17th December 2021
Lieutenancy Award presented to Shackleford resident, Quintus Van Koetsveld
On 16th December the Lord-Lieutenant presented Quintus Van Koetsveld with a Lieutenancy Award for his huge contribution to the village of Shackleford over many years.
His contribution is most evident in his long-term work in tending and caring for the village War Memorial. This Memorial to the fallen of both World Wars stands close to the Parish Church but is owned by the Parish Council, and for over twenty years, Quintus has quietly taken on responsibility for it. He has cleaned the stonework, tended the grass and hedges surrounding it and ensured that it is always ready for the service on Remembrance Sunday, when villagers gather round and plant crosses for the servicemen named on the Memorial. In 2004 Quintus noticed that the names on the Memorial were no longer really legible and he launched a campaign via local media networks to ensure that all the servicemen’s names were properly recorded, with the names of their regiments. He raised sufficient funds to replace the eroded panels with new hand carved ones in York stone. When that work had been done, he organised the Memorial’s re-dedication later that year and afterwards, when these new panels were seen to be suffering from erosion, he organised to have these replaced with carved granite panels. Quintus has engaged throughout with St Mary’s Parish Church and the Parish Council and has encouraged villagers to respect the monument and to use it.
His interest in War Memorials is not just limited to Shackleford. In 2000 he pointed out to the Dutch Authorities in Utrecht the poor condition of the War Memorial there which remembers the 18 men who had been executed in 1944 because they had belonged to the resistance. One of those was his brother Hans. Quintus performed the unveiling in 1947 and was asked to perform the 2nd unveiling in May 2007, exactly 60 years later.
Quintus has added significantly to the life of the village. He has always contributed to the Village Fete, a traditional summer fete held to raise funds for local causes. Such contributions have included the sale at the Fete of his carvings of wooden mushrooms, made from fallen trees, and the sale of handmade wooden birdfeeders, bird boxes and plant containers. Some of these plant containers were made from a redundant telegraph pole. He was very much into re-cycling long before this became popular.
Other examples of his village activities have been noticing a village cherry tree being constricted by its Victorian metal support frame, after the frame had been removed he re-furbished it and sold the frame for local charities. He repaired the bench seat which had been installed to commemorate the Queen’s Silver Jubilee. He also noticed that a long Bargate stone roadside kerb was being replaced by a modern concrete one, so he obtained permission to collect all the discarded stone pieces and separated them into lots for auction, again for charity, and with the request that the re-used stones be visible in the village. He has repaired and restored the village cricket club bench originally donated by Italian prisoners of war. He fashioned a church gate replacement and helped re-point the whole of the church boundary wall. He has also played a large part in redecorating the Village Hall.
If looking for Quintus and he is not at home, you are likely to find him out in the village, tending to the War Memorial, collecting discarded wood or stone for re-use, cleaning and clearing village road signs obscured by vegetation or looking around the village for new projects. Quintus is a quite exceptional contributing member of his community and is well-respected and loved. Even in what is now his tenth decade he is still contributing to village life. There are few who have done so much for a local community over so many years.
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