VanOutrive Hometown visit

On Sunday we all piled in the car on a overcast day and made our way to my families hometown in Belguim called Zvevegem.  I for one was looking forward to seeing where my grandfather came from.  I knew it probably didn’t even come close to resembling the town that was there when my grandfather left this town at the beginning of World War 1.  

Belgium Zwevegem

Interesting story - as told by my grandfather - my great grandfather had left Belgium to come to Canada to set up a what he thought would be a better life for his young family before the start of the first world war.  When he arrived in Canada the war had broken out in Belgium.  As there was no real good communications back in those days (my kids die if we don’t have internet for 2 days) he had no way of knowing the status or whereabouts of his family in Belgium he only knew that all hell was breaking loose and his family was in the middle of it.  So the first thing he did was join the Canadian Armed forces and went back to fight the germans and find his family.  Meanwhile, my great-grandmother had taken the children at the first sign of conflict in Belgium and got on the first boat to Canada.  I would think she was a pretty resourceful lady considering all of the people that were probably trying to get our of harms way.  My grandfather reached the front of the war and got news his family was ok in Canada.  

During our tour we saw the area in which I believe he grew up in.  There was a large church across the street and it looked like the steeple was the only original thing about it.  Pretty much the complete facade was rebuilt.  Next we took a little walk into the village to have a look around.  Being as it was sunday pretty much everything was closed and so there we’re not a lot of people about.  It was a neat little town about the size of the town I grew up in Selkirk.  On the other side of the apartment (or area because the place looked pretty modern) was an old windmill.   I can imagine that this windmill was probably one of the focal points in this town in the early 1900’s.  

We walked around for a while and then drove around the different areas of the town to look around.  Kim and I both agreed that there must be some money in this town as the cars were pretty nice and the homes were pretty big.  

Next we went to a town called Kortrijk (spelling might be wrong) and toured around for a while.  On the way the trusty old GPS took us through the little villages and back 40’s route and we wound up at this large mall (we didn’t know what to call it as it was kind of a combination of an IKEA, and a mall and a superstore).  We looked around for a while and got some yummy donuts, they were awesome.  

© VanKosh Family 2015