Most modern day fanciers pay little attention to the champions of decades ago. They are more interested in what is winning today and rightfully so, however over the last 45 years I have tried many different middle and long distance families and as of today none of them has matched up with the Devriendts especially on the tough and long distance races. With this in mind lets look back in time at the originator of the Devriendt Family "Oscar Devriendt". He was born in 1889 in the West Flanders area of Belgium. In 1909 he started with pigeons and served as an artillery-man in the first World War (1914-1918). The basic pigeons came from the loft of VanderVelt in Oudenburg. After the war the Devriendt loft as well as Cattrysse lofts were so successful they were barred from local racing or limited to sending two or four birds to the short and middle distance races. In order to compete in the long distance races they were forced to go to the Provincial and National races. It was not long before the Devriendt loft became one of the best in Belgium. Many outstanding results were recorded up to World War Two. During the war both the Devriendt and Cattrysse lofts were occupied by the German army. After the war about 50 birds were kept and the results became phenomenal. Top national results continued throughout the fifties and during the sixties and the work of running the lofts was turned over to Maurice and Marcel, the two sons of Oscar. In 1963 Oscar suffered a stroke and although he never fully recovered he continued to advise his sons in the management of the lofts. In 1966 Oscar died and the official name changed to DeVriendt Brothers. Because Marcel and Maurice's time was limited they competed more in the middle distance races to avoid the long wait of the long distance races. During this time top middle distance results continued till the end of the sixties. This was helped with a cross from an exchange of birds with Desmet-Mathys of Nokere. The exchange benefited both lofts greatly for years and the DeVriendt blood became very popular playing a big part in the success of many top fanciers. To name a few Hector Desmet, Maurice Delbar and Jos Vanden Broucke. In 1971 the Brothers again achieved top long distance results winning 13th National Cahors and 6th National Angouleme. In 1972 Vuiltje won 1st National Cahors against 4135 birds. By the late seventies young bird racing was becoming more important and in 1978 they raced better than ever before. In 1979 - 348 prizes were won, the highest number ever for the DeVriendt lofts. In 1981 -465 prizes were won with super results coming mostly from the young birds. 1987 would be the last real glory for the DeVriendt lofts, "DeSchone" a cock from 1982 with bloodlines of the old Zwarteband and Fieren would win 1st provincial Cahors, 23rd National 6448 birds, 2nd provincial Narbonne and 3rd National Luik, 4175 birds. Deschone was 2nd National Ace pigeon long distance. In 1989 Maurice DeVriendt died after a long illness and the total loft was sold at auction on March 3, 1990.

The Devriendt family of birds is mainly recognized as blues but in fact there is a Red Line that has been a big influence since the original KAREL of 36. During the forties and early fifties as many as 1/3 of the birds were red check or mealy. The KAREL of 48, PRINS of 45, VALE WITOOG of 48, and TIKKELE of 63 are just a few examples of super birds in the Devriendt strain of red or mealy color. My family of Devriendts has the blood of TIKKELE and KAREL and also the red blood of George Compernolle from the village of Koekelare, very close to Moere, the home of Devriendt. George Compernolle started in pigeons in 1947, that year he bought two birds from Oscar Devriendt. Normally each year he would return to Oscar and bring back two or three more birds. In 1969 he obtained a red hen 69 BELGE 3348601 and in 1970 a blue cock 70 BELGE 3169028. These birds would prove to be exceptional breeders. In July of 1986 Maurice Devriendt informed Campbell Strange that George was now too old to properly care for the birds and he planned a total auction for the Fall. Immediately Maurice and Campbell visited the Loft and after careful evaluation decided Campbell had to have the GOEDE ROSTEN. (His Sire was son of the Blue Cock of 1970 and the Red Hen of 1969 was the Dam.) The GOEDE ROSTEN was bigger than medium but very light and buoyant; and although Campbell was no eye sign enthusiast he loved the depth and character of his almost violet eyes. George would not sell the cock because the rules forbid any bird to be sold six months prior to a total auction sale. After a couple of hours and two or three more trips to the small garden loft, Campbell bought the entire stock of old birds, 57 in total. He brought back the best 23, the rest he sold to Taiwan, so there was no need for the auction. Campbell kept very few; The GOEDE ROSTEN, his Sire OUDE PENNY, The BLEKEN, plus five or six others. The rest went to some of Campbell's friends that had Devriendts for many years. These birds have given excellent results all across the United States. Campbell's great hen Mrs. Magoo is a Great - granddaughter of the GOEDE ROSTEN, and my foundation cock WWC 5880 is a grandson of GOEDE ROSTEN on both sides. My foundation hen WWC 1969 is down from the mother of Mrs. Magoo. The information I have on the Devriendts I received from Campbell Strange when I purchased birds from him in the early nineties.

Charlie Lee

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