jane Blog > Roots&Shoots Knight Marc de Bel


Marc de Bel knighted by dr. Jane Goodall

At the annual Jane Goodall’s Roots&Shoots ceremony, the famous Flemish children’s book writer, Marc de Bel was knighted by Jane Goodall ! He is the first JGI Knight for Youth, Animals, and Plants in the Order of the Oak Tree. We hope to have more candidates for knighthood by the time Jane turns 80 in April 2014.

The “rules of life” for the knighthood must be sworn during the taking of the oath:
1. Vowing to treat youth, animals and nature with love and respect always and everywhere.
2. To save animals and people in need whenever you can.
3. To build a better world for youth, animals and nature.
4. To proudly bear and promote the title.

Knighthood speech by Marc de Bel
Marc de Bel foto ridder
When one of my grandchildren heard that I would be honoured by Mrs Goodall as a knight, he asked me if I would carry a sword and a helmet from now on, just like the real knights, which he admires.
I answered him that I don’t want to be a fighting knight, but a writing knight. I don’t need a sword, my pen is my sword.
‘O’, he said very disappointed, ‘not even a helmet?’
So, I started to look for a helmet … and I found the old, broken watering-can of my grandmother.
With this watering-can my grandmother gave water to the flowers in her garden, so that they could grow high and flourish.
But the can was grey and rusty.
So I asked my grandchildren to paint it…
I think it’s a very good, symbolic helmet for a knight who writes books for children.
So I will carry it and this knighthood with dignity.
Thank you very much.
Marc de Bel

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