Wednesday, May 30, 2007

What does "All things Work Together for Good" mean?

Listen to this Youtube explanation:

Family history 1939 1950s

Christiaan Andries Van Doodewaard
Born in Rotterdam, The Netherlands on April 25, 1942.
Father: Anne Antoon Johannes Van Doodewaard (1916-1999)
Mother: Plonia Van Doodewaard – Jansen (1915-1992)
Grandfather: Gerardus Johannes Van Doodewaard (1858-1925)
Grandmother: Lukina Van Doodewaard – Hukema (1886-1975)
Grandfather: Christiaan Andries Jansen (187?-1943)
Grandmother: Leentje Jansen – Van Mullem (1875-1957)

My parents were married on August 30, 1939 and
had six children:

Lukina (Ina) Den Hartog – Van Doodewaard (1941- )
Christiaan Andries Van Doodewaard (1942- )
Gerardus Johannes Van Doodewaard (1944-1996)
Lena (Lenie) Engelfriet-Van Doodewaard (1947- )
Anne Antoon Johannes (Andrew) Van Doodewaard (1950- )
Johannes Cornelis (John) Van Doodewaard (1953- )

I was born in the large industrial city Rotterdam, The Netherlands, right in the middle of World War II.
The country was occupied by the German occupation forces of Hitler (as was the rest of Europe), and although the Germans were well fed, the Dutch literally starved. Not a good time for my parents. My father was working at a grain elevator where grain was processed at the quay of one of Rotterdam’s many harbours: the Maashaven. The company understood that people without food could not do very much work. The employees were allowed to take some grain home from time to time to feed their families. This kept our family alive during the war. We can see that the Lord was gracious and cared for us. In the war period (1939-1945) there was an immense dearth of food. People who had administrative jobs often did not have any food at all for long periods of time.

Many people who did not have “connections” - relatives who had a farm- or money, died. In a large city nothing grew that could be eaten. Tulip bulbs had long been consumed. In the winter of 1944 – 1945 (an extremely cold one) people had little food, nor fuel for warmth. Not many trees survived that winter. Inside the homes, all unnecessary wood (doors, trim, stairs etc. were burned to have heat). Many people froze to death, many people starved to death. Each new morning found trucks picking up the dead off the streets for burial.
During this war period my sister Ina (1941) I, (1942) and my brother Gerard (1944) were born. We were born in the Van Haeftenstraat in Rotterdam. When the German war effort started failing, they mobilized all able bodied Dutch men between 16 and 45 to work in the factories in Germany. Their own work force, of all ages, (including children of 14 and retired men) was away from home fighting their wars. Vassal countries were emptied of all able bodied men, who had to work without pay in Germany. The alternative was the cemetery. Most complied, including my father’s brothers, because they thought the risk inherent in non compliance was too high. A few did decide not go to Germany, and just disappeared. They hid in homes, or with friends, and could never show themselves anywhere on the streets since their age would give them away, and they would be captured by the everywhere present German military. If caught they were usually executed, or sent to a concentration camp, and a few were sent to work in Germany anyway. Dad Van Doodewaard was determined not to work for the Germans. He knew he could easily lose his life doing this.

As the fateful morning came, when all able bodied men had to line up in the street to be taken away to Germany, my father was missing. The neighbours asked my mother why he was not there. All their men were lined up. After tearful good-byes, they were marched off and loaded into trucks, some never to be seen again.
My parents lived on the second floor of a row house, with a short, level landing behind the front door, (just deep enough to accommodate a bike) and then there was a staircase to the second floor. My father had made an opening in the floor just behind the door, and built a very sturdy (flush) cover for it. When closed, everything was covered by the runner that went straight up the stairs. Under the floor the building was open and you could crawl under all the houses in that row. Not a pleasant place. But in case the opening was found, he would hide in a far corner behind some concrete posts. If hiding places were found, the Germans had the habit of throwing in a few hand grenades. Rats and other vermin also had it as their territory, and there was no heat. The front door was always left doubly locked when my father was in the house, and the trap door cover was always left open. My father would run (quietly, so the neighbours on the main floor or in the next house would not hear him) down the stairs, disappear into the open hole, while my mother walked down the stairs normally. She would make sure the cover was closed properly, unroll the runner, unlock the door, and let the visitor in. If asked, she said that she double locked the door since she was now alone. None of the relatives, nor her mother or dad’s mother ever knew dad was in the house. Many a time a relative visited, while dad was listening in the next room. Mom sometimes had to go to great lengths to keep her mother or sister from just getting the crying baby in the back room. All signs of male (or double) occupancy had to vanish, before any visitor could be admitted. The price to pay was too high in case the secret leaked out. My father was a member of the “underground” resistance, and with others, planned sabotage actions, and helped the Jews, and looked after false identification papers for the resistance.

