The SCA Group is a homing point for those with a passion for classic or sports cars. They meet every month for lunch, at which there is generally an invited speaker. Its activities vary from an annual rally to visits arranged at private collections, to the international trade fairs devoted to their favourite racers. It also arranges visits to factories where the cars are made.
The Comic Strips Group (denoted “Centaur Club” in honour of its captain Francis Blake) lets members live out their enthusiasm for this noble art. Exchanges, invitations extended to the strips’ creators and excursions are in the programme.
Our group brings together those enamoured with the Way of St James (and other spiritual pilgrimages). Its activities consist of revealing “the Way” and furnishing details of its historical, artistic and philosophical dimensions.
The Golf Group is for those who love the sport with the small ball. They meet throughout the year to swing their mashie-niblicks out on the course, come rain or come shine.
A number of medals can be played for at various times over the year, aimed at handicaps of all levels as also confirmed players. The season’s opening and closing dinners are attended by all Cercle members, at which the narrative is peppered with tales of the year’s birdies, eagles and albatrosses, and no end of other golfing memories.
The Oenology Group’s activites circulate around discovering the wines of the world. This takes the form of targeted and themed tasting evenings, “gourmet experiences”, oenology courses, and such like.
But, most especially, the traditional annual gala focuses on a chosen wine-producing region, and there is our annual “voyage of discovery” to a particular vineyard area, including visits to wine-makers and tastings along the way.
The human condition can be hard to put a finger on. Created in the image of God, Genesis tells us; a social animal for Aristotle; “machine man” according to La Mettrie: in our quest we leave no philosopher’s stone unturned. Though, in spite of such a multitude of analyses, the one common element to them all is that mankind is a race in quest of meaning. Hence, just as was done at the literary salons of the 17th century, our questioning of past notions, sounding out present values and even formulating those values lie at the very core of the Meaning, Notions & Values Group of Cercle royal Gaulois. Join us on this perfect extension of Plato’s banquet symposium: good cheer and good fellowship around the table.
It is a long-standing tradition, for members of the Cercle and their partners who so wish, to travel once a year to a given part of a European foreign country in order to acquaint ourselves with its every detail; in cultural terms, especially, but also its people, its culinary specialities, both typical and unique. In more recent times, we have established a second trip with ambitions farther afield, once every two years. The destinations are places around the world that have an originality and exclusivity about them. The trips give members an opportunity to get to know each other better, and even discover each others’ existence, which is part and parcel of the Cercle’s raison d’être: a means to enjoy good times, to meet others and establish friendship as it ought to be understood.
Hölderlin tells us we inhabit the Earth as poets. The best evidence of this lies in the sublimation of the actual by way of image and language that art and literature have given us over the course of history. They wrench us from everyday turpor and cause us to transcend the bounded horizons of our existence, to reveal to us places of which we never dreamed, perchance impelling us to realise there our dreams. It being so that great artists and writers do not create simply a work: they create an entire world. Thus, it’s to the place where these two modes of expression meet, where they distinguish themselves as they interact, that the Fine Arts and Belles-Lettres Group invites you to come, in the hope that our exploration of this historical record can enrich your thinking and your sensibilities.
The Hunting Group is the meeting point for those wishing to share their interest and passion for the chase. Activities are organised around a dining opportunity, with hunt days, colloquiums and concerts as a backdrop to our celebration of values that lie dear to our hearts: fellowship, spirit, rural life, music and, of course, Mother Nature and her bounty. A hunt dinner is held annually at the Gaulois, always to the accompaniment of Breton sonneurs. The hunting and shooting activities are furthermore excellent opportunities to strengthen the ties we cherish as Gaulois with partner circles elsewhere in Belgium and abroad.
The Enterprise & Assets Group invites to its podium important players in the world of business, and economics in a boarder sense. They may be famed captains of industry, executives with an accumulated wealth of experience, financiers, researchers, teachers, trade unionists or politicians: they will often have a viewpoint that’s original; and that’s one it’s worth getting to know.
Topics are varied: all sectors and all issues. The accent is laid on instituting dialogue, perhaps even a debate, between the speaker and those attending.
Each month, the History Group gives its lectern over to an historian of note, be they academic or amateur, studied or serendipitous, to speak on a matter from the wide canvas that is history. As far as we are able, we ask our speakers to not shirk from adopting commonplace terminology in their explanations emphasising that their audience is not necessarily made up of their peers. The conferences follow current movements in the publishing world, at least as far as Belgium is concerned.
Colloquiums and debates dealing with both internal and external influencing factors in the stability and evolution of society, such as ideologies, economic and social policies, technology, science, energy, and ecological policies.
The Cercle Gaulois gets its marksmen together once a month for practice sessions in convivial surroundings. Each year, they take part in an inter-circle challenge for which the trophy is a rifle butt. The winning circle keeps it and displays it until it is contended for again a year later.
Clay-pigeon shooting involves shooting at 10 cm-diameter clay discs fired from a machine at between 80 and 100 k.p.h. in random trajectories.
The Bridge Group organises a rubber once a month, on a Sunday. The Cercle sends teams under the Coupe Selliers rules to all fixtures, where the competition is always keen: “Pairs are picked so as to up our team’s odds of coming out well.” Once a year, they organise an inter-circle tournament with over 200 players representing all the Coupe Selliers divisional teams, plus a number of clubs from foreign countries and the provinces.
The Film Club Group’s calling is to allow members to discover, or rediscover, films that form a landmark in the history of the motion picture: for their production quality, casting, originality or innovation, irrespective of storyline or subject, with a discussion session afterwards for an exchange of views and thoughts.
Films are exhibited at the Cercle in the earlier portion of a Thursday evening.
The Geo-strategy Group offers a forum for discussion and colloquiums on the subject of current geo-strategy matters. In choosing the topics, our proximity within Europe is not lost from view, but is not all-prevailing. Recent conferences have covered Japan’s strategic vision, the Russian Federation’s positioning vis-à-vis the European Union, the Belgian air force’s involvement in fighting Islamic State, the future of Europe and, by no means overlooked, our Brexit series.
The Motorcycling Group meets to bring its members together around their passion for motorised two-wheelers and organising lunches and runs on that subject.
The Sciences & Life Group takes an interest in all aspects of scientific progress and its application in the real world. Whether in medicine, neuroscience, physics or chemistry, or even extending to psychology and sociology.
The Sail & Surf Group is the muster station for those Gaulois who love the ocean wave, whether they don’t sail at all, or do so for the Senior or the Merchant Service, or just like messing about in boats. They needn’t even ever take to the briny. We simply organise talks for you, arrange visits, even take a cruise to get your dreams of the seven seas a little closer to reality.