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Geplaatst op 10 augustus 2011

It is with great interest that I read the submission by Hank Vos.

I was born in the Siekenhuis of Hoogeveen in 1945 shortly after the war ended. My birthdoctor had to be called from an evening service at this church to attend my birth. I was baptized and attented the Grote Kerk as well as the associated school for 2 years and 2 months until my family immigrated to Canada in September 1953.My subsequent education was all in English and hence this English letter.

I can well remember the Christmas services at your Kerk with the very impressive Chritmas trees with its many candles.Also the organ in the Church was very impressive and raised the hair in your neck every time one heard it. I am pleased to hear that the Kerk it is still very alive and doing well.

Best wishes for it's continued ministry.

Dr H Prins
Ontario, Canada

Geplaatst op 22 juli 2008

I wrote the following story for the "Canadian Remembrance Day", but I think it is worth repeating as it also concerns the war years in Hoogeveen.

Many years ago, before the war, when I was a young fellow, not in my teens as yet, my parents took our family out for a picnic. We went together with my dad's best friend and his family. It was a very happy occasion and we were away for a whole day. The memory is still engraved in my soul. 

Looking back, those were happy years and the occasion of the picnic was a very happy affair. The rumors of the war were on the horizon, but for us as children it was a good time to grow up. My fathers friend's name was Samuel Meyers. For us of course it was always  Mr. Meyers (in Dutch Meneer Meyers). There was also Mrs.Meyers (Mevrouw Meyers) and a Grandsmother (Mrs Meyers mother), plus their two children, Julie and Sammy. Julie was about my age and I believe she had stirred in me the first feelings of "Puppy Love". I thought she was very nice. Sammy was about five years old.

The reason I relate this event is to show, that they were, just like our family, a very regular family. They lived just a little ways away from us on the "Bentinckslaan" and it seemed, that we were more one family, than just friends. Sometimes it created a bit of a problem as the Meyers were Jewish and Mrs Meyers kept a "Kosher Kitchen". However when this happened, things were discussed and we always seemed to come up with a satisfactory solution.

They were good times until the war came, with consequently the German occupation. The Meyers were rounded up in the middle of the night, Father, Mother, Grandmother and the Children, together with appr. 600 other Jewish People who lived in Hoogeveen and surroundings and had lived there, for most of them. for several generations. They were taken to a concentration camp and killed. Some of my schoolmates at the Highschool, I attended at the time, were also taken and killed. About six million Jews were killed. Ordinary people like you and I.

On this Remembrance Day I want to think of them also.

In the Holy Mountain of the Lord
"All war and strife will cease"
In the Holy Mountain of he Lord
"Creation will be at peace"

The wolf will lie down with the lamb
The cow and the bear will feed
Their young will play together

A little child will lead
In the Holy Mountain of the Lord
"Äll war and strife will cease"

In the Holy Mountain of the Lord
"Creation will be at Peace".
The Leopard and the Goat will graze
The Lion will feed on straw.

There will be war no more 
There will be war no more
A child will lead them all.

In the Holy Mountain of the Lord 
"Äll war and strife will cease"
In the Holy Mountain of the Lord
"Creation will be at peace"

Hank Vos (Canada)

Geplaatst 12 janauri 2008

Another story about growing up in Hoogeveen.

This one also with religious overtones.

For my elementary schooling I went to the Gereformeerde school "op het Haagje".We used to go home for lunch. So four times a day we walked either up or down to or from the school. For many of us this meant a walk along the "Hoofdstraat". Which was at that time along either side of the canal, dividing the Hoofdstraat. The Western side was called: "The brede kant" The other side: "The smalle kant".The part along of the canal along the "Hoofdstraat was served, as far as I can remember"with four bridges. Two large ones: The "Noordse brug" and the "Zuiderse brug". The other two bridges were small bridges, to be used by pedestrians and bike-riders only.All four were served by "brugwachters"

Going up and down to school meant for us all kinds of entertainment.However the trouble with this was, that many of us walked in one direction and the pupils from the "Hervormde school", which was located on the Bentinkslaan, walked in the opposite direction from the pupils of the "Gereformeerde School.

