On the occasion of 700 years of Nieuwkerken, in 1994, the monument was erected with 700 clogs. Each year one more wooden shoe would be added. This work of art is a tribute to an age-old craft in Nieuwkerken in which, a century ago, more than three thousand workers were employed in no fewer than 215 family clogmakers' businesses. When you think about it, you can hardly grasp how quickly times are changing, let alone how the future will look for the next generation.


Herman van Snick was a son of accountant Gustave Van Snick and of Stephanie Bellon. During World War I the family emigrated to England.

Around 1930 he began studying law at the State University of Ghent. During his student days he collaborated in the magazine Prisma and was editor of Neohumanisme, the magazine of the Liberal Flemish Student Association Ghent. In 1936 and 1937 he also published his first volumes of poetry in the journal Cahiers van de Waterkluis.

In 1937 he graduated as a doctor of law and settled as a lawyer in Antwerp.

In 1939 he married Lucienne Briot in Schaarbeek.

During the Second World War he joined the Resistance and collaborated in the clandestine Antwerp underground magazine De vrijheid, in which he published poems that belong to the rare resistance literature.

From 1945 to 1957 he was a substitute for the public prosecutor and then justice of the peace for the cantons of Diksmuide and Nieuwpoort. In 1957 he became justice of the peace in Vilvoorde.

Nieuwkerken, 1994