On Wednesday night, February 12, after a short period of sickness, Doctor Lamber Vinken passed away. He would have been 99 years old this year.
Together with priest Jan Coninx, he was one of the founders of the European Music Festival for Young People in Neerpelt.
As first president of the festival he has set out the direction of the festival for 30 years. From 1953 to 1982, Lambert was a dedicated president next to being a helpful doctor and raising a big family. Starting as a small local festival, the EMJ became in a short period of time one of the biggest festivals in its kind. Participants from 4 continents came to the festival with great enthusiasm. This success can be attributed to the similar values of both Lambert and the festival: "Making beautiful music and meeting each other in peace".
In 1982 Lambert found a successor in Peter Berben (+2018) as president of the festival. From then on Lambert was our honorary president. Until his last days, Lambert was present at board meetings and not many things would escape his attention. With wisdom he advised his successors and he was never shy to clarify his vision in an email. He always found a healthy balance between staying involved and keeping his distance from the festival.
In Dr. Lambert Vinken, the festival has lost a wise father figure