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A moon-extinguisher in the mini-golf course of the Nekkerspoel sports centre in Mechelen.

How did the Mechlians acquire their nickname of " MOON EXTINGUISHERS" ?

According to the historical archives, it all happened during the night of January 27th in the year 1687. The moon projected a reddish glow on Saint Rumbold's Tower, which was wrapped in a fog. A drunken man was going home and suddenly saw the extraordinary phenomenon.

Fire ..., the tower is on fire ..., his dreary voice shouted into the night. Torn from a deep sleep the neighbours threw open their windows and were bewitched by the same view. In less than no time, almost the whole population was afoot. The alarm-bell was sounded everywhere and every possible kind of extinguisher was brought to the fire.The town council, the mayor at its head, ran to the scene of catastrophe and immediately began organizing the rescue-work. Buckets of water were passed from hand to hand along the stairs. But before the top was reached, the moon silently came through the fog and ... to the utter astonishment of the brave Mechlians, they saw that they had been fooled by the  intoxicated Bacchus friend.

Although the Mechlians tried to suppress the story, it soon became known throughout the country and even was told abroad. One should remember that cities and towns in that age maintained only very strained relations.Many rhymes and jokes were told and even published, and these kept the story alive. Thus it came about that even in our times, the Mechlians are known by the name of "Maneblussers" (Moon Extinguishers).


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