Conference of Burgomasters
- A conference of burgomasters of Brussels and surrounding communes was initiated by Burgomaster Jules Anspach in May 1874 when he and his counterparts from Schaerbeek, Ixelles, Molenbeek-Saint-Jean, Saint-Gilles, Anderlecht, Etterbeek, and Saint-Josse-ten-Noode met at the Hôtel de Ville. Their impetus in gathering was to establish branches of the Athenée de Bruxelles in the suburbs. Although they failed to do so, they did agree to meet regularly, which was done monthly until Anspach's death (1879) and less frequently thereafter. They assembled in 115 sessions until the outbreak of World War I and, although strictly a consultative grouping, they did succeed in creating coordinated measures to promote public health and combat fires. Burgomasters from eight additional towns joined in 1914. By 1932, those of all the current 19 communes in the Brussels Capital Region were attending. The meetings continued throughout the two world wars, when they facilitated coordination of metropolitan measures in securing provisions and treating with the occupying force.
Historical Dictionary of Brussels. Paul F. State.
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