They say that we're feeble with age, Maggie,.....

……Our steps are less sprightly than then,
Your face is a well-written page, Maggie,
And time alone was the pen. …………
-
(Love singing along to that, in the car!!)
There was this cohort of immigrants to Australia, in the nineteen-fifties and -sixties, who rode the wave of migration, away from housing shortage and fear of world-war three.
And, there they were, on the other side of the world, bridges in the Netherlands, burnt needing to, in Australia, build a new life, a new home, often for young families (often quite large) and they worked hard and did their best to be top of the list of assimilators (The invisible Dutch).
*******
So, some were more honest about it and found fellow Dutch migrants and formed social clubs, just to be themselves at a dance, a picnic, a bus trip, a film evening…. and KLM saw an opportunity and charter flights were arranged and the first trip back to the Netherlands was made. (The posters on the walls, in the Bankstown Town Hall and the tulips, on the tables, helped!)
And Holland wasn’t any more like it used to be and it was good to get back to Australia.
…….
And the children married children of other migrants, or third or fourth-generation Aussies and the Dutch clubs became less and less important.
…….
And now the Dutch who come to Australia as expatriates , working for international corporations, or as Dutch nationals having a look for a few years at what life Down Under, is like, have little in common with those old people, who sold everything and waved goodbye to their parents and brothers and sisters and undertook a 5 week voyage, to the other side of the world, to be taken to ex-army accommodation and to be assimilated.
……
What will happen to the heritage that those people, now into their declining years, brought to Australia?
Will it be valued? Appreciated?
……
Experience tells us: wait four generations, until the great-great grandchildren wonder where their great-great parents came from!!
****
It was a hot topic, at the meeting tonight.
….
Is there an answer?

They say that we're feeble with age, Maggie,.....

MrJoop

Ramsgate, Australia

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Artist's Description

During general business tonight, the question came up: What will happen to our heritage? I.e., what will happen to what my parents and I brought to Australia, when we left everything behind, in Gouda and ended up in Sydney?

Artwork Comments

  • Martin Derksema
  • MrJoop
  • Martin Derksema
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