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More than 45 years of multi-lingual activity!

Language clubs exist all over the world to enable people to spend at least one evening per week in convivial surroundings to participate in conversations in a language other than their own.

Just such a club was established in Waterloo back in 1972 and has since had the opportunity to welcome regular and irregular members of many nationalities every Tuesday evening over the many years in between then and now. However, the origins of the club had formed in the minds of the civic leaders of the Commune of Waterloo somewhat earlier. The then Mayor of Waterloo, André Caussin, was anxious to encourage dialogue between local residents and the substantial influx of expatriates arriving in the area to participate in the growth of the European Economic Community. He held discussions with a number of civic dignitaries and members of the teaching profession who all agreed that the formation of a multilingual club would provide an excellent social environment in which to bring together both the local and the incoming residents. The inaugural meeting of the Cercle Polyglotte de Waterloo was held at the Wellington Museum on Friday 25th February 1972, while the current President, Brian Flack, first became a member in 1974.

The club therefore owes its existence to the Commune of Waterloo which, we are happy to confirm, still supports us to this day.

The club has held its meetings at several different locations in and around Waterloo but the aims and objectives have always been the same - to provide people with an interest in foreign languages, the opportunity to join in everyday conversation without the formalised atmosphere of a classroom. For that reason, the club has always settled in locations where the surroundings are quiet and spacious enough for large groups to talk without disturbing each other or other people in the vicinity.

In early 2022, following the 50th anniversary of the founding of the club, the Cercle Polyglotte de Waterloo asbl was honoured by His Majesty the King of Belgium, with the authorisation to use the Royal title as part of its name.

The Cercle Royal Polyglotte de Waterloo is also affiliated to the Cercle Royal Polyglotte de Bruxelles and to several other language clubs in Belgium and abroad.

Membership tends to vary as people come and go. Consequently, the President, Brian Flack, is always keen to encourage an influx of newcomers. In particular, as expatriates move away to their next posting, it is often the older members who are left to maintain regular attendance. “The one thing we want to emphasise is that we are a group of individuals interested in improving our linguistic skills,” says Brian. “We are open to people of all ages and nationalities and our sole objective is to provide anyone with the opportunity to practise everyday conversational skills in a language other than their own. We have language groups seated around individual tables chatting to each other in the nominated language of that table. The only essential requirement is that you have at least a nominal knowledge of the language that you want to practise, Polyglotte clubs are not schools and no formal lessons are given. On the other hand, members are encouraged to assist each other in the correct use of their chosen language.”

The Cercle Royal Polyglotte de Waterloo meets from 8:00pm to 10:00pm every Tuesday evening in the spacious foyer of the Tennis Club de Waterloo (behind the Ibis Hotel), blvd H. Rolin 5b, 1410 Waterloo. Contact the secretary for more details.

To find out more about the officers of the club - click here.

For information about other happenings in Waterloo - click here.