Lilian Grootswagers awarded with the prestigious Ton Koot medal by Heemschut

Lilian Grootswagers awarded with the prestigious Ton Koot medal by Heemschut

FRH President of the Advisory board Mrs. Lilian Grootswagers received the Ton Kootpenning on Saturday 14 May in the presence of Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrix. The Ton Kootpenning is a leading award for heritage conservationists and has been awarded by Heemschut since the 1970s when there is reason to do so. The medal is named after Ton Koot, legendary heritage activist and castle guardian of the Muiderslot.

The board of Heemschut decided to award the medal to Mrs. Lilian Grootswagers for her many years of dedication to the preservation of monumental buildings, and for the rescue of the Sint Jozefkerk in Kaatsheuvel and the subsequent dissemination of the experiences she learned with this rescue.

Grootswagers is holder of the Brabant Bokaal of the Prince Bernhard Cultuurfonds and one of the Guardians of Culture in the province of Noord Brabant. She works nationally and internationally for the preservation of religious heritage. Nationally, Grootswagers is now involved in the Church Visions project: a collaboration between government, residents and religious denominations to record the future of churches. During the meeting her appeal to all present was: “please think about the future of the religious heritage”.

Ton Kootpenning

Award ceremony in Woudrichem (The Netherlands).

The presentation took place in the Martinuskerk in Woudrichem, where Heemschut celebrated the 111th anniversary of the association. Heemschut chose Woudrichem specifically for this celebration, because under the leadership of Heemschut, the languishing fortified town was extensively restored in the 1970s. It was HRH Prince Claus who, exactly 51 years ago, on 14 May 1971, gave the starting signal for that restoration. The celebration was attended by HRH Princess Beatrix, patroness of the association and also by many invited guests from the world of monuments and beyond.

“It is special to be back with Heemschut in Woudrichem, the place where we played a decisive role in the 1970s. The fact that we were able to honor no fewer than two special people with a Ton Koot medal makes it extra special,” said chairman Henk Hellegers of Heemschut.

Looking ahead to the future, he concluded at the meeting that Heemschut’s work is far from finished. The beauty of the country, one of Heemschut’s founding objectives in 1911, is still under pressure.

Share this post: