Centenary in a helicopter.


Sunday, March 6, 2005 the 100th birthday of Maria Fiems was celebrated especially very with the family, friends and personalities. To 9 hour 30, there was Eucharistic celebration in the church of the good shepherd of Torhout, follow-up by a reception in the afternoon in the room of festivity of "Boogaerde" to Kortemarck. The journey was very particular, because Maria is moved for the first time of her life, in a helicopter. Hundred years and in air! It was a complete adventure, seen normally that Maria moves with her bicycle. A delicious adventure that sparkled in the centenary's eyes appearing gleeful and cool. They have all feared that the lift-off and the landfall my frighten, but that is exaggerated, says Maria. You don't feel anything. To have hundred years, that not has anything of so particular, days pass and sudden arrives the day where you are hundred years old. In truth you don't notice anything…


FIEMS, the strong sex.


The FIEMS family is probably the toughest family of the region of Bruges. Maria was born, March 2, 1905 to Schaarkske, a hamlet of Torhout. His parents, Camiel Fiems and Augusta Moenaerts have been agriculturists simple. They had ten children which two died young (Leon 20 months, Elsa 5 years). In that time, all children were born home. Later, there were three deaths again (Gabrielle in 1944, Margriet in 1978 and Omers in 1997). Camiel and Augusta moved, in 1946, of Schaakske toward the house of Zwevelzelstraat where the centenary now lives. In 1971, Marie lived, together, with her unmarried sister, Margriet. This last, was killed in an accident in 1978 while crossing the street. Now, we are again five. Brothers and sisters of Maria are very aged, but all very energetic. The eldest brother is Marcel and has 94 years, widower, has 3 children, 10 small children, … There is the junior of brothers, Georges is 88 years old, has 7 children, 8 small children, … There, seated between the two, René who is 90 years old, widower, has 7 children, 15 small children, … And Maria, as well as Zoë that are already 96 years old, widow lives in Walloon (Hainault), has 5 children, 13 small children, … Maria got married currently, September 9, 1933 with Maurice Bruynooghe, native of "Smidse", to the corner of Bakvoordestraat and Ieperse Herweg. They had four children: Agnes (70), Rosa (deceased in 2003), Gerard (68) and Lena (61). Maurice died January 6, 1962. He was going to be 61 years old. Maria has currently 15 small children and 22 rear small children. They are on the photo of the gigantic family tree that Marie got in gift for its 100th birthday.




The life of Maria Fiems.


Since our marriage, we continued to live in Schaarkske, says Maria. At that moment, this was only of the ground, almost everywhere. We lived in a small farm to the street of Gits, but called Bakvoordestraat now. We had cows, of pigs, of chickens and four hectares of ground. In the first years we lived without electricity. For the lighting, we have disentangled with a lamp at oil. It is only in 1938 that our house was connected to electricity. All the work was manual, potatoes, to return and to weed the ground, beasts at to feed and so on. The last years, we especially cultivated potatoes and rye, so for the straw. Maria lost her husband in 1962. Of 1971 to 1978, her Margriet sister has lived with her. And since, she lives all alone, arrange his own household and every evening prepares the mush of buttermilk. Until my 95 years, I drove a car and then, I have been disapproved. To drive with a small "Daf automatic", it is simple. A pedal for to give gases and a pedal to stop. Until the last year, I cooked my cooking, but now, it is the CPAS that bring meals hot every day, except the Sunday. Maria has problems with an illness of old age: she is hard of ear. For the remainder, she not appears to have 100 years, but 70. She reads the newspaper. Every Wednesday, she goes at bicycle toward the market, and nearly makes already her messages herself. Every Tuesday and Wednesday, she is going to play cards: in the knowledge and in a club of the district "the good shepherd". The first and third Thursday of the month, also to cards to the KBG center. She plays the "manille" very well. She goes everywhere at bicycle, she holds the flexible joints. Since then, her old television has been defective. Maria wanted a new but without remote control. I find beautiful "Family" and "the wheel of the fortune", because I find the majority the very boring programs. Of annoys, then I fall in the sleep, says she. I wake me every morning for 6 hour 30 and I am going to sleep for 21 hour. Maria also makes manual work: sews the coasts of Brussels, a work of precision. In May, she goes annually for one week of journey with KBG: toward Heer-sur-Meuse, toward Zandhoven, … We go for a walk and we goes a lot play cards, says she. I have a canary and two chickens, but when I left one week, there is not a problem. My brother Marcel, who lives at side then, supervises animals. The small cage of Maria's canary was manufactured by craftsman while shining and is at her parents. It has been made in 1902, three years before my birth by my father, Camiel.