He also had weapons at home, and my sister and I on one occasion carried a machine gun through the city for him, under the noses of the Germans. It was a sten gun (taken apart) with diapers and baby clothes on top, carried in a bag with two handles, one, being held by Ina (4 years old) and one by Chris (3 years old). Mom pushed the baby stroller with Gerard in it. Every one thought we looked so cute helping Mommy carry the bag. The gun got to its destination safely, and so did we. Towards the end of the war things got too hot in Rotterdam, and my dad traveled (by underground) to Overijssel (another province in the northern part of Holland) and went “underground” there. He lived on a farm in the haystack. A tunnel had been made and a space opened inside to hide. Pepper was regularly scattered around the area, to throw off the dogs the Germans used to hunt for fugitives.
Before the end of the war he was able to return home again and help in resistance preparations for the normalization after the German defeat.

Church history
Our family members were all members of the Gereformeerde Kerk. Mom’s parents, the Jansen family, were from a small place called Strijen where my grandfather operated a transport company. Don’t think of trucks, think horses and wagons. (1920-1940) Company name: Sleperij Jansen. Their roots were with Kuypers doleantie church, and they became Gereformeerd after 1896.
My fathers family also was part of the Kuyper merger, but they came from the experiential Christelijke Gereformeerde Kerk prior to 1892. They also became Gereformeerd in 1896.
So it is clear that all my grandparents witnessed and went along with the Kuyper merger in 1896 and beginnings of the Gereformeerde Kerken. However, in the family on my fathers side there was dissatisfaction with the Gereformeerde Kerken. My dad left the Gereformeerde Kerken and joined the Gereformeerde Kerken vrijgemaakt when issues came to a head in 1944. The main issue at that time was the competency of a synod in deposing consistories, pastors and office bearers. Church order indicated that this belongs to the jurisdiction of the highest body in the churches, the local consistory. A classis and synod are advisory bodies, and their decisions are accepted by common consent. These bodies do not have the power to call, depose or remove an office bearer, but may advise the consistory to do so.

My father worked in the Netherlands in the immediate post-war period of 1945-1951, and then moved to Canada. Holland had been devastated by the war, it’s infra structure destroyed, and work was poorly paid and scarce. Most of the city of Rotterdam had been burned to the ground by the German bombing attack in the beginning of 1940. Acute housing shortages were a problem that would plague the country for decades to come. A flood of Dutch immigrants moved to overseas countries that had not seen the ravages of war, where life was good, jobs plentiful, lots of space and freedom to start whatever they wanted. So they thought. Only the last point was accurate. All these countries had repatriated their veterans and wounded home. There was a plethora of workers available for few jobs.

So many Dutch decided to become immigrants to foreign lands. Anne and Plonia Van Doodewaard-Jansen applied for and received their papers to immigrate to Canada in 1951. They had five children at that time. They said their farewells and in August of 1951 boarded the MS.Volendam for the trip, via LeHavre (France) to Halifax. On the Lordsday we all listened to some good sermons held by Rev. J. Tamminga who was also emigrating to Canada, and becoming the new pastor of the Free (Christian) Reformed church of Chatham, Ontario.

Our destination was Vancouver Island in B.C., and dad would work in the forests there as a logger. In Halifax we boarded the train for the long journey across the Canadian provinces. In Holland they could cross a province in the train in 15 minutes, and the entire country in four hours, and here some provinces took three days! The scale of Canada was awesome. An den de “rokkee mountens”. Dey werr rrreally sometink!
Really something were also the sturdy wooden train benches without any trace of luxury. After 6 days of that we were all quite square and flat on one side. The endless dum-dum----dum-dum----dum-dum of the tracks never left us for weeks thereafter. Finally we arrived in Vancouver, ready to travel the last leg of our journey to Vancouver Island. In Vancouver we were told to disembark, because we could not travel on. Forest fires on the island made work impossible. The Dutch field man, (person looking after immigrants) picked us up and put us in a motel in Sapperton. From there we moved to the top floor of a house in New Westminster owned by a Mrs. Bell. So, there we were in Canada: No job, no income. Yet, the Lord cared for us.

