This visit remained in my soul and my memory forever. I met a magnificent pigeon fancier, a real living legend, a real encyclopedia. Due to Mr. Herman I went back in time , 40-50 years ago, and I relived the time when Dr. Bricoux was dominating the national competitions and when Pol Bostyn was the king of the Belgian fonds. My friend Florea Sorin purchased the first doves from Herman Beverdam in 2009; the two are very colse friends.Within the competition with the offsprings Gyosport Bucharest, the pair Florea Ion & Sorin has 6 squabs in the first 10 offsprings from the season’ s end. All the squabs have a parent from the legendary Herman Beverdam.
We were welcome as members of the family, like close friends, like hearty friends. And I want to emphasize this, each time. In all our visits we were welcome as real friends, like real human beings, like real pigeon fanciers. Our visits were not made on the rush, where the doves are presented in the courtyard in the run and then you are invited to go. The majority of the visits fall in this pattern, no matter if the people recognize it or not.
The visits that I and my friend Florea Sorin paid were different from that pattern and I am very proud to say that and this a joyful thing, and not at all a reason to be haughty or arrogant.
Herman Beverdam looks after the doves together with his son Dennis. They both have the doves fly, but from different aviaries and under different names. They are father and son, yet each one has his own principles and ideas.
I am sure you wonder why they did not have results during the last years. When you win all that can be won, you need a new motivation to go forward. Herman, a pure blood of speed-demifond tried the marathon for 5-6 years. And thus he filled his breeding lofts only with marathon doves. But there is asaying:” one must work with the type of doves that fits your own nature.” !!!! That is, if you are a very calm person, you should not participate at the speed-demifond competitions, and if you are a restless person, you should not take part with your doves in the marathon competitions. …Of course, theoretically we can attempt everything, but there must be a balance in all the things we undergo. Herman told us that after 5 years he realized that he had to return to his great passion- that is the speed flights and the demifond flights. He restarted in 2011 and he promised us that since 2013 the Beverdam name will win again the prizes of the national contests. Though it seems difficult to believe, Herman is approaching 80 years, but his vitality, buoyancy and his zest for life are like those of a man of 40! This is incredible!!!!
In the aviaries behind the house there are about 200 pigeons… for breeding and Herman’s flying lot of doves . At only 3 kilometers, the two have bought an old farm. The barn has been reshaped and redesigned as a modern loft with many sections, divisions and lockers. Here 1000 doves live that are taken care of by the two!!!!
I was amazed about the great health state of the doves…they are quite healthy, with an overflowing naturally acquired immunity.If from time to time, a dove gets ill, it is eliminated with no regrets, no matter the pedigree. Why such a big number of doves? For more than 40 years, Herman had some lines of pigeons that are in the pure state. To maintain a line of doves in the pure state for such a long time, one must have many individual doves for each line. Besides these, the flight lot of doves has 200-300 pigeons. Since 2004 I have been going to Belgium, Holland and Germany several times, visiting the most powerful dove lofts. BUT I never saw so many perfect doves in just one loft!!!! NEVER!!!! Together with Florea Sorin I checked “at hand” at least 100 doves ; they were perfect, belonging to different lines…but their shape was the same!!!Herman has he purest, the perfect doves that are very much representing the original phenotype of Janssen and Meulemans !!!!The Meulemans doves were bought at the beginning of the 70’s and since then no other dove was introduced among them. Despite this, the doves look great, they fly well and the inbreeder effect did not leave the mark on them. Herman is a real pigeon breeder!!! He is a real master, a real Michaelangelo in the field of pigeonsport. There is no exaggeration about this remark and I want that every Romanian pigeonsport fancier should manage to meet this wonderful man. Many people boast that they have doves that are originally Janssen and that they were friends with the famous brothers. I used to know two persons – a Dutch man and a Belgian person- , who, besides Janssen, have been close friends with the famous brothers….but now I am sure …none of them was like Herman.
After we spent the day checking doves “at hand” and learning many interesting things, Herman and Dennis invited us to an Asian cuisine restaurant, one of the best of this kind in Holland. After a perfect dinner, in front of a glass of beer, stories began to flow. For a while I had the feeling we were out of the present and we were transposed in Herman’s stories. He is a great story-teller, he is like a combination between Marcel Iures and Stefan Iordache- if you allow a comparison.
We found out how he personally met Jan Aarden in 1951!!!!And he asked me a quite logical question:” Why does everybody speaks about the Jan Aarden pigeon breed, when he actually had doves only for 6 years? !!!!!It is a very good question and perhaps we speak too easily about pigeon lines. After the 6 years when he had doves, all the inhabitants from the area around Steenbergen village claimed they had Jan Aarden pure pigeons… and this stayed the same till present. As Herman says: “As soon as you see a spotted dove with an olive eye or a blue eye, this one is 100% Jan Aarden”… this is foolish. How many people know that in 1970, when the legendary Pol Bostyn won the 1st place at International Pau with his “Benoni”, Herman Beverdam, with his 5 years old female dove, won the 12th place at the International Competition for a distance bigger by almost 200 km than the one of Bostyn???? How many people know that the last 6 top pairs from the breeding of Louis Van Loon were purchased by Herman 3-4 years ago?
The relationship with the Janssen Brothers is the most special of all. In fact, Dennis grew up in the courtyard from Arendonk , being like the nephew of the four brothers. Since the 2nd World War every year , with no exception, Herman bought doves from the Janssen Brothers. And he had the possibility to make choices from all that he wanted. In 1979 Herman paid a visit to the Janssen Brothers together with a very rich German pigeon fancier. The latter wanted to buy only top doves, pigeons that had flown in contests. He suddenly became very fond of the legendary “Oude Raket ‘73”. At the time this dove was not for sale, but in the respective year it had not hatched any squab.Adriaan had told this to the German man, and the latter asked him with how many females he mated it. Adriaan answered him that it had been mated with the same female for the last 3 years. The german person offered him the money for the dove and left for Germany with the pigeon. Amazed, Adriaan asked Herman :” If, however, the female was at fault?” He was right….the female dove was at fault. Thus, “oude Raket” had left forever from Arendonk for Germany where it would die after 2 years due to Paramyxovirosis. In the 70’s Herman had bought the Ace from Arendonk at speed. This was a massive blue dove, with white feathers. Of course, after he bought it, Herman went with the dove at Adriaan Janssen, his good friend. The latter was so impressed by the dove that he kindly asked Herman to keep it for 10 days. Whether he bred it or not, no one knows…but one thing is sure: since then the white feathers appeared at the Janssen doves!!!!! These are just two short stories from an unforgettable evening.
Herman actually does not need advertisement. For more than 30 years he has been selling doves all over the world: Taiwan, Mexico (how many people can claim and be proud for being welcome in the royal palace by the Vice President of Mexico who was also a pigeon fancier?????), Japan, China, etc. At the time of our visit certain lots of doves were prepared for: Taiwan, Mexico and China.
Since 2009, from the first import and till present-day 100 Herman Beverdam doves entered the breeding lofts of Nea Ion “Mazare”; the doves belong to the following lines: Ad Schaerlaekens, Janssen, Meulemans, Jan Huybrechts, Meulemans, Vandenabeele, Jo& Florian Hendricks, etc.
Thank you again Herman & Dennis !!!!