Q: Who was the Bonte Cock that I see so often in your pedigrees?

Story of the Bonte cock --

It is customary in Belgium at the awards celebration during the wintertime for the top lofts to donate a bond for a young bird the following spring. Miel Van Hoof purchased such a bond from Maurice Bonte. The following spring, he went to pick up the promised youngster.

Arriving at Maurice Bonte's, the first round of youngsters was already on the roof. Bonte told him he could have the choice of almost any youngster from the next round except out of a few pairs of breeders. Miel replied that he had come such a long way and did not want to make the trip again -- but he would settle for one egg -- which would be from one of the pairs that was supposed to be off limits. He finally went home with an egg that came from a cock that was a son of the Golden Pair mated to a granddaughter of the Golden Pair. This was in 1981.

In the late 80's, after I realized how good the Bonte cock was, I tried to locate Maurice Bonte to no avail. It took me several years to finally locate him. He had changed wives and was flying under the loft name and location of his new wife's ex-husband. During the changeover of wives, his birds had been sold off. The children of the Golden Pair and their mates had been sold to Germany. Also, a number of very prominent lofts in the Antwerp Union benefited from his very expensive collection of Meulemans.

However, Maurice Bonte could not tell me from which pair he had given the egg to Miel Van Hoof almost 10 years ago. All that he knew was that the cock was a blue from the base pair and the hen was a granddaughter from the base pair.

So goes the story of the fabulous breeder the Bonte.