Dad could find work at a feed mill in New Westminster; Brackman and Kerr, and worked there for some years. We could purchase a house on Godwin Avenue in Burnaby, and it had some land. Dad started building a big chicken coop, and a barn, and bought goats, and raised chickens. The children sold the eggs door to door. The goats were milked, and the hospital had a requirement for goats milk for some patients. So we could sell the milk. The vegetables in the garden were plentiful, so dad bought a pickup truck, and hammered together a display stand on the back and started selling our veggies door to door.
This went so well that besides growing them, he started buying them at market early in the morning in Vancouver. He had things running like a train, when the Chinese moved in. The Chinese are nice people, but they live on rice only, they push their carts and do not use gasoline, they (seem to) never sleep.
Where several neighborhoods will nicely support one Dutchman, it also seems, that instead, the same area is able to support 10 Chinese who sell below wholesale prices. End of that business.

Family history 1913 - 1938

The family history of Gerhardus Johannes Van Doodewaard and Lukina Hukema, written by their son Anne Antoon Johannes Van Doodewaard (1916-1999)

Date of marriage October 2, 1913 in Groningen, the Netherlands.

Children (5 sons):

Gerardus J.A.A. born on the ship in Rotterdam (August 10,1914)
Anne A.J. born on the ship in Amsterdam (November 13, 1916)
Antoon born on the ship in Rotterdam (Zalmhaven) (January 30, 1918)
Dirk Klaas born on the ship in Rotterdam (Waalhaven) (June 24, 1921)
Nico born in Rotterdam, Valkenoordsekade. (August 1, 1923)

My father was a single man to his 55th year. He was captain of a Rhine freighter for the widow Warnas or Warnaar and inherited her vessel.

He married my mother when she was 28 years of age and they purchased a new ship of 660 tons, a Kempenaar (type of vessel) and named it Emanuel. With this ship we traveled to France, Strassbourg, Belgium and Germany. This was in the First World War (WW1). We wore shoes with wooden soles at the time.

My father was asked to smuggle contraband into Germany, that would be concealed between the load of iron bars the ship was carrying. My father refused. When we approached the German border the customs confiscated our ship, and put in into a drydock. The entire load of steel was unloaded, they even sawed the legs off our table, and broke through the paneling. They found nothing, because there was nothing to find. Later we found out that they had been told we were smuggling. The vessel ahead of us did agree to take on contraband, and they did pass safely.

We have made many journeys with the Emanuel. Once we were crossing the North Sea close by the Dutch coast and the weather was stormy. My mother was cooking white beans on the stove when the pan flew off the stove and scattered the beans throughout the kitchen. We all sat on the floor, since due to the rough weather we could no longer stand, and ate the beans off the floor. Nothing was wasted.
After those experiences we remained inside the Netherlands for the duration of WW1.
But there was very little to eat, since our borders were blocked because the Netherlands wanted to maintain its neutrality.
After WW1 we continued to ship for some time. My brother Gerard had an accident and got his little finger mangled in the gears of the steering wheel. You can see the scars to this day. Gerard also fell from the walkway on the top of the ship into the hold. The Lord spared his life. It was quite a depth and he landed on the metal bottom. I also had a small “accident”. On the wooden cover of the hold we had a small wooden wagon tied down. I went and sat in it, and wiggled the rope until it finally became untied. The wagon caught speed down the steep slope and was only forcefully stopped by the edge of the ship, dumping me, face down, over the side onto the paved quay. My father jumped after me, and I was quickly pulled back on board, be it with a skinned face and bleeding nose. Fortunately everything did heal.

