Who is Willy Naessens?

Willy Naessens was born in Elsegem on 14 February 1939 as the son of a miller. The actual mill is no longer there, but the office premises were built at the exact same location. Willy went to school until the age of 14. At an early age, Willy Naessens decided to set up his first business: a chicken farm.

When his chickens were diagnosed with bird flu, his father said to him: “Son, you will never be buried at 11 a.m.!” By this he meant that Willy would never earn a living in a sophisticated manner and later be buried at a ‘sophisticated hour’ as befits distinguished people.

Willy subsequently began trading in animal feed. This brought him into regular contact with farmers and one of them asked Willy whether he knew someone who could build a stable. At that time, Willy was not yet into building, but he brought together the necessary people and after the sale he received a commission of 20,000 Belgian francs, which was quite a large sum of money in those days. Apparently, good money was to be made in construction and Willy’s first dreams were born.