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The story of

“The House of Sion”


by Les Parkinson


Patrick Gilles originally came from Frence but has lived for many years in the Rekkem-Menen area of Belgium where such fanciers as Andre Lietaer, Etienne Devos plus other Champions of our sport live. In 2000 and 2001 Patrick Gilles and his wife Galle have been amongst the five best long distance lofts of Belgium. Most probably in 2001 he could be rated as “Real Number 1” of Belgium fanciers competing in the long distance races. The 2002 season was also good because he continued his winning ways with 2nd National Souillac with 7.214 pigeons competing.

In the “Dax International” he has already proved to be the best long distance loft of Belgium. In the Dax International race Patrick & Galle Gilles clocked 3 pigeons in 5 minutes which is really impressing from a distance of 900 Km. These 3 pigeons won 20th, 23rd & 25th International against 12.176 pigeons which is a unique result in pigeon racing.

Very typical for the Gilles-pigeons is that they win 1st prizes from 100 km races as well as in the much longer events up to 900 km. Moreover the Gilles-pigeons have a very good model to pigeon fanciers everywhere. What is more important to know is that his good pigeon “Périgueux Olympiade” was 1st Olympic pigeon of Belgium in the Standard category ( ! ) in Cape Town South Africa January 2001. This same pigeon also won 20th International Dax this year, a couple of months after his trip to South Africa, as well as the 110th National Montauban competing against 8.027 pigeons in 2002. This is quite amazing when you consider the trip to South Africa, this highlights the fact that these pigeons have a real good constitution.

Patrick and his father Maurice have been building up their strain of all round-pigeons under the name of the “House of Sion” for than 35 years and they are now reaping their reward with top class performances at the highest level of competition in the International races. The character of Patrick is the same his father has never tired during this period they are always highly motivated to reach the top both in business as well as in their chosen sport of pigeon racing. Patrick and his father have spent their lives running a building company so have had plenty of work to do at all times and at the present moment Patrick works with 30 people in his company.

As a young pigeon fancier Patrick and his father went looking for the good quality pigeons and Patrick visited his uncle Rene Verhaeghe, who owned a very good family of the successful Stichelbout-pigeons, this was in 1964 & 1965. They bought 10 young birds and to make sure that they got it right they asked uncle Rene for his racing-system so that they could maintain the ways of their master. Patrick had already proven to be a very good student in pigeon racing based on past performances and achieving success when he became 6th Champion in his area of Rekkem where the biggest Champions of Belgium were living. Fanciers such as Andre Lietaer of the world famous Rolls Royce Lofts.

As a 14 year-old boy Patrick finished school and started working in the building-business, just like his father had done. But the most important thing was that Patrick wanted to be a Champion in pigeon racing as well! So with this in mind Patrick and his father went for a second visit to uncle Rene Verhaeghen and they bought the 3 best racing pigeons in the loft, these were called the “Bon Ecailler”1st Ace Pigeon 1966 , the “Vieux Roux” and the “Le Bon Roux”. Patrick and his father then went to the son of Rene Verhaeghe, Noel Verhaeghe, to buy his 3 best hens called “Fédora”, “La Vieille Rouan” and “La Tiquette”. These pigeons were paired and bred a team of pigeons that they felt were capable of competing against the best and this proved correct because one year later Patrick and his father Maurice became 1st Champion short and middle distance.

Not being satisfied they went for a third visit to Verhaeghe and this was the start of the pure Sion-pigeons. They visited uncle Rene Verhaeghe again to buy his “Mosaique-hen” (grey) and his “Roux Meunier”. In that period the son of Rene Verhaeghe, Noel, had become the loft manager of Champion fancier Maurice Pollet who owns the purest Sion-pigeons available, Maurice Pollet and Henry Sion were neighbours ! Both of them belonged to the “pigeon legends of France”. On that visit the chance arose for Patrick to buy the best Sion-pigeons that he could. He took that chance and now has a top team from this legendary family and that’s how his Sion colony was born. The new introductions are the “Ecailler Pollet”, father of the “Clissa-hen” which later became the Number 1 stock hen of the Gilles-colony. The “Clissa” hen was the real start of the Successful Gilles colony because in every pedigree of the Gilles pigeons we find the her breeding lines. A grandson of “Clissa” was born in 1989 and became known as “Cahors 91” 3009212/89 : he won the 1st prize at Chateauroux and 27th National Cahors in 1991. This “Cahors 91 is now one of the top breeders and the number one in the colony of Patrick Gilles-Galle. Out of this “Cahors “Patrick has bred so many top pigeons ! For instance all you need to do is see the pedigrees of “Champion Souillac”, “Périgueux Olympiade”, “As KBDB”, Super-Crack” top pigeons.

Just to finish off here are some of the results that have been achieved by Patrick Gilles-Galle : 2000 : 9th National Pau, 29th Internat. Pau, 11th National Brive, 39th National Dax 52nd International Dax, 61st 138th 245th 299th National Limoges, 83rd 201st Nat. Limoges, 148th 176th 249th 335th National Cahors, 189th Nat. Montauban, 5th National Ace pigeon Long Distance KBDB, 1st Olympic Pigeon Standard.

2001: 15th 17th 19th National Dax 4,166b. 20th 23rd 25th International Dax 12,176B. 8th 19th San Sebastian Franco Belg 503B. 54th Nat. Marseille 4,615b. 68th International. St Vincent 3.979b. 70th Nat. Pau 2.540b. 98th 102nd Nat. Brive 22,026b. 110th Nat. Montauban 8,027b.

137th Nat. Perpignan 8,041b. 195th International. Pau 7,841b. 230th Nat Cahors 9,989 b. All in all another good year for the Gallies family and no doubt we could have listed many of the local prizes instead of keeping to the National and International events.