Chinese vice-president Wang Qishan visits Jos Thoné - “It was just like in the films...”

It is now obvious : The pigeon is the most important export product of Belgium !

Pigeon man Jos Thoné occupied his place in the gallery of the greatest in our pigeon sport years ago. Who in his career has been proclaimed 4 x 'World champion' , has won the 'Gouden Duif' (Golden pigeon) 5 x, was 1° National Champion KBDB Youngsters, already has 5 Olympiad pigeons to his name, and on top of all this 5 x 1° National victories, as well as 2 x 1° International victories, is without doubt a 'big man' in the pigeon sport.
Yesterday the Chinese vice-president also paid a visit...
– Last Thursday the otherwise oh so peaceful As in Limburg was swamped by security people. The reason for this was simple: the vice president of China, Mr. Wang, was coming to visit the Limburg’s wonder boy with a magnificent track record, Jos Thoné. For the last three weeks he has been phoned almost daily by the embassy. To agree and verify certain things... Thoné didn’t actually know what was going on. Even today, he still doesn’t know the real reason for the visit... We had an EXCLUSIVE interview with him today. We discovered in Niel-Bij-As a fancier that was still in shock after everything that had happened to him.
“- It was just like in the films...”

PiPa : For the last few days we have received reports that “someone important from China” would be coming over. Today we read a report about this in the BVL... Tell us how it all came about.
Jos Thoné: “- Well, the story began two to three weeks ago when I suddenly received a telephone call from the Chinese embassy in Brussels. If it was possible to come and talk to me... No problem. So: no sooner said than done... But I was still very suspicious because of the pigeon thefts. You never know who is coming into your house. So I kept things at a distance. Four young guys who could speak good English came for coffee. Or should I say tea... After about five minutes I realised that this was serious. But at the same time I also realised that the people from the embassy didn’t really know who was coming. I asked if it was a pigeon fancier... No answer.
Due to the fact that the person who was coming had quite an important minister post in the Chinese government, I smelled my chance to promote the Belgian pigeon sport and to improve the ‘ties’ between China and Belgium.”

Did you know at the time that the vice-president would be calling?
Jos Thoné: “- Absolutely not. A couple of days after our first ‘exploratory’ talk, the telephone rang. It was the embassy again. If they could visit me again. Of course. No problem... But this time there were a lot more of them. About thirteen or fifteen people from the embassy along with a group of security people. To screen the area thoroughly they said. But more importantly, to bring a piece of paper on which the exact progress – minute for minute – was written. A protocol, you could say.
Take heed: they were very friendly and polite. But when I asked for example if photo’s could be taken, I received a ‘njet’ from the security. I was only allowed to invite one person. There even had to be a professional photographer. They even investigated me thoroughly. Both in pigeon land and beyond they needed to know what I was “made of”. I have nothing against this in itself. I have nothing to hide, so...”

And then Mr. Wang came?
Jos Thoné: “- Wait... it didn’t happen that fast. I studied that protocol day and night. Talking for three minutes. Three minutes of translation. Sitting down for a ‘natter’ for five minutes. Seven minutes in the pigeon loft. And then gone... People who know me, know very well that I am a ‘chatterbox’, so I had to keep checking my watch to see how long we could talk etc...”

What an experience...
Jos Thoné: “- You can say that again... Take now Wednesday. I had to do some shopping and was driving to Filip Herbots in Halle-Booienhoven when I received a phone call from my carer, ‘Bèrke’. The street is full of security people, he said... Even worse: they are going to close off the street any minute. Is it anything to do with that Chinaman, he asked... I didn’t know anything about it. So I drove home like a ‘madman’. To take a look at what was happening. When I arrived home Miet Herbots had just driven up the drive. She was astonished and asked me what all the traffic signs around my house were for... Once again: I knew nothing. Nobody had informed me. Until I asked a chap what he was doing walking around my house... I am state security sir... Nothing or nobody will be allowed to drive into your street later on. Well, blow me down. Everybody knew when the Chinese were coming, except me...”

Come on... you must have known?
Jos Thoné: “- No, I really didn’t. Especially since I had heard that the embassy had also contacted various other fanciers in order to visit them, but in the end had called it off, I thought the same thing would happen to me... Nobody kept me informed of what was going to happen. I just had to learn my protocol on paper by heart. That’s all. In the evening the telephone rang again... the embassy. They  had a ‘problem’... I thought to myself: they’re going to call it off... But nothing was further from the truth. There were also four other important ministers in Belgium along with the vice-president. Would it be a problem if they also came along with him to visit me. Of course not. The more, the merrier... Moreover, they could tell me the exact time that the vice-president, Mr. Wang would arrive. I informed the Lord Mayor, because it was also an significant chance to promote his city.
And then it happened... An hour before the vice-president was due to arrive our street was closed off by the state security people. Everything was irreversibly closed. No one was allowed in or out.
And yes: I have to admit... Thoné was nervous. Very nervous. Because something like this doesn’t happen every day... I kept thinking ‘Let’s now hope that everything goes according to ‘protocol’’, until in the distance we saw three police motors, followed by a whole ‘swarm’ of armoured limousines, followed by another four police motors. You can’t imagine it... Just like in the film...”