Gradually it became more difficult for my father to drive our ship, because he was diagnosed with cancer.
We started looking for a place to live off the water. My parents negotiated with the owner of a general store in Delfshaven to purchase it, but could not come to terms. My dad had given indication that he wanted to sell the Emanuel, and two shippers, a Mr. Koedoot and a Mr. De Vries had some interest, and wanted a 5% commission if they would sell the vessel. My father had himself found another interested party, a Mr. Moore, who did decide to purchase the vessel for 26.500 guilders. We delivered the vessel to him at the Oostkous in Rotterdam Delfshaven. After much effort, a general store was found for sale and purchased from Mr. Kil in the southern part of Rotterdam, on the Varkenoordsekade. We then became landlubbers, and started our waterless, and stationary future. We sure did miss our travels!

In the meanwhile the shippers Koedoot and de Vries had started a legal procedure against my father, which took a whole year to conclude. They both lied under oath and were sentenced to a year in jail for attempting to defraud. That year our case was repeatedly in the news. It was also published in Het Rotterdams Nieuwsblad. This whole court process did cost us the royal sum of 5000 guilders!

It was 1922 when we purchased the general store, but this also could not continue. My father’s illness worsened. The store was infected with mice, and mother had found a cat, which could solve the problem. The next morning it looked like a hurricane had struck the store. We could salvage a few bags of beans and peas off the floor, but the damage was so substantial that we decided to close the store.

My father decided to buy rental properties and in the same year (1922) purchased new homes in the Botha Street in Rotterdam. Four buildings, containing 12 dwellings, 1 cigar store and a storage building. We then again had a good source of income. The rental income was for each (1) dwelling: 12,00 guilders per week. The cigar store was rented for 28,00 guilders per week, and the storage building for 8,00 guilders per week. After some time, rents started to decline, and we were forced to have double occupancy in some homes. In doing this, we were getting undesirables as tenants. The houses deteriorated and became filthy and rental arrears skyrocketed. We had to sign over two houses to the bank.

Terminal illness
My father now often visited Dr. Bijsterveld, in the Graaf Florisstraat, Rotterdam. The doctor told my mother that Dad’s cancer was incurable. Dr. Bijsterveld was a physician who practiced with mostly natural remedies, and inspired unlimited confidence in some, and none in others.

It was on a Saturday evening that my father had a stroke. He fell to the ground with foam on his mouth. I immediately ran to “the houses” where my mother was meeting with uncle Willem, whom they had appointed superintendent for the houses. We all rushed home, and found Dad sitting in a chair. They phoned Dr. Dijkhuizen who came right away. He told us to open all the windows. My mother immediately sent a telegram to her mother and her daughters, sisters of my mother, who lived in Gouda. My grandmother was Klazina Hukema-de Wilde (deceased in 1927 and buried in Gouda).
Sunday morning at nine am they were all on our doorstep. Dad had improved somewhat, and asked: "What are you doing here?" “We are coming to visit and see you.” They stayed all day Sunday. My dad always retired early (always early to bed and early to rise) at 9 pm. His last daily duty was to wind all the clocks and his gold watch. He would say, "see mother, that is now my daily work, to keep them going." He went to bed as usual and passed away an hour later. He was buried in the Krooswijk cemetery, in Rotterdam in the family grave of my grandfather Anne Hukema, who passed away at the age of 55 years.

We then moved into one of our houses in the Botha street (nr.26), and also sold the general store. Uncle Willem was no longer superintendent, and mother appointed a carpenter in his place, a Mr. Koedoot.
It appeared the homes had been built in a low lying area and flooding became a problem. All the cellars were filled with water, including the cellar of the cigar store. Downstairs boxes of costly cigars were floating everywhere. We raised the floors by having cement poured on them, and raised the gardens by having loads of clay applied. A lot of costly work. In the meanwhile the houses continued to deteriorate and we were forced to have double occupancy in all of them.
We had purchased the buildings for 55.000 guilders. As I said before, many tenants were in arrears. It would take up to three months before we could remove them. Eventually we had to sell all our buildings and my mother Lukina** had to look after income to support the family.

Children born from the marriage of Anne Hukema and Klazina De Wilde:
Lukina**, Grietje, Wrister, Tjerk, Johannes, Jaantje, David, Klazina.
My grandparents initially had a vessel named Reoboth. They also had a farm in Wagenborgen, in the province of Groningen.

Written by Anne Antoon Johannes Van Doodewaard (1916-1999).
Translated by his son Chris Van Doodewaard (1942-)

originally written in Dutch by Anne Antoon Johannes Van Doodewaard (1916-1999)

Het gezin Gerhardus Johannes Van Doodewaard en Lukina Hukema.
Gehuwd in Groningen op 2 October 1913.

