- Laki Dobridis 1921 – 2022
Apostolos Dobridis (*December 5, 1921 in Constantinople), known as “Laki”, passed away on July 05, 2022 at the age of 100 in the City of Constance after a short illness.
….. and followed his wife Anna Maria (†2013) into eternity. They are survived by two daughters, Ariadne and Artemis, and their families.
Laki began foil fencing in 1951 with Maître Pion at the Konstanz Fencing Club. From the very first moment, he was hooked on this magnificent sport, as he described his enthusiasm in his book “SENIOREN – NA KLAR!” published in 2016. From 1963 onwards, he was also involved in voluntary work and took over the post of president of FC Konstanz, which he held for 35 years.
In 1990, the German Fencing Federation appointed him German Veterans Fencing Representative. In the same year, he organized the first veterans’ international match between Germany and Great Britain and founded the German veterans’ national team. He took the first step towards the internationalization of veterans’ fencing.
At the first European Veterans Championships in 1991 in Loughborough (GBR), the nations present founded the European Veterans Fencing Committee (EVFC) and elected Laki as president. He led this association for 16 years and was subsequently appointed EVFC Honorary President.
In the 1990s, Laki made practical contributions to reunification with officials and fencers from East and West Germany through the development of veteran fencing in Germany. In 1994, the German Fencing Federation (DFB) introduced the post of German Veterans Spokesman into its constitution, and participants in the German Championships elected Laki to this new official position. In 1995, he implemented the first German Veterans Team Championships in Dresden and founded the German Veterans Fencing Council in 1997. He thus completed the national championships and the institutionalization of veterans fencing within the German Fencing Federation.
In 1999, he was bidden farewell with a “standing ovation” at the Fencers’ Ball in Bad Dürkheim, and the DFB subsequently awarded him the Golden Badge of Honour for his outstanding services.
Not only as an official, but also as a foil fencer, Laki achieved great successes: in 1981 he won gold for the first time at the German Veterans Fencing Championship, in 1998 silver at the World Masters Games in Portland, and in 1999 and 2001 gold at the European Veterans Fencing Championships in Moulins and Cologne.
The German Fencing Federation has appointed Laki as its honorary member, and he will remain in our honourable memory as an icon of fencing.
Adieu, dear Laki!
- Max Geuter 1937-2018
Max Geuter MH passed away on 27th August. He was such an important part of the world of Fencing and touched the lives of so many Fencers. He will be sorely missed.
Born in Aachen in 1937 he moved to Frankfurt and joined the Frankfurter TV Club. He fenced all three weapons, became Champion of Germany at Epee and went to the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Mexico and Munich as a Fencer as well as five World Championships. Made a Member of Honour by the FIE in 2000 he was also inducted to the FIE Hall of Fame.
Max was an accomplished Referee and became an FIE referee at all three weapons and served on the FIE Referees Commission from 1985 to 2004.
In 1993 he was elected to the Executive Committee of the FIE.
For Veteran Fencers he will especially be remembered for his work in connection with the Veterans World Championship and the recognition of the event by the FIE. It seems impossible that we will not see him in Livorno for the 2018 World Championships.
Within European Fencing he was a driving force in the development of the European Championships and served as Vice President of the European Federation from 1996 to 2005 and then as Secretary General from 2005 to 2017.
Max was elected President of the Veterans Council of the FIE in 2016. A most fitting and well deserved last honour.
Max was a gentleman through and through, a loving family man and a good friend to so many in the Family of Fencing.
Our thoughts are with Max’s family
- Rudy Coessens 1944-2014
Rudy passed away on October 17th 2014, a few weeks before his 70th birthday.
Rudy has marked his era, first as fencer, then as leader, and also as cofounder of the EVFC, member of honour of this association, and president of the Belgian veterans (EVBVS).
24 years ago Rudy Coessens founded with some other enthusiastic European veterans the EVFC, European Veterans Fencing Commitee, and that same year 1991 the first European individual championships took place in Loughborough.
The next year the same championships were hold in Berlin, but with teams.
It was decided to organize the individual and team championships in alternate years.
In 1993 the individual championships were held in Liège, where the age categories were introduced.
After these big successes our own organization was founded at the beginning 1994.
All these years Rudy and our staff has worked on making of our association a model not only of sport, but also of passion.
As Master Verhalle said, “fencing is just like a virus you got”.
And when people abandon fencing, for one reason or another, sooner or later, they come back, and then is the reason for us to exist.
It’s also sanitary to keep practicing fencing first for yourself, first of all for your health.
We’d like that our association would be more than a single association, more a big family.
Paul Van Agtmael
President of the Belgian Veterans