Bobbejaan and the name "Paribas"
The former director of the "Bank of Paris and the Netherlands", Maurits (Maurice) Naessens (1908-1982) was a neighbor of Bobbejaan Schoepen in Meise near Brussels. (Schoepen lived in Meise from 1951 to 1964, but partly in Bobbejaanland since the opening of this park in december 1961).
Naessens obviously knew that Schoepen had started up this business in Lichtaart-Kasterlee. After the opening of a new bank in the nearest town of Geel, Naessens and his colleagues visited Schoepen and his wife Josée in the park. During the visit Naessens mentioned in passing that his colleagues could not come up with a decent name for the fusion of the "Banque de Paris et des Pays-Bas" ("Bank of Paris and the Netherlands"). When he asked Schoepen if he could perhaps come up with a more inspired solution, he took a slip of paper, thought about it for a moment, and wrote "Parisbas". A bit later he also dropped the 's'. Out of appreciation for his suggestion, Naessens had given him a few litho works of Frans Masereel and some art history books as a gift for this contribution.
"Dating the visit around 1967 is consistent with the most recent publication among these books: an art book on "Henri Van de Velde" published (pub. Fonds Mercator Brussels & NV van Goor en zonen, 's-Gravenhage, 1967). Other books by publishers "Uitgeverij Arcade" or "Leemans & Loiseau" but all with the support of "Bank of Paris and the Netherlands", e.g. note of the publisher on the last page of each book).
- Bobbejaan Schoepen Biography "Vokskundige Kroniek", april-june 2006. (English title: Folklife Chronicles, magazine of the Folklife Federation Flanders)
- Bobbejaan was interviewed on this subject by Friedl Lesage for "Het beste moet nog komen", Radio 1, 14 feb. 2007. (Belgian radio station of the Flemish public broadcast)