The members and the executive committee of the Koninklijke & Graaflijke Handbooggilde van Sint Sebastiaan “de Eendracht van Ooidonk” would like to welcome visitors to the official website of the ‘European Archers Festival 2021’.
The organization of the European Festival EST 2021 has been assigned by the European Community of Historic Guilds (EGS) to the Koninklijke en Graaflijke Handbooggilde Sint-Sebastiaan ‘Eendracht van Ooidonk’. We are so proud to welcome all of you in our Deinze.
Through the ages a “schuttersgilde” (Dutch for “shooting association” or “shooting guild”) in a city or town has been significantly important as a political and social experience. Back in the Middle Ages they played an important role in the defence of their city or county. Today these guilds are rather for social entertainment. But in most guilds, historical traditions are still being observed. That is most certainly the case with our “schuttersgilde”, in which respect for the values of the ancient guilds is the aim.
Living and re-living these values is the aspiration of our guild. The publishing of a biography of our guild, which was founded in 1865, proves that such a guild can still flourish in our fast changing world.
Today we have about 58 members, who meet every two or three weeks. In the course of the year, there are several shooting contests. Prizes of those meetings are awarded to the winners once a year on our ceremonial New Year’s Buffet. Once a year the “Koningschieting” is held. The winner of this contest gets the most prestiguous title of all: he or she will be the proud owner of the title of “King” for one year.
The origin of the guild has been closely linked to Ooidonk Castle. The Count of Ooidonk has been our Patron from the very beginning.
Our motto is “beleven en herbeleven” (living and re-living) among the guildsmen.
Long Live the Guild.