I could never figure out why, but this situation caused innumerable fights.So much so that the local police was asked to keep an eye on the situation.

Now one must realize, that the police in Hoogeveen consisted of two constables, each one equipped with a bicycle with a saber hanging from the horizontal bar such as men’s bicycles have. I do not want to embarrass those outstanding citizens just in case they are still around, Although if that would be the case their age would be well over one hundred years by now, so I shall not reveal their names, although through some strange coincidence I still remember their names.

The one police officer was called "Tick Tack" as every so often he would stop, get of his bike and very ceremoniously would take his pocket watch out of his pocket to check the time of the day. Because of that whenever we saw him on the opposite side of the canal we used to call out:" Tick Tack" "Tick Tack". This would aggravate the poor man so much, that he would chase us, to try to catch us, however without any result as we were able to out-run him easily.

However, whatever happened the local constabilarity was not able to stop the fighting, so it was decided by the powers that were, that the pupils coming and going from the "Hervormde" school would use The "Brede kant"of the "Hoogeveense vaart" and the ones from the "Gereformeerde" school would use the "Smalle kant". The "brugwachters" were given the task to keep the opponents apart an make sure that the "Hervormde" kids would cross at the first little bridge However this did not stop us from yelling derogatory names across the "Hoogeveense vaart" at each other and throwing rocks across. The children from the Gereformeerde school were called "koksen". I forgot what we called the "Herformde"school ones.

Just some memories from way back.

Hank Vos (Canada)

Onderstaand verhaal werd ingezonden door Hank Vos (op 27 december 2007)

It was with great interest, I read the introduction about the "Grote Hervormde Kerk"in Hoogeveen. I grew up in Hoogeveen and we lived on the corner of the "Van Echten Straat"and the" Jacob Helema Straat", right across from the "Grote Hervormde Kerk. 

My Dutch is still reasonable good. However I feel more secure by writing in English.

I left the Netherlands in 1948. First for an almost two year stint in Indonesia and after I came back I was only in the Netherlands for six weeks before leaving for Canada.

My wife does not speak Dutch so I am quite rusty in "the tale des Vaderlands". Mr Buisman, my "Nederlandse taal leraar"at the "Christelijke H.B.S. would be very upset if he would read my Dutch now. Also my post secondary education was of course in English. Enough excuses, so I better continue. I believe the house we lived in has been torn down to make room for some other purposes.

However I have some interesting memories about the church.

All of those happened during the war years during the German occupation. My father was on the list to be arrested by the German occupying forces. One night they came and they placed ladders against our house so they would be able to get my dad in a second floor bed-room. However he wasn’t there. Guess where he was? He was asleep underneath the pews (banken) of the "Hervormde kerk" across the road. We were friends of the "koster"and it had all be arranged with him. From that day on he slept most nights in the Hervormde kerk. Also, after I had become seventeen years of age and it was thought, that it would be better that I also made my bedroom underneath the pews of the church.

The second story is a nicer one. There was a prayer service, during the week in the evening, at the church. The church was full of people. We still had a hidden radio in our house and my dad was listening to it. He heard on the news that the Germans had capitulated and surrendered. My dad thought, that the people, meeting at the church, praying for peace, should be informed, that their prayers had been answered and that the war was over in the West. So he wrote a note for the minister to inform him. He gave the note to me and I walked during the service down the center isle of the packed church to deliver the note to the minister so he could inform the congregation, that their prayers had been answered. I seem to remember, that after the note was read the congregation stood up and sang the National Anthem.

An other story I have about the church is sort of different. Te Germans for on reason or another had started digging "Fox Holes" on the South-side of the church. I don’t know anymore what they were called in Dutch. In German I believe, they are called "Deckungs Löcher".In Indonesia we used to call them "!!!!!!!! natte gaten in the grond." While they were digging they encountered many human skeletons, so that particular side of the lawn of the church must at one time been a burial ground. Maybe the North-side also. I also remember the beautiful fence around the church with the nice pillars at the gate and the"Linden Trees" called "Het Allee".

Hank Vos. (Canada)