25 Years Het Paard van Ree

Ladies and Gentlemen today we are gathered to commemorate 
the 25th year Jubileum of Het Paard van Ree chess club of Wijk aan Zee. 
I Joseph "Joey" Lautman welcome my chess playing friends and acquaintances 
on this day with a warm heart to share our love of the game of chess.  
This game of kings, queens, castles, horses, bishops and soldiers 
has been played in Wijk aan Zee for many years as the biggest and 
best known chess tournament in the world - the Hoogovens/Corus/Tata chess tournament.  
Het Paard van Ree has been the host with the most, 
in the center of this great tournament since 1986.  
Now in our 25th year of 2011 "The Little Club that Could" 
has won the 4th class C championship of The Noord Hollands Schaak Bond (NHSB).  
It is not the first championship our club has won, nor will it be our last.  
Our chess past has been rich, sometimes great, and always fun. 
We have always shared sport, camaraderie and chess adventure.  
The players of Het Paard van Ree with a beer, borreltje, coffee or tea, 
are the finest folk to grace the North Sea.   
Gallant battles fought on black and white boards in one of the most 
beautiful and cozy locations the Netherlands can offer, Wijk aan Zee.  
From Hotel Sonnevanck, to Cafe de Zon, to De Moriaan, 
chess legends have written their games into history while 
Het Paard van Ree has been the local host club.  
Yes the club that could, did.  And the club that did, will continue to do.  

In the time I have been with this wonderful club, I have known some wonderful people.  
From Ali, Bert, Cees, Dennis, Frans, Huub, Jelle, Mans, Marc, Mireille, 
Rob, Roberto, Ton, Wolter and others I may have missed, 
thank you all for your great games and memories.  
One story I like very much to tell is the way I became president of Het Paard van Ree.  
Because I live in California I was voted president.   
This way the members could do whatever they wanted to do, 
because the President would never be around.  Oh the humor!!! 

In memoriam, I also wish to pay tribute to two beautiful men loved 
as chess players and as people;  Hein de Vries and Hans Eijgenbrood.  
Oh the wonderful games and the laughs and memories we had with them.  
The singing, the words, the languages, the humor, "God Shave The Queen!".  
They gave us more than chess games, they gave us their beautiful spirits.  
I did not know Sjors Muller or Jos Frenay, but I would have liked them also.  
We heard often of the klootviool.  
Please all you men, rest in peace, knowing you made a good influence on those left behind. 

Happy 25th birthday Het Paard van Ree!!!   
Ride on forever.  
Let others one day be lucky to know you.