Such important guests usually have special demands...
Jos Thoné: “- Not really. The  only thing that was written in the ‘protocol’ was that the drinks had to be from transparent bottles and there were to be no fingerprints on any of the glasses... The Lord Mayor and I gave the gentlemen from China a warm welcome. As soon as we were in the house I started the conversation... After all, we only had a few minutes...”

What do you talk about with people in such high places?
Jos Thoné: “- Well, actually that doesn’t affect me... I just wanted to promote the Belgian pigeon sport. I immediately started to try and impress the importance of the pigeon on Mr. Wang. I told him bluntly that they can copy everything in China. Even our Belgian chocolate. But one thing they really cannot copy... Our Belgian pigeon. Nowhere in the world is it possible to breed such good pigeons and to select them as in Belgium. I also emphasised that they should try to unravel the heritage of every Chinese pigeon. The origin of their pigeons will invariably be from the direction of Belgium... Even today the Belgians are still the absolute number one in the world where the pigeons are concerned. Simply because nowhere else offers the possibilities as in our Belgian country. Where both the game and the selection is concerned, our product remains a golden product... That’s why I think the pigeon sport should be supported by a broader basis. Why not let us be subsidised or sponsored? When I see what our government does have money for, then I think it is a sad business. Pigeon sport is so nice... it should certainly not be neglected. After all, it is Belgian cultural heritage...”

Did he want to see the pigeons?
Jos Thoné: “- Yes. That was also mentioned in the protocol. Once we were in the ‘pigeon loft’ we talked about the racing systems. The pigeon sport in a nutshell so to speak...”

No pigeons were bought?
Jos Thoné: “ Well, to be honest I had made sure that I had a couple of youngsters out of my very best pigeons to give as a present to the vice-president. But the fact of the matter was that he asked me himself if he could buy a couple of youngsters. Specially for his uncle...”

For his uncle?
Jos Thoné: “- Yes... Strange but true... I didn’t enquire into it further, because it wasn’t allowed. I immediately told him that he could have them for free. A present.”

What was now the ultimate reason for Mr. Wang’s visit?
Jos Thoné: “- Honestly... I don’t know. During our talks it turned out that he particularly wanted to come and buy pigeons for his ‘uncle’. But if he only came to visit for his ‘uncle’, I don’t know. We had a good talk. Direct to the point and clear. I think that I was successful in building up the relationship between China and Belgium. That was my ultimate goal.”
After forty five minutes the delegation were gone as fast as they came. Thoné has managed single handed to do what the KBDB should have done years ago. And for this Thoné didn’t have to travel to China. They came to him. To Niel-Bij-As. To talk about pigeons, but mainly to forge closer links. Jos Thoné is still convinced that the pigeon sport can yet be saved.  Subject to the correct strategy and a wider basis. And for this we need the cooperation of the KBDB and the various governments. Maybe Thoné should enter himself for the following individual election of the KBDB? Under the motto “Yes We Can”, he would achieve a monster score... Joking apart, we don’t nearly have enough chaps like Thoné in the grey masses. By himself he has done more for the promotion of our sport than the KBDB has done since it started. Simply because he has a ‘feeling’ for marketing and public relations. Once again: there are not nearly enough blokes like him!
Source photo's : Het Belang Van Limburg


Et si on te demande dis-leur
D'oublier de m'attendre,
Je regarde le ciel,
Je vais à l'essentiel,
Car ici c'est ailleurs,
Ailleurs Land

Formidabele promotie voor de Belgische Reisduif.
En ik ben zeker dat we geen betere duiven-ambassareur kunnen vinden dan Jos Thoné.
Hopelijk gaat de KBDB nu ook eens nadenken over wat het woord Promotie van de Duivensport nu eigenlijk inhoudt.
Het wordt de hoogste tijd dat liefhebbers met een moderne en gezonde visie de koppen bijeensteken om te zien wat we allemaal wel kunnen doen al dan niet met de Bond.
Bonden zijn zoals regeringen - indien ze niet voldoen kan de burger ze omverwerpen en vervangen indien dit de enige oplossing blijkt.
Gelukkig zijn er nog jongens als Jos Thoné en instellingen als PIPA in duivenland.
Proficiat aan hen die het verdienen - shame on you aan de bestuursleden van de eeuwig weer gemiste kansen.

Dan juist nog die gefrustreerde schrijvers...

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NB 没的说 Shocked