What might have been..... by Ozcloggie

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…..the Artist a few years ago received such a lovely reaction, that I’d like to explain a little further.

A week or two ago, I was sitting with a fellow DACC Board Member, in the D.A.C.C., explaining, how I saw the Dutch-Australian perspective that we’d brought to this country.

Her route to the D.A.C.C., has been: being born of Dutch parentage, but growing up (As I understand it) in Indonesia.

So I explained (again) how my parents met, age (about) 13, in the youth movement , called the A.J.C.,in Gouda.

Arbeiders Jeugd Centrale (A.J.C.) was a youth movement, started by school teachers, which had grown out of the far left wing of Dutch politics, which hoped to make young Dutch people appreciate a humanistic approach to life.

And so, my father, the son of a small businessman (Pub owner – café houder), attended A.J.C. meetings to sing, and do folk dancing and particularly, play the drums, and go for walks, and rest in the grass, back-to-back with my mother, even though, at first he was more keen on her younger sister, Julia (after whom they named their third baby).
Frankly, his step-mother and his father were not altogether too pleased with this friendship, with the daughter of a public servant, a bridge keeper. But, according to my father, they were soon impressed with her energy and for want of a better word: house-keeping skills.

Marrying in April, 1941, one-and-a-half-years into the occupation of the Netherlands was not the best timing.
And then, having me, in October, 1943, just before the infamous Hunger Winter compounded that disadvantage.

My mother passed away, in May, 2004, (I was with her.), in the nursing home, after a few years sinking into Alzheimers.
As my father and I were regularly visiting, he would say over and over, to the staff…..because she loved children you know!

My own son and daughter would attest to that!
For a number of years she thoroughly enjoyed minding the son and daughter of a couple who were both doctors.
And then…when they were growing up and my daughter and my son came along, and she was in her late sixties, she would so happily climb up the hill here, with them to the playground, or sit on the floor with them and play with them.
I know that they appreciate that memory (now).

There are too many IFs. If the other two had lived. Would we have migrated? Would my son and daughter have had two (more) uncles? How different would they have been from me?
But then…..IF I had not met their mother……..
I guess it was all meant to be.
Details found, via the internet, re still-born brother:
Burgerlijke stand – overlijden Gouda 1947
aktenummer 169
naam NN Mul (geb. te G) (No name)
aktedatum 24-4-1947
overlijdensdatum doodgeboren (m) 22-4-1947
vader Johannes Marie Mul (glasbewerker)
moeder Jacoba Postma

(Which shows that I was three years and almost six months, when my aunt pointed out the window, of the hospital where she told me, my mother was.)

© 2008 Streekarchief Midden-Holland
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1997 and 1941.

P.S.. Thanks to Juergen, who lives in the Netherlands, for providing an excuse to indulge in these memories.

P.P.S. Good to see this featured "*here*:http://www.redbubble.com/groups/babyfaces-of-re...


family, heritage, mul, gouda, postma

In 1969, I enrolled in the “Art Teachers Conversion Course”. It was my first experience of formal art lessons. Soon other interests prevailed, until, I had lunch, in Hazelhurst and then enjoyed the art classes there. Culminating in my exhibition, in 2008.

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  • Ozcloggie
    Ozcloggiealmost 6 years ago

    In Gouda, the Netherlands, where I was born, during the third year of World War II, when the Netherlands were occupied by Germany, there weren’t birth certificates.
    There was a little booklet, called: Family Register.
    My parents’ marriage is recorded there and then, on the next page, my date and place of birth, but fortunately, not yet, my date and place of death.
    From the internet, I know (now) that the second boy was still-born. (I have just desperately tried to retrieve that information again but cannot find it. )
    The fact that my mother gave birth to him was not recorded but I DO remember my aunt walking me to the street, behind the hospital and pointing to a window where my mother was.
    The other registration is the birth and death of Juultje, named after my mother’s favourite sister. His proper name: Julius Jacobus.
    I guess, if he had lived and migrated with us he would have been known as Jacob, here, in Sydney. (Or Jack?)
    But he passed away January 12, 1951.

  • Ozcloggie
    Ozcloggiealmost 6 years ago

    Not that very long ago, a very good friend of my parents, in their declining years told me that it was understood that my parents were afraid that if they were affectionate, there might be yet another baby not making it into this world.
    (As explained earlier, I’d been given up on by the doctors as well.)

  • jchanders
    jchandersalmost 6 years ago

    Such a cute little baby! It must have been really ever so dreadful for your parents to lose him. I can imagine they did not dare to give birth to another child. You must have been all the more important for them.

  • Thanks for understanding, Juergen. Was I spoiled? Perhaps, in a way. Certainly had lots of attention.

    Here, above, my mother in the centre, wearing the dark (red) scarf, on the blue blouse (The uniform of the A.J.C.) and my father, right, with the drum.

    – Ozcloggie

  • Ozcloggie
    Ozcloggiealmost 6 years ago

    My parents, particularly my father, was more likely to talk about it to others than to me.
    The first time we went back to the Netherlands, I overheard quite a few snippets of conversation about how, the relatives (My mother’s sisters, etc.) believed that all three had just been bad luck (That includes my narrow escape.). That there had been no reason to try again.
    Easily said!

  • jchanders
    jchandersalmost 6 years ago

    Hi Joop,
    I am following your story with quite some emotional involvement. Yes, it find it very touching to imagine how your parents had to cope with the difficult situation of the war and the afterwar and then being worried so much about their eldest and deeply struck by the loss of two more children. It must have been extremely hard for them.
    I can imagine very well your father did not talk very much to you at the time about it all. Generally, I guess, such emotional issues were not easily talked about, certainly not to children.
    Actually I did not mean to say that you were spoiled. That could perhaps have happened. But I meant the importance as such: you being there as their only surviving child. So there will indeed have been a lot of attention. And perhaps some fear which they did not always show openly, certainly in the younger years. Later you look well enough.

  • Yes. It all worked out rather well, Juergen.

    Thanks, so much, for reading this and giving me a purpose to record it here.

    – Ozcloggie

  • It was good, eleven (Gosh!!) years ago, to be with my son and daughter, in the Gouda town hall, and to think about these events.

    – Ozcloggie

  • jchanders
    jchandersalmost 6 years ago

    I am very glad it did work out so well.
    Yes, there are so many ifs. One of them: if I had not met that lovely girl from Holland who is still my wife, I would not live here. But that is another story.

  • And……honestly!! Thtere would not have been such great photos of the Dutch country-side and cities, like Utrecht etc., on Redbubble.
    It is also your pictures of the forests etc., that put me in this mood because they remind me of De Hoge Veluwe and the (then) A.J.C. head-quarters, De Paasheuvel, etc..

    – Ozcloggie

  • Mayina
    Mayinaalmost 6 years ago

    This is extremely interesting Oz and thanks so much forn sharing……….

  • Barbara Gerstner
    Barbara Gerstneralmost 6 years ago

    You’ve been featured in Babyfaces of RB Members…….

  • barnsis
    barnsisalmost 6 years ago

    Excellent pictoral and historical account. very well done.

  • jchanders
    jchandersalmost 6 years ago

    Once again many thanks. I appreciate your appreciation ever so much.

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