……….the Dutch Australian Cultural Centre is, currently, located inside the Holland House building, 85 Market Street, Smithfield, in Sydney.
On the days that we are open (Wednesdays, Fridays, Sundays, during shopping hours), it’s good when visitors find their way, through the shop and the restaurant and the furniture section, to our collection of Dutch (immigration) heritage.
We lost our purpose-built building now a few years ago and things are a bit squashed. We’re always hoping to, once again, set everything out so that it can be examined at leisure and so that people of Dutch descend and others interested in what the Dutch brought to Australia, can relax and do some proper research into the Dutch-Australian connection.
Meanwhile, it brightens our day when people DO make their way into our area and it’s fun to make those connections.
Yesterday, once again, we remarked how, when we ( Sr Lia, our volunteer archivist, and I) migrated as children, with our parents, in the early to mid-fifties, there was a strong belief that we might never return to the Netherlands or see our relatives again.
Fortunately, we have! And our friends and relatives have come to visit us here, through the years.
Yesterday was not the first time that visitors from the Netherlands, like this young man, from Alkmaar, were taken to the Dutch shop, in Smithfield, to show them where we satisfy our ‘needs’ for consuming things “Dutch” (particularly as we remember them).
My parents and I have done this our selves, through the years and my son and daughter, got to know about the tradition of “Sinterklaas” (St Nicholas) this way.
There’s definitely a place for this.
If only there was, once again, a permanent place, for the Dutch Australian Cultural Centre!
The young man, comes from Alkmaar. (In December 2009/January 2010, I was staying in the town of Heiloo, which meant that, on railway stations, I had to look for trains with end destination: Alkmaar. For me, quite an adventure!)