For the 92nd time, the Great Trek leads hundreds on foot to Scherpenheuvel (Berendrecht-Zandvliet-Lillo)

For the 92nd time, the Great Trek leads hundreds on foot to Scherpenheuvel (Berendrecht-Zandvliet-Lillo)
For the 92nd time, the Great Trek leads hundreds on foot to Scherpenheuvel (Berendrecht-Zandvliet-Lillo)

Great Migration to Scherpenheuvel. — © rr


The 92nd Great Trek departs from the church of Berchem on the first Sunday of May. That is one of the most famous pilgrimages in our country. Since 1931, members and former members of the scouts and other youth movements have been completing a 57 kilometer journey between Berchem and Scherpenheuvel.

“The Great Trek took place for the first time in 1931,” says Erick De Cleyn. He is the man who organizes this pilgrimage. Seven years ago he succeeded Zandvlietenaar Pitte Van Gils, after his sudden death in 2017. “When the Jamboree Band was founded in 1937 at the International Jamboree in the Netherlands, no one could have imagined that the standard of this band has been maintained every year on the first Sunday in May is carried from Berchem to Scherpenheuvel.”

“Roger Hanquet was 13 years old in 1962 and, like Pitte Van Gils, was taught by gymnastics teacher Jan Lamquet at TNA London Street. Jan tells a lot about his trip to Scherpenheuvel and that makes a big impression on Roger and Pitte. Roger joins for the first time in 1962. At four o’clock he is ready at the church in Berchem. He sees that everyone is encouraged to carry a drum, flag or standard. Roger plays the drums on a large landsknecht that day and two years later he carries the large standard of the Jamboree band. It weighs seven kilos. He does this until 2014, when he becomes the driver of the follow-up van. Roger passed away two years ago.”


“57 kilometers between Berchem and Scherpenheuvel and the course has remained virtually unchanged in all these years. Of course, things have changed in all these years. The drummers of the Jamboree band indicate the cadence, but we have had to do it quietly in the morning for several years now, because we have to respect the noise standards everywhere,” explains Erick De Cleyn.

The Great Trek departs on Sunday, May 5 at 5 am from the Oude Kerk of Berchem on the Grote Steenweg. Under police escort, it goes via Lier and Aarschot to Scherpenheuvel where the pilgrims arrive around 4 p.m.

The article is in Dutch


Tags: #92nd time Great Trek leads hundreds foot Scherpenheuvel BerendrechtZandvlietLillo


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