The ad fundum of King Boudewijn
The Flemish Landbouwkring (“association of agronomy students”) (LBK) emerged from a social … The miserable situation of the Flemish farmers in 1887 moved the students of the Institut Agronomique lead by Paul Devuyst to found an opposition against the already established Cercle Agronomique. Now, 130 years later, LBK is one of the biggest student’s assiociations in Leuven.
At the beginning, LBK was merely a group of people talking together. Its only activity was to hold speeches in Dutch to help farmers in a language they could understand, as at that time the educational language was French. At these lectures people were not allowed to drink alcohol. Mostly the speakers were priests who had nothing to do with the Landbouwkring, but who were accustomed to speaking in public. However, the chairman of the Flemish Landbouwkring, a young professor of the Institut Agronomique, was obliged to hold a lecture.
At the end of the previous century people that an education in engineering didn’t belong in the didactic framework of a university. The majority of agricultural students were children of landlords and brewers or already graduated in another field of study. In this way the first praeses, Paul Devuyst, graduated from the faculty of Languages and Philosophy at that time. Next to this praeses the presidium consisted of a writer (compulsory in his second year of studying) and a bookkeeper (in his first year of studying). Also the function of ‘library’ existed for three years. Books were loaned for twenty-five centime a week. We had to wait for the first girl at the faculty --and immediately named secretary of the presidium-- until the twenties of this century. In this period the club became less combative. The main consequence was the regularized recreation at three evenings during the year. The highlight of the year was the election of the presidium at the ‘Sweet waters’ of Old-Herverlee. At the two other evenings, on the occasion of Saint Nicholas and Christmas, the girls were offered chocolate and wine by the presidium. Also beer was introduced as refreshment during the long meetings. In time these lectures became more of a rolling of for pub-crawls. Also the ‘Revue’, founded in 1934, lead by unwritten rule to a rolling of… After the relocation to Heverlee in 1939 and the arise of an ‘engineering ghetto’ the emphasis almost completely shifted towards recreation. Even after the war this trend kept on going. First year students were received with a special ‘welcome convent’ and a baptism club was founded. Every week club nights were organized where a red handkerchief with white dots was an essential and compulsory attribute. Beer was free, since students’ fathers who owned a brewery mainly funded these evenings. At last also dance evenings weren’t unknown. Especially the famous ‘Thé Dansant’ or TD became very popular, however limited to twice a year.
In 1948, LBK went for the first time abroad on a study trip to the agriculture university of Wageningen. Since the sixties the International Association of Agricultural Students (IAAS) was responsible for the organization of this event. Meanwhile LBK celebrated in 1962 already his fifteenth lustrum. The presidium was invited for this occasion for the BRT-program ‘Voor een boer en tuinder’ and by king Boudewijn. The king was immediately challenged by the preses to drink an ad fundum. Two years later, the first edition of the Floreaat appeared the student magazine of LBK. In 1966 all regional activities were omitted. The students got a voice in the policy of the KU Leuven via the student council (ASR). The function of preses was split in an organizer of entertainment, a politic representative and a responsible for serious activities. Also for sport and the baarr functions came into life. Because the Gnorgl was only opened in 1988, De Kroon on the Naamsesteenweg was chosen as the pub of LBK. All members of the presidium were together on kot in the ‘fakhuis’, until 1968 block seven of the Cite (Arenberg). In that particular year it was Professor Debaerdemaeker, professor Tollens and Noel Devisch, president of the farmers union.
After moving to Minckelerstraat 28 in Heverlee, only 5 to 6 people stayed in the house of LBK due to a lack of space. The open meeting and different presidia saw the light and founded working groups to further expands the working fields of LBK. This way, the Interfacultary songfestival was braught into existence in 1982 and the prom was reinvented in 1987, when the Landbouwkring had reached its 100th anniversary. Also at ‘the day of Industry’ in 1988 the first barrel of beer was opened in LBK’s bar, the Gnorgl. In 1995 the house of LBK moved once again to Paul Van Ostaijelaan 95 (former Guido Gezellelaan). At that time, the people who lived in the house of LBK were the preses, vicepreses, secretary, treasurer, service for courses and extern. Eventually the service for courses moved to the basements of the building of the faculty of Bioscience engineering. In 2003, the house of LBK moved to Waversebaan 12 for the last time. The current residents are the preses, vicepreses, treasurer, the person responsible for activities and the person responsable for logistics.
Thanks to Veto