DOWNLOAD NEWSLETTER AS PDF: newsletter #2 11-18

Seven months to go and we passed the hundred mark!
To be exact on November 2nd 107 sons and daughters had registered for the 13th European Convention of the Sons of the Desert. All of them will be Very Important Persons to us, the hosting Perfect Day Tent, but especially important of course are Bill Leavy and James McKenna, impersonators of Stan and Ollie, who will entertain all of us with their business & routines.

The convention’s venue, as you know, is Hotel Avifauna in Alphen aan den Rijn. We have an option on all the rooms, except the bridal suite, but if there’s a marriage in the air we can have that one too.
We’re afraid not many rooms are left. At the time of writing, this is still available:

Comfort rooms for 2 persons (book onine): 2
Economy rooms for 2 person (book onine): 11

Economy rooms for 3 persons (email us): 4
Family rooms for 4 persons (email us): 4
Suites for 2 persons at extra costs (email us): 2

Here is the email address:

If need be, there’s always the possibility of a second hotel, but Avifauna will be the only convention venue.

Pre-convention Thursday
The previous newsletter focused on the Friday of the Convention. This one is mainly about the Saturday (June 8th), but first a few words about pre-convention Thursday,
Quite a few convention goers have booked with the hotel for an extra night because they like to arrive a day early. If you too want to book one or more nights, please let us know as soon as possible at as the number of available rooms on Wednesday and Thursday is limited. You don’t have to call the hotel, from now on we can do the booking for you to make sure that you keep the room during the convention itself.

For the early birds there will be the possibility of a fun dinner (at their own costs) at The Laurel & Hardy Café in Zandvoort. The owners of this hot spot are Ron and Gerda Brouwer, stalwarts of the Perfect Day Tent (and Ron is a Oliver Hardy look-alike).
We will hire a bus for the short trip to and from Zand­voort, a.k.a. Amsterdam-by-the-sea.

The second day of the Convention, Saturday June 8th, we will travel by coach to Amsterdam, capital of the Netherlands, a trip that may last about an hour. The capital receives more than five million tourists each year and measures are in force to limit traffic in the city centre. Coaches are banned, so we will have to change to another means of transportation at the outskirts of the city. One of the possibilities we are examining is an exclusive ride in a historic tram/streetcar that would takes us to the Rembrandt Square, a two minutes walk from our destination: the Theater Tuschinski.

Much has already been said about the Tuschinski. Here’s some more words and here’s some more pictures . The theater is a national monument of the Netherlands. It took three years to build: 1918-1921.
With special permission of BetaFilm in Munich our Laurel & Hardy film show will be accessible for the general public. With some 800 seats to be filled, we hope for a full house again; all our previous screenings were sold out or almost sold out.
As participant of the European Convention your ticket has already been paid for, it will be in your goodie bag.

Laurel and Hardy were considered not sophisticated enough for this flagship of movie mogul Abraham Tuschinski. Their films were relegated to the ‘ordinary’ venues of his cinema empire in Amsterdam and Rotterdam.
The only exception was Our Relations. The film premiered in Tuschinski on July 29th, 1937.
Some 65 years later we will screen Our Relations again in Tuschinski, and again in the 35mm format. Also on the program are The Finishing Touch and Leave ‘em Laughing. For both silent tworeelers live soundtracks will be played on the mighty Wurlitzer-Strunk organ by Donald McKenzie from London. Bill & Jamie from America will be on stage.

After the screenings it’s free time in Amsterdam! If you registered for one of the optional excursions, be sure to wait in the main hall of Tuschinski where your group will be formed.
Early january you will receive a questionnaire to make your choice known. We’re not sure yet of the tariffs for 2019 but each outing is expected to be around 20 euro.

Choice 1: a tour of Tuschinski. You will be guided through the labyrinth of corridors and side room of this movie cathedral and see places were the film going public cannot go.

Choice 2: Always very popular: Canal Cruise. We have an option on the salon boat Monne de Miranda, dating from 1938. Depending on the number of people we may have to hire an extra boat or a smaller one instead of the Monne.

Choice 3: Inner City Walk Tour, with a qualified guide. Visit the oldest part of Amsterdam, with the 13th century Old Church as the center piece. This tour includes part of what is commonly known as the Red Light District.

By the way: most of this sightseeing you can also do on your own. Lots of canal cruises are offered and there are no no-go areas in Amsterdam.
(Online you can buy the ‘I amsterdam city card’ for free entrance to over 60 museums and attractions, unlimited access to the public transport system (trams, busses) and a free 1-hour canal cruise.)

Depart of the coaches will be around 5:15 PM. The program booklet in your goodie bag will show you where to go to. Don’t miss the bus or you will miss the greatest dinner available in the Netherlands. It’s called Live Cooking. Eat as much as you want and see the cooks in action, preparing the dishes under your very nose, and a gloriuous deserts buffet to conclude. Even drinks will be included during this this festive happening in the Park Restaurant of Avifauna.

In the evening the tradional quizz will be presented by Eric Woods in the Swans Room, followed by a presentation of proposals for the 14th European Convention in 2021. Until now there’s one candidate, the Block-Heads Tent in Italy. So there’s a big chance that the next convention will be in the historic city of Prato, close to Florence!

When it grows dark, around 11pm, and you still don’t feel like going to sleep, there will be an open air screening near the Big Pond in the Bird Park. We hope to screen a 16mm print of Saps at Sea, to honor the Saps at Seat Tent of Southend, for sending a big delegation of some 19 people to the convention!
The hotel bar will again be open till after midnight.

Thank you for your attention. Our next newsletter will cover the Sonday and Monday!

Robert, Piet, Anton, Bram (