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You haven’t heard from us for some time; we were busy dealing with some loose ends and concluding contracts. Now that almost everything has been settled, it’s time for this update.

The big news is that for the first time in the history of the European Conventions a delegation of no less then four Italian sons will participate! And they will not just be playing peewee, they will also do a presentation of a plan to organize the 2021 European Convention in Italy! Thus far we didn’t receive any other proposal, so the chance that Italy will win is 99 percent at least. Hats off to Carlo, Giancarlo, Tiziano and Antonio!

Registrations have been steady and with some 120 conventioneers Hotel Avifauna is now almost fully booked. What remains are three ‘ecomomy’ rooms for 2 persons, one ‘comfort’ room for 2 persons and three ‘comfort’ rooms for 3 persons. Prices are for three nights and all activities and meals included except for one lunch (on Sunday in Amsterdam).

There’s once change. We moved Dean and the Moon Boys from Sunday to Friday night. The beautiful hula dancers (dance group Orchid) are still in place for the Hawaiian style opening night. We booked a second rock band (music from the 60’s and 70’s) for Sunday night: The Outtakes. On Saturday there will be no live music, because on return from Amsterdam the entire floor space of the Avifauna party center will be needed for the spectacular buffets of the Live Cooking Event.

Tickets for our film show in the monumental Tuschinski theatre are now being sold to all Sons and Daughters in and outside the Netherlands. As of today about hundred seats are already taken, in exces of those for the convention’s delegates. Because for them, of course, admission is included in the convention fee; the ticket will be in your goodie-bag. Don’t loose it! In May the remaining tickets will be available for the general public. Pathé Tuschinski has 800 seats and we hope for an almost full house, like we had last year when we celebrated the 50th birthday of the Perfect Day Tent.

Tourists coaches are no longer admitted to the old centre of Amsterdam. That was a bit of a puzzle, but we found a Perfect Solution. When our busses from Avifaune arrive at the city edge of Amsterdam we will transfer to historic trams, that will drop us off practically at the front doors of the theatre.
The film program will consist of three Laurel and Hardy shorts: The Finishing Touch, Leave Em Laughing and Busy Bodies. The two silents will have a live soundtrack, played on the Wurlitzer-Strunk organ by Donald MacKenzie, who has a vast experience as the regular organist of the Odeon in London. Two guests from America, Bill Leavy and Jamie McKenna, famous impersonators of Stan and Ollie, will entertain the public with their routines and business. (Bill & Jamie will be with us throughout the convention). The show will be hosted by Michael Helmerhorst in his own, special way.
After a 20 minute pause for refreshments and an extended look at the art-deco interior of the theatre (dating from 1921 and a National Monument of the Netherlands) we will show a 35mm print of a L&H-film from the collection of the Perfect Day Tent.

And here we have a loose end that still has to be fixed. We want to show and already had announced Our Relations. But after a recent viewing of the print, it was decided a restoration was necessary. We still hope to show this title (it was the only Laurel and Hardy film deemed worthy of a premiere in Tuschinski in 1937), but we may have to switch to … Sons of the Desert!

Everyone who registered for the Convention should have received a request to complete a questionnaire about the optional excursions in Amsterdam. The result: heavy bookings for the canal cruise. We had to switch to bigger boats to accomodate the almost 50 applicants. Not so many sons/daughters want the walking tour through the inner city, which is nice, for a big crowd would have to be split up to meet the municipal rules for tourism.

If you have not submitted your choise and still want a guided excursion or the official poloshirt, please fill out the online questionnaire before April 15th. This will be the absolute deadline. Please understand that in most cases we had just one email address for both room mates in a 2 persons room. If you are the correspondence contact, make sure that your room mate has also made his choice (if any) known to us. If there is a problem, mail us at

Our day in Utrecht will be mostly play, with peewee in a park near the city moat, a cruise over the unique and picturesque canal system and free time to expore this medieval city. But we still managed to squeeze in a screening of rare Oliver Hardy solo film, titled A Bankrupt Honeymoon (1926, Fox Film). This tworeeler was identified some forty years ago by David Wyatt and Bram Reijnhoudt, when a private film collector in the Netherlands proudly showed them a 16mm print of this ‘missing’ Hardy solo. The 35mm nitrate was availabe too, and send to the Dutch Filmmuseum ‘Eye’ where the film was restored and conserved.
Our screening of a 35mm projection print will be in the cultural centre Louis Hartlooper Complex, near the spot where we will go ashore after the cruise and where we also will have our lunch. We have arranged for some old fashioned film fun with an explicator to explicate the Dutch intertitles and a piano player to accompany this quite interesting comedy. Hardy is driver and co-owner of an ‘eat while you ride’ restaurant in a doubledecker bus.

You may want to visit exhibitions during free time on Saturday and Sunday. In Amsterdam the Convention Weekend is also the last weekend of a unique exhibition in the Rijksmuseum called ‘All Rembrandts’.  It also is the start of a new exhibition: ‘Inspired by Rembrandt’ in the Rembrandt House, where the painter lived and worked in the 17th century. And of course, there’s the Anne Frank House. You really should buy tickets online for these events.
Utrecht has a Railway Museum and the Museum Speelklok for mechanical music, from music boxes to giant dance organs. But don’t forget, free time is limited to about three hours in Amsterdam and two hours in Utrecht.  You will receive detailed instructions how to reach the parking places from where our coaches will depart for the return trip to the convention hotel, and how to travel to Avifauna by public transport in case you miss the bus!

No less than 37 early bookers will go by bus to Zandvoort on the Thursday before the convention. The bus will take us tot the local Laurel and Hardy Cafe for eats and drinks on your own costs (or for a stroll on the beach). This means we have a full house.

Last but not least: The convention will see the launching of a book by Marc de Coninck, GS of the Me and My Pal Tent in Belgium. It’s called ‘Music and Songs of Laurel & Hardy’ and will be available in two versions: Dutch and English.

That’s all for now, but there’s more to come.
Questions? Reach us by email at

See you soon!
Robert, Anton, Piiet, Bram (