Nicolas Maeterlinck

More than 25,000 attend 45th Scheldt Consecration in Doel

There was no shortage of visitors at the annual consecration of the River Scheldt at Doel in East Flanders on Sunday. It was the 45th year that the event has been held by action groups resisting the destruction of the village that stands in the shadow of the port of Antwerp and one of the country’s two nuclear power station. 

Jan Creve of the Doel2020 action group told VRT News “There is a total change in the attitude of the participants. They now believe that Doel will continue to exist and that its continued existence is the only option”.

However, the action group doesn’t intend to rest on its laurels. “We would like nothing more than to do away with our committee. However, that would be naive”. The sun and the fact that it remained dry sent people flocking to the event. The first Consecration of the Scheldt was held in 1975 the idea was to make it clear that Doel and the other villages in the polders around the port of Antwerp still have a future.

The village was under threat from the expansion of the port and locals and others decided that it was time to take action to prevent this happening. Doel has been reprieved and there is now a growing sense of optimism surround the future of the village. For the first time in many year a child was born in Doel earlier this year.

Nevertheless, the Doel2020 intends to carry on, for the time being at least, and hopes to help shape the future of the village that it helped save.  

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