Photo: Dominique Breton (Honorary Consul), Pieter de Gooijer (Ambassador), Bert van de Flier, Guy Pennec (Mayor of Plourin-les-Morlaix)
LAUSANNE, Switz., Dec. 6, 2021—The FIE has been informed that FIE Member of Honour and Member of the FIE Fair-Play Council Bert M. J. van der Flier (NED) received a royal decoration, “Officer in the Order of Oranje-Nassau”, from his Excellency Pieter de Gooijer, the Dutch ambassador to France. The presentation took place in the presence of Mr. Dominique Breton, honorary consul in Brest; Mr. Guy Pennec, mayor of Plourin-les-Morlaix; and Leon Pijnappel, chairman of the Royal Dutch Fencing Federation (KNAS).
The decoration exceeds knighthood, one of the higher awards that may be bestowed upon a civilian from the Netherlands and given to him in recognition of his many years of service and dedication to Dutch, European and world fencing. Over many years, Mr. van de Flier has had many roles and achievements in fencing leading to his award:
Mr. van de Flier was appointed an FIE Member of Honour by the 2013 Paris Congress and inducted into the FIE Hall of Fame in 2014. He served as a member of the FIE Scale of Votes Commission, the Disciplinary Panel and has chaired the FIE Fair-Play Council. He has been the DT president at World Championships and a frequent official FIE World Cup supervisor.
Since 2012, Mr. van de Flier has worked on the International Fair Play Committee (CIFP) and been its secretary-treasurer since 2015. His work led to the 2017 creation of the FIE Fair-Play Council.
Mr. van de Flier has been a Member of Honour of the KNAS since 1995 and actively involved in the organisation since 1978. He chaired its Technical Commission before becoming the KNAS secretary-general in 1981 and interim president in 1982. He then became the youngest president of the KNAS, a role he held for 12 years. After leaving the board in 1995, he rejoined as secretary-general in 2010, a position he still holds.
He helped establish the European Fencing Confederation in 1991 and served on its board for 17 years, including being secretary-general, first vice-president, treasurer and SEMI Commission president. Several world and European championships have been organised in the Netherlands from 1985 to 1995 thanks to Mr. van de Flier’s efforts, who is also credited with being instrumental in helping the Airborne Trophy and Zoetermeer Trophy competitions become (former) FIE World Cups in the Netherlands.