Alfons is a well-liked figure in Tessenderlo.  In 2017, on his 100th, he sounded the Last Post to honour those who fell in war.

Only in Belgium: 105-year-old gets invite for 1st year at primary school

The good folk at the Hartelust primary school in Tessenderlo (Limburg) gave Alfons Pauwels the fright of his very long life when they sent him an invitation to visit their school and become acquainted with the first year of primary.  The school lopped a century off Alfons’s age and thought he was only 5.

“Alfons Pauwels is my granddad.  He’s still all there, but the invitation was a bit of  surprise” explains grandson Michael.  “It’s so funny, we’ve put the letter in a frame and hung it on the wall”.

Hartelust’s Hanne Jacobs concedes the invitation was a regrettable mistake: “Every year the municipality sends us the names and addresses of children aged 5 and ready for primary.  This year it’s children born in 2017, but somebody born in 1917 also ended up on the list”.

“When we were dispatching the invites, a teacher mentioned there was an Alfons on the list and how these old names are back in vogue”.

Even though Alfons has more miles on the clock than expected he’s still very welcome to visit the school: “We’d like to show him the new school building.  If he can’t get here, we’d like to visit him at home to present him with a school T-shirt to remember this funny episode!”

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