Kinderen geboren uit dit huwelijk:

Gerardus J.A.A. geboren op het schip te Rotterdam
Anne A.J. geboren op het schip te Amsterdam
Antoon geboren op het schip te Rotterdam (Zalmhaven)
Dirk Klaas geboren op het schip te Rotterdam (Waalhaven)
Nico geboren Valkenoordsekade te Rotterdam

Mijn vader was tot zijn 55e jaar vrijgezel en voer als schipper bij de weduwe Warnas of Warnaar en erfde haar schip.

Hij trouwde met mijn moeder toen ze 28 jaar was en kochten een nieuw schip van 660 ton, een kempenaar genaamd Emanuel. We zijn met dit schip in Frankrijk, Straatsburg, Belgie en Duitsland geweest. Dit was in de eerste wereldoorlog. Wij droegen toen schoentjes met houten zolen. Mijn vader werd aangezocht om smokkelwaar over de grens te brengen, dat zou dan tussen de lading ijzer verwerkt worden. Mijn vader heeft gewijgerd.
Toen wij weer in Duisland kwamen, moest van de duane ons schip een droogdok in. Heel de lading werd gelost, de tafelpoten werden doorgezaagd, schotten werden opengebroken. Er was niets te vinden. Later bleek dat ze gezegd hadden dat wij smokkelwaren aan boord hadden. Maar het schip dat voor ons was had smokkelwaar aan boord, en die kwam er veilig door.

We hebben veel reizen meegemaakt met het schip. Zo ook vlak langs de Nederlandse kust over de Noordzee gegaan en het was een woelige zee. Mijn moeder had een pan met witte bonen op staan en die vloog van de kachel af op de grond. Wij zaten toen met z’n allen te midden van de witte bonen en begonnen ze lekker op te peuzelen. Nadien hebben we steeds in Nederland gevaren durend de eerste wereld oorlog.
Toen hadden we eenheidsworst, en werd er honger geleden, omdat Nederland neutraal wou blijven. Na de oorlog (WW1) hebben wij nog een tijdje door gevaren. Mijn broer, Gerard, had een ongelukje en kwam met zijn pink tussen het kamrad van het stuurrad terrecht. De lidtekens zijn nog te zien. Gerard is nog een keer van de luiken in het ruim gevallen. Gelukkig is dat nog goed afgelopen. Ook ik zelf (Anne) had een ongelukje. Het geval was, er stond een klein houten wagentje midden op het schip op de luiken. Mijn vader had het met een lijn vastgebonden. Ik ben er toen in gaan zitten en heb net zo lang gepeuterd tot dat ik het los had. Het wagentje reed van de luiken af in het gangbord en ik lag met mijn gezicht op de keien. Mijn vader was in een sprong bij mij, Snel was ik weer aan boord met een bloedneus en het vel van mijn gezicht. Gelukkig is het weer beter geworden.

Zo langzamerhand was het voor mijn vader niet meer mogelijk om met het schip te varen, omdat hij kanker had. Toen moest er omgekeken worden om aan de wal een middel van bestaan te vinden. Mijn vader en moeder hebben een gesprek gehad met een kruidenier in Delfshaven om de zaak over te nemen. Maar helaas is de koop niet door gegaan. Inmiddels had mijn vader het schip te koop aangeboden, aan twee bevrachters Koedoot en de Vries. Ze moesten 5% hebben voor de verkoop van het schip. Intussen had mijn vader een zekere schipper Moore ontmoet, en mijn vader bood zijn schip te koop aan. De koop werd besloten voor 26.500 gulden. En we gingen met ons schip naar de Oostkous te Delfshaven. Na veel zoeken en informaties hebben ze een kruidenierswinkel gekocht in Rotterdam Zuid aan de Varkenoordsekade van een zekere heer Kil. Wij zijn toen verhuisd en begonnen een nieuw bestaan aan de wal.

Intussen begonnen die scheepsbevrachters een proces tegen mijn vader, dat een jaar heeft geduurd. Zij hebben beide meineed gepleegd en werden gestraft met een jaar gevangenis straf. Dit proces koste ons 5000 guldens. Geregeld stond er een stuk in het Rotterdams Nieuwsblad. Het heeft een jaar geduurd voordat het afgelopen was.

