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Off to Stockholm – with or without the Order of the Lion?

Datum:06 december 2016
Auteur:Riepko Buikema
Feringa's secretary Tineke and Riepko Buikema.
Feringa's secretary Tineke and Riepko Buikema.

There he is, Ben Feringa. A bit smaller than I’d expected, standing there next to the printer in the corner of his secretary’s office. It’s the final few minutes close to his beloved lab. It’s high time to bring the Nobel Prize back to Groningen. Off to Stockholm, where a programme organized down to the last detail awaits him.

A final brief discussion with Tineke, his secretary. ‘What are we doing about that interview request for the radio?’ Feringa asks. The whole world seems to want a piece of him since 5 October. ‘You were going to discuss it with your wife, but it’s during the Christmas holidays. You’re on holiday then so the only right answer is “no”.’ Smiling gratefully, Feringa takes her advice on board. ‘In Amsterdam I’d be lectured for at least a quarter of an hour for asking such a question. In Groningen they just say “no”.’ Then it’s off home and heading for Schiphol.

Feringa’s secretary is busy with a different issue in the meantime – the beautiful medal that Minister Bussemaker hung around his neck when he was appointed Commander in the Order of the Netherlands Lion, should it go to Sweden too? Is it suitable, or even required, to wear the medal during the Nobel Prize Award Ceremony? Discussions with the Chancery of the Netherlands Orders of Knighthood resolve the issue. You can see what was decided on Saturday afternoon, 10 December.

My colleague Peter van der Sijde and I will be shadowing Feringa and his official delegation and reporting from Stockholm from Wednesday evening on. In preparation, I watched the video below again – you should do so too. The joy, pride and happiness of that fantastic 5 October are overwhelming.

I’m curious to see if those feelings can also be sensed in Stockholm. Off to Sweden. Off to the Nobel Prize. With a huge smile on our faces.



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