The story of a great fan of sugar
This is the story of Monique Pirson, passionate about sugar
It was in Paris in 1981, whilst drinking a cup of coffee on a terrace, that I became so ecstatic about this little packet of sugar… At the time, I was completely unaware that this packet of sugar would brighten up my life.
I took the packets of sugar with me and continued to search for more of them throughout my week-end in Paris, so much so that at the end of the 3 days, I had about twenty different packets of sugars in my bag, some decorated with flowers, cars, etc. This was the start of a great adventure! I had just entered the world of ‘Sucrology’.
Upon my return to Belgium, I continued to look for packets of sugar and I placed advertisements in various weekly publications. I discussed the topic with people around me as much as possible and I showed them the packets of sugar that I had brought back from Paris.
I then got my first Tirlemont packets of sugar, and to my delight they were very colourful, and all different from one another. I was so happy!
I continued my frenetic search. The more packets of sugar I collected, the more opportunity I had to expand my collection, and I could use any duplicates I had to exchange them. In 1986, I was the first Belgian to become a member of the French ‘Club de Glycophiles’ and I took part in my first exchange exhibition in Paris. Of course, I tried to collect as many packets and sachets of sugar manufactured by Raffinerie Tirlemontoise. For me, it turned into a real passion and a natural reflex!
At the end of the 80’s, I visited Raffinerie Tirlemontoise (RT) with my family. This visit was organised by RT at the start of a campaign. It led to me establishing my first contacts within the RT, and I became very interested in its history and in sugar production.
I visited more and more exchange exhibitions throughout Europe: from France, to Germany through Switzerland, Italy, and the Czech Republic. My collection grew, and still continues to grow today, and I have established friendships with other sucrologists abroad.
In 1997, I decided to organise the first International Sucrology Exhibition in Belgium, in my home town of Bioul, and this was commemorated with a Tirlemont Cube which was specially manufactured for that event.
In 2002, my collection was used to compile a RT press file to celebrate the centenary of the Sugar Cube.
For me, the Tirlemont packets of sugar are the main focus of my collection, and I am proud to own:
the first Adant packets of sugar from 1930
the first 1 kg packs of sugar cubes from the 1940’s
as well as the first 2 kg sugar loaves
My Tirlemont collection has continued to expand with a multitude of advertising, teaching and commemorative items, as well as machine parts and tools used in sugar production. And so the list goes on…
I now own a collection of 300,000 different items, of which Tirlemont is my favourite section and also my main aim.
Upon request from the management of the Sugar Museum in Tirlemont, my oldest pieces were exhibited from 6 October 2010 until 31 January 2011.
We are now in 2011, with 2 birthdays to celebrate,
- Raffinerie Tirlemontoise is celebrating its 175th anniversary, and I intend to congratulate it in style!
- As for me, 30 years have now gone by, but these 30 years have brought me so much: 30 years of Passion, research, happiness, riches from every point of view.
And to celebrate this occasion, I have had 2 commemorative series of sachets of sugar produced to offer as a gift to most of my collector friends all over the world. It goes without saying that these are series in which Tirlemont sugar plays a main part.
My passion for sugar is still as strong as ever and has no bounds. It has even led me to open a small museum in Anhée, which will soon open its doors. It will be entitled ‘Musée du sucre emballé’.