Dingo Lingo and talking with animals.

Yesterday I met a man, who wrote: Dingo Lingo and other poems.
He’s Charles Verheyden, who will be celebrating his 79th birthday, two weeks, from today.
We’ve probably been in same places at the same time, in the past, these many years, here in Sydney.
But yesterday we happened to be seated beside each other, at the bi-monthly meet-up of the Dutch Australian Genealogy Group, in the library of the Abel Tasman Retirement Village.
Not that Charles is retired or living there. No way.

He is still a valuer in real estate in business and you can find him listed on the Australian Property Institute’s
He has written many poems in English and in Dutch but this book was motivated by his grandchildren. After all, with nine children, the chance of having plenty of readers for a poetry book aimed at young children, is very good.
I’m only a little dog
but everyone says dingo
it’s like calling a toad a frog
or tabletennis bingo.

page 14 of Talking with Animals, by Charles Verheyden and Monique Verheyden.

I thoroughly enjoyed yesterday’s genealogy meet-up but realised afterwards that I’d not talked very much about family trees so much and concentrated more on the life and times of Mr Verheyden, who, with his wife Margeret has certainly been places and done things, including living in various Asian countries.

Mr Verheyden was born in Amsterdam and has commercial language certificates in Dutch, English, French and German.
I cannot help thinking that that is not a surprise. Amsterdam always has been a gateway to Europe, where many languages were spoken to help the trade flow.
It had its golden age and from what Charles told me during our chat, his parents, talented in the arts, produced typical Amsterdammers.

O.K.. The spelling and some of the sentence structure, in Talking with Animals isn’t perfect and Dutch-based sentence structure has obviously influenced some of the work.
But perhaps that is why children relate to the text (and also the illustrations, by Monique Verheyden) and I can feel the energy and determination to spread happiness and fun shine through.

Keep up the good work, Mr (and Mrs) Verheyden!!

Judging by the enthusiasm shown by others at the meeting, who already had a copy of the book, to share with their children, the book’s a success!
But, with 18 grandchildren, the book had a ready market, anyway!

Dingo Lingo and talking with animals.


Ramsgate, Australia

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Artist's Description

I met a man. Actually I sat next to him, at a genealogy group meet-up. Don’t know why we haven’t met before. Have probably crossed paths often enough, somewhere in the Dutch Community.
He writes poetry and I just simply enjoyed his energy and pride in what he does. Whether it’s settling disputes in his area of expertise ( specialist retail valuing) or writing poetry to appeal to the 18 grandchildren.

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  • Martin Derksema
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