Wij hebben eerst in 1922 een kruidenierswinkel gekocht, maar men kon de winkel niet handhaven. Mijn vader werd steeds zieker. We hadden veel last van muizen, toen heeft mijn moeder een kat naar binnen geloodst en s'morgens toen wij op kwamen lag alles over de grond. We hebben twee zakken op kunnen scheppen met capucijners en erwten en allerlei andere spullen. We hebben de winkel maar gesloten.

Mijn vader heeft in 1922 nieuwe huizen gekocht in de Botha straat. Vier panden, 12 woningen, 1 sigaren winkel en een pakhuis.We hadden toen een bron van inkomsten. Maar na enige tijd zakten de huren, en wij moesten de huizen dubbel laten bewonen. De huren waren eerst voor een (1) woning: 12,00 gulden per week. De winkel 28,00 gulden per week, en het pakhhuis 8,00 gulden per week. Met het verhuren van de huizen die dubbel bewoond werden kregen we allerlei a-socialen in onze huizen. Wat ten gevolge had vervuiling van de huizen en huurschuld. Later moesten wij twee panden afstaan aan de bank.

Mijn vader ging dikwijls naar Rotterdam, Graaf Florisstraat, naar Dr. Bijsterveld. Deze vertelde aan mijn moeder dat mijn vader kanker had en ongeneeslijk was. Want Dr. Bijsterveld was een waterkijker. Het was op een zaterdag avond dat mijn vader een beroerte kreeg. Hij viel op de grond met schuim op zijn mond. Ik ben toen direct naar de huizen gegaan, waar mijn moeder was met mijn oom Willem. Hij was toen opzichter over de huizen. Ze zijn direct naar huis gegaan, en vonden mijn vader weer zittend in de stoel. Ze belden toen Dr. Dijkhuizen en die kwam. We moesten toen al de ramen openzetten. Intussen heeft mijn moeder toen een telegram naar de familie in Gouda gestuurd. Daar woonde mijn grootmoeder (Klazina Hukema-de Wilde(overleden in 1927 en begraven in Gouda)) en de zusters van mijn moeder.
Zondagmorgen om een uur of negen stonden ze voor de deur. Mijn vader was inmiddels wat opgeknapt en die zei: “Wat komen jullie doen?” “We komen op visite en naar jou kijken.” Ze zijn de hele zondag gebleven. Mijn vader ging altijd om negen uur naar bed. Voor hij naar bed ging wond hij altijd de klokken op en zijn gouden horloge. Ik hoor hem nog zeggen, “kijk moeder, dat is nou mijn werk.” Toen is hij naar bed gegaan en om 10 uur overleden. Hij werd begraven op de begraafplaats Krooswijk, in het graf van mijn grootvader Anne Hukema, overleden op 55 jarige leeftijd.

Daarna zijn wij verhuisd en hebben de winkel verkocht. Wij woonden toen in een van onze huizen Bothastraat no.26. Wij hadden eerst mijn oom Willem als opzichter en later de heer Koedoot. Die had een timmerzaak. We kregen te maken met wateroverlast. De kelders stonden vol met water. Ook de kelder van onze sigaren winkel. De dozen met sigaren dreven in de kelder. We moesten toen al de kelders ophogen met cement en de tuinen met klei. De buurt ging staads maar achteruit zodat wij genoodzaakt waren de huizen dubbel te verhuren. We hadden deze panden voor 55.000 gulden gekocht. Zoals eerder gemeld, de mensen hadden veel huurschuld. Het duurde wel drie maanden voordat wij deze mensen eruit hadden. Later zijn onze huizen verkocht, en moest mijn moeder Lukina** zorgen voor de inkomsten om de kinderen te onderhouden.

Kinderen geboren uit het huwelijk van Anne Hukema en Klazina De Wilde:
Lukina**, Grietje, Wrister, Tjerk, Johannes, Jaantje, David, Klazina. Mijn grootouders Anne Hukema en Klazina de Wilde hadden een schip genaamd Reoboth.
Ze hebben ook nog een boerderijtje gehad in Wagenborgen, Groningen.

Dit alles opgetekend door Anne Antoon Johannes Van Doodewaard (1916).