Oud-burgemeester Jan van Zanen Installatie Bernard Wientjes als honorair consul van Luxemburg

Toespraak burgemeester Jan van Zanen

Utrecht, Paushuize, 25 juni 2019
Dear Secretary Jean Asselborn, Ambassador Jean-Marc Hoscheit, excellencies, distinguished guests and of course, dear Bernard Wientjes,

Welcome to the heart of the Netherlands, the very heart of the Netherlands, welcome to the city of Utrecht. Mr. Secretary, to me it is a great honour to welcome you here. I have fond and many memories of Luxembourg. In my youth my parents often went to the small village Wallendorf (371 inhabitants) just across the border of Germany, where the rivers Our and Sauer meet. You could pass the border on a bridge, for a child a very impressive experience during summer holidays...

Welcome to Paushuize. This venue surely is a unique location, built for unique people. Paushuize was built, five centuries ago, by Adriaan Florensz. Boeyens. Born in Utrecht. You probably know him as Pope Adrian the Sixth. The only Dutchman so far - so far indeed dear Maxime (Verhagen) - to become pope. He was pope for a very short time - less than two years - but he was unique: one of the few non-Italian popes and the last non-Italian pope until John Paul II in 1978.

In 1807, Louis Napoléon Bonaparte – yes, 'the younger brother of...' – purchased Paushuize. He was the King of Holland and the city of Utrecht was at that brief period the capital of Holland. This building was the King’s residence. Like Pope Adrian, the reign of King Louis was for a short time. Only four years. Just like Utrecht, being  the capital of Holland... Only a few months. But at least we can say the privilege was granted to us...

And now... let’s jump back to present time... Today, on this beautiful and tropical Tuesday. We are in Paushuize again. And again there is a unique person present here. Because for the first time, a Honorary Consul of Luxembourg has been appointed for the provinces Utrecht, Overijssel and Gelderland. Whow Bernard, your mission will be to promote and to contribute to the further strengthening of the close relationships in the economic, scientific, cultural and educational areas between these three provinces and the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg. The very first...

So it seems to me that this historic building, home to unique people, home to pioneers and home to ‘being-the-first’ is the perfect location to present you, Bernard, as appointed Honorary Consul. However…I sincerely hope you will hold your honorable position a little bit longer than the pope and king I just mentioned… Congratulations.

Uw mening