Of late years we heard a lot of Anne van Meerkerk (age 53), coming from the region of Streefkerk, province Zuid-Holland, and now living in Beets, province Noord-Holland, the Netherlands.
These come from Gerard Veken mentioned before and also from Dock Postma in Leeuwarden (van Loon and van Hove-Uiterhoeven), Klinkenberg in the region Ursein (most Camphuis) and not in the least Andre Geutskens in Purmerend who often flies all in rags at shorter distances.
Anne has a lot of all accepted theories, he practices pigeon-flying his own way with his mate Dennis. When there is not to much wind the pigeons, played on total widowhood, are allowed to enjoy the whole day in the sunny weather in spacious aviaries placed in front of the lofts, even during the flying season. Further on there are no so called ‘secrets'. Mariman and Beyers + Gerrie Plus, the obligatory inoculation and last season a paratyphoid stop cure, that's it. Possibly also a canker treatment but Anne does not want to bungle and thinks strongly not to provide the paratyphoid stop cure this year although he thinks salmonella is the most appearing disease in poultry. The feeding is rather minimal and no lack of minerals and grits. More important is his relation with his favourites. When the boss enters the house, the whole pack begins to call or to coo. You don't see a pigeon fly away if Anne takes one in his hand, shortly: the mutual affection is great.
Some years ago Anne stopped with the pigeon sport, due to private problems. In 2001 he began once more and as in past years the results were as of old. When you see the results you think of a mega pigeon-house, but nothing is less true. With 19 or 20 couples the total widowhood is played and during the whole season selection takes place. Anne is not a man of conventions, no more than commercial orientated and forcing things he does not like at all. The hospitable man of Beets see the sport as pure relaxation, he likes very much to play the one day long race because the pigeons cover great distances at the same day. “When you have such a cock in your pigeon-house as the winner of Montlucon this pigeon will become more and more beautiful with every performance” says Anne who feels a strong commitment with the pigeon, something he likes very much in this hobby of ours. He is not a dog in the manger, some week you are good and the other week you are less but that is pigeon-flying; one must live and let live.
It is a pleasure to practise the pigeon sport the way Ann van Meerkerk does. In his large and well maintained garden the waiting for your favourites must be a delight. Surrounded by maize and meadows where the black and white cattle peacefully graze with far away the new-fashioned windmills of Berhout as a background you think as you leave: could every pigeon lover practice his hobby in such a way.
In 2004 the results were magnificent; teletext (TV) was obtained on the one day long race of Lorris where against 17.241 pigeons were begun with the 7th plus 13th prize and 5 prizes were won out of 7 pigeons. In the Chateauroux race ( Area D of Division 6) with 15 pigeons on the run the mark was hit 8 times with as best: 3-6-9! 4 Prizes with 6 pigeons in Tours (654km) and against 957 pigeons the results were 2-7-34-87. Montlucon (Area D) against 597 pigeons: 1-2-3 and 7 prizes with 11 pigeons. Provincial also 7 pigeons and against 5.226 pigeons were begun with 1-20-35. Other formidable results were realised on the shorter races, one of those we don't want to deny. With 39 pigeons along (or all with wings at Anne's) at most 38 prizes were won in the Meer race on the 9th May 2004. Against 3.291 pigeons of Area D the following super series was gained: 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-11-13-14-15-16-18-19-20-26-27-28-29-30 etc, at most 31 van Meerkerk pigeons classified among the first 87 prize pigeons. No wonder the grapes were sour for many competitors.
The ‘Savage Blue' NL03-2275741: Pigeon without descent
When asked for the descent of this exceptional cock-pigeon Anne answers: I don't have one, I bought this cock at a charity auction and he comes from the great champion Gerard Veken Jr. in Hoorn, so if you want to know his descent phone Gerard. But with or without descent: NL03-2275741 is one of the exceptional pigeons of which there are so few. Which one year old can show such a magnificent list of credits as the ‘Savage Blue'? We don't know if this beautiful cock is named this way by Anne, but we saw how 3/741 attacked Anne when he approached his little nest. Just as the ‘Savage White Belly' 620 (‘Woeste Witbuik' in Dutch) they are cocks who seem to have 20 wings moving at the same time; even the tail and the paws are ready to keep away the intruder of the sweekers, not to mention the bill sharp as a razor. As widower he gained about ten prizes among which 1st of Strombeek against 3.532 pigeons, 13th Meer 3.291p; 3rd peronne 1.571p; etc. On eggs of 10 days the 1st provincial Montlucon and, 14 days later on young ones, the 1st prize of Meer against 3.150 pigeons. In 2004 a magnificent prize list as a winner for this one year old:
11 April the 138th Meer 3.113p. (122km)
17 April the 344th Kapellen 3.782p. (146km)
1 May the 1st Stombeek 3.532p. (191km)
9 May the 13th Meer 3.291p.
15 May the 414th Chimay 3.534p. (286km)
22 May the 378th Houdeng 2.376p. (238km)
5 June the 141st Peronne 1.857p.
26 June the 124th Morlincourt 1.432p. (361km)
10 July the 42nd Chantilly 1.152p. (415km)
17 July the 122nd Chateauroux 897p. (682km)
31 July the 1st Montlucon 5.226p.
21 August the 1st Meer 3.150p.
28 August the 619th Kapellen 2.988p.
Now again the 18th September first pigeon home at Anne's and fifth reported at his club despite time loss. More than 4500 kilometres covered the ‘Savage Blue' as a prize winner, because the Montlucon is still 714,709 km.