Astrophilatelist - BEKAERT, Jacqueline 

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BEKAERT, Jacqueline
Date of birth: 24.08.1936
B.F.V. COSMOS Co-founder of the club, Secretary
ROYAL BELGIAN FEDERATION Provincial and National Commissary for Astrophilately, Delegate for the FIP Section for Astrophilately.
F.I S.A. - Secretary General 1984 - 2009.
She married to Georges Lauwers, a well-known dedicated astrophilatelist and jury member and they have one son, Mark.
During her lifetime she supported her husband in his hobby. After the passing away of her husband in May 2000, she was elected by the Royal National Federation, Provincial and National Commissary for astrophilately, task which she fulfils up till to-day.
Since Jackie was a professional secretary, she devoted her free time to her family, the Cosmos Club right from the beginning and within F.I.S.A. from 1984 till 2009, when she resigned.
Together with her husband she visited several times the U.S.A., Russia, France and attended worldwide exhibitions, congresses, conferences and seminars.
She never had spare time to collect for herself, until beginning of the nineties when she was fascinated by a few Chinese space covers, which Georges gave her for the free tombola at the Cosmos meetings. He said he was not interested in this subject, since he could not read the postmarks or the text. She kept them and had the idea to gain information on an eventual Chinese space program. She experienced it was a very difficult and complicated matter to obtain information on the subject, and succeeded in obtaining some information on their space program. Then she requested for a correspondent in space collecting. It took several months before receiving a reply.
She purchased covers but had to 'decode' the postmark, a very difficult task, since she was not familiar with the Chinese language. Through her correspondent and a German collector on the same subject, she prepared herself a few pages with postmarks and text from different launch sites, tracking stations, tracking ships, landing sites, etc.
She started a small exhibit of three pages, but no jury member could evaluate it, except Dr. Stefan Bruylants, also collecting this subject. She continued to collect 'China in Space' and exhibited for the first time in the Astro Class at LUPO 1995, Kloten (Switzerland), a propaganda exhibition with 4 frames. At LEDA 96 (Belgium), a provincial competitive exhibition, she was awarded Silver (74 points).
At the national competitive exhibition FILA KORTRIJK 2000 (Belgium) she obtained Vermeil (81 pts + special prize).
At the provincial competitive exhibition ROTHNACUM 2003 (Belgium) she was awarded a Gold Medal (90 pts) with 8 frames.
She participated for the first time at F.I.P. World Philatelic Exhibition at Valencia ESPANA 2004 and obtained Vermeil (85 pts).
Upon request of the Belgian federation she exhibited in the Court of Honour at BRUPHILA 2000.
At· ANTVERPIA 2010 (Belgium), an international FEPA exhibition, she was awarded, for the same collection, Silver (73 pts.) ?!
For PORTUGAL 2010 (Lisbon), an international FIP exhibition, she was not accepted.
Regularly she writes articles on Chinese space exploration in the Cosmos magazine as well as in Belgaphil bulletin of the Belgian national federation.
She was awarded by the Belgian national federation with a provincial medal for philatelic merit in 2003.
F.I.S.A. honoured her with the Golden FISA Pin in 1998 at Virginia Beach/USA and with the Golden FISA Medal in 2001 at Wuppertal/D.
A plaque in recognition for outstanding service as Secretary General worldwide, she received at the FISA Congres/Meyrin/CH on April 25 2009, as well as a plaque by the President of the American Air Mail Society, since she was subscribed to the Aerophilatelic Hall of Fame.
She always supported her husband in his hobby, worked for the Cosmos club, compiled the Cosmos magazine as secretary of both Cosmos and F.I.S.A.

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