned above. Here, we must emphasize the famous crossings he made with the pigeons of Paul Sion of Tourcoing, one of the greatest being with the blood of Sion's "Oude Grijze" (Old Grey); this was the same blood that was introduced into the lofts of Charles Vander Espt, Doctor Bricoux, and many others. "The Oude Grijze" Sion came out of a crossing of Vander Espt and Vandevelde.
Other famous fanciers had pigeons from Padre Brusseel, with which they were able to make outstanding crossings. Among these, we must mention Dr. Bricoux, in 1938; Charles Commine, the son of Julien Commine, also used this cross in 1949—at that time he resided in Halluin, North of France; Marcel Desmet, of Waregem, who bred the winner of 4th Prize Cahors National from
a hen that he obtained from Padre Brusseel.
As a result of the entire sale of 109 pigeons from the loft of Padre Brusseel, held November 11, 1952, the pure Commine stock was disseminated about. Unfortunately, the proceeds of the sale were not very high; however, for Padre Brusseel, it was a great consolation for him that in the following years, many fanciers had outstanding results with the progeny of his stock