The company was founded by Achiel Verstraeten, who in 1959 became the first person to fit a gripping mechanism with three motors into one independent cart. He was also the first to automate the collection for bumper cars and auto scooters.
"In everything he did, quality was the most important for him, putting the players and customers first".
Our father passed away on the respectable age of 84, yesterday October 19th in the morning.
In our industry Achiel Verstraeten is known as the founder of Elaut. The people who worked with him describe him as a wise and righteous man. He lived a humble, honest and hardworking life. He was interested in all aspects of it, with a special interest in people. His books were mainly about science, philosophy and religion.
He started his business in 1959 in Sint-Niklaas as a young engineer repairing radios, amplifiers and televisions in a small shop in Belgium. A few years later he developed the first automatic coin mechanism system for operating bumper cars and later the first crane mechanism with 3 motors. These products were the beginning of his life in the amusement machine industry. In everything he did, quality was the most important for him, putting the players and customers first.
After a life of hard work, he had the bad luck of having serious problems with his health at the age 69. Very soon he became basically captured in his own body, a destiny that he endured with dignity.
Thanks to our father there are a whole generation of co-workers that are now very specialized in the amusement industry. He gave his staff and children the skills to survive in the amusement industry and built a strong foundation for his new companies now called the Elaut Group. This is something we are all so very proud of. We will remember him has a warm person, loving father, loving the industry, respecting his customers and staff and always grateful for the opportunities life has given him.
He was happily married to our mother, his wife Josephina (Josy) for more than 56 years. She was with him in good and bad days, and we are thankful for this. He leaves 3 children (Helga, Eric and Emmy) and 7 grandchildren. The funeral will be held on Saturday Oct. 28.
Sincerely, Helga, Eric & Emmy Verstraeten