Catchy tribute: thousands of fans wave off ship with urn and family of Arno in Ostend

A few thousand people waved goodbye to singer Arno one last time on Saturday afternoon at the Westerstaketsel in Ostend. The ship carrying the deceased singer’s urn and family passed close to the fans for an emotional farewell.

According to Arno’s last wish, his ashes and urn were entrusted to the sea for his beloved Ostend. It was the converted fishing vessel Albatros of the shipping company Franlils that entered the harbor channel shortly after 3 pm. Accompanied by the shipping police, the ship sailed extra close to the Westerstaketsel so that the thousands of people could see the urn and the portrait of the deceased singer on the lower deck.

It became very quiet. The song ‘Les yeux de ma mère’ resounded. Many cried and waved to the greatest Ostend singer ever, one last time. The many gestures on board were also clearly appreciated. “My best memory dates from 40 years ago when I met him at one of his performances. I continued to follow him. I was present at the honorary hague at the film festival where I saw him for the last time. He was frail then, yet powerful. So I also had to be here today to pay him a nice last tribute”, says Isabelle Vandemaele.

That was also the motivation of Christophe Lycke: “I am here as a tribute to Arno as ambassador of Ostend. His father was my in-laws’ neighbor. We also met Arno a few times. Conversations with him have stayed with me. It is emotional to be here today.”

Mireille Zeebroek: “I grew up with his music. My son is named after Arno. I insisted on being here on the picket fence.” Another Ostend resident recalls: “The last time there were so many people on the pier was in 1997, when the RMT ships last sailed.”

Concert organizer Niko Geldof was also there: “I organized another concert with Arno in 2018 and felt it was my duty to pay him one last tribute.” Super fan Guy Vanhollebeke was also there: “The fans who were devoted to him had to be here today. I could not miss here because Arno has done so much for me and brought me so much pleasure. I saw more than 1,000 concerts and I had to be here.” Many also walked along to the end of the pier to say goodbye to Arno.

Leave a Reply