The people in Kalmthout know him as the “Witte” or the “mayor of the Colruyt”, but in fact his name is simply Dirk Devalckeneer (61). Dirk retired on Wednesday and that had to be celebrated according to the people of Kalmthout. That is why he was waved off with a guard of honor from customers and was even decorated by the mayor. “From tomorrow, he will officially be honorary mayor of Colruyt”, says his daughter Anneke.
Saar Van Olmen
Yesterday at 17:57
“Thank you for this great farewell”, says an emotional Dirk during a speech at the cash register. “I have enjoyed working here for 15 years and entertaining the customers.” Because that’s what made the “White” so special according to his daughter. “My father is a well-known figure,” she says. “When several cash registers were open, there was always a long line at his. He joked, lent a listening ear and was always enthusiastic.”
Dirk used to work for General Motors, but when the factory closed he was too young to retire. That is why he started at Colruyt as an employee in the store and at the cash register.
“When he said goodbye, there were about 500 people,” says Anneke. “He was even decorated by the mayor.” Dirk mainly used it during his acceptance speech to encourage people to come and work at Colruyt. “There are still vacancies,” he smiles. “If you’re interested, the desk is upstairs.”