Through the thorns to the stars - My Hometown: Gouda.

On Redbubble, there’s a group, called Live, Love, Dream and the current challenge: My Hometown.
I see so many connections!

Only a few hours ago, my cousin, who still lives not far from my hometown, Gouda, emailed me again, after a brief loss of contact.

I have now lived in Sydney, more that 52 years. The combination of: hometown and live,love ad dream took me back to one sunny afternoon, in round-about 1955, when in a nearby park, in Gouda, I was sitting on a climbing frame and the topic was: The future.

It is so strange how some very few, not even dramatic, situations, from so many years ago, stay in your memory.
We were predicting our futures and talking about all the things we might do and I know it included sailing the seven seas.
I also remember distinctly, that, at the end I said something like: But in reality, we won’t do any of those things.
Well, a few years later, my parents and I did sail, to the other side of the world.
In 1997, after being found, on the then newish internet, by the local community radio station, I was featured in two of their radio programs, as the boy who returned to his hometown, to see how it had changed and as publicity for the program, I was featured in the two local papers.

In one, I was shown, standing in front of Gouda’s Gothic-style town hall (where my parents were married and where my birth was registered, during WWII, in 1943, and in the other paper, I was shown, standing on the little bridge, near my aunt’s place, under the banner: Migrant Jo Mul, a foreigner, in Gouda, ’In Australia I feel at home"



City rights were extended to Gouda (Yes! Where the cheese comes from!) by Count Floris V, in 1272.
I know that relatives were living in the area, in the 1300s. There is a record a Mul, being a type of magistrate or solicitor, in the archives and there were people with the last name Mul (My original name) living in Gouda, ever since.
Like my parents, I was born there. Both of them, in 1917 (World War I) and I in 1943 (World War II).

My memories of those first twelve years of my life, are too many to recount and illustrate here, and, I have already done so, in Dutch and in English, on the www, ever since I connected, in 1996.

When I took a look, in 1997, the street had only changed a little, from where I (Jopie Mul) had been sitting on the front steps, with the two boys, living on either side and their sisters. (Niek den Uyl had been a closer friend, in those years, after the war.) He and I had a hole in the wall, between the two houses through which we talked to each other, via two tins and a piece of string.

Gouda likes to think it’s famous for its town hall.
Even though its pull was much stronger for my parents, for me too it is the symbol of where I come from and I was pleased to show my Australian-born children where their grandparents were married, when I showed them around, in 1997.
As I am telling this story, at this very moment, my daughter, is flying to Europe and will be visiting my aunt and my cousin and others, in my hometown, on July 16, 2008.
She will be crossing that little bridge, on which I posed, for the local paper, in 1997.

P.S.. On the side-wall of the town-hall every quarter to and every quarter past the hour, Count Floris V and the good citizens of Gouda come out to commemmorate the handing over of the city rights.
In 1997, my children observed this little performance.
P.P.S.. Gouda’s motto is: Per Aspera Ad Astra (Via the thorns to the stars).

Through the thorns to the stars - My Hometown: Gouda.

Ozcloggie

Ramsgate Beach, Australia

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On Redbubble, there’s a group, called Live, Love and Dream and the current challenge: My Hometown.
I see so many connections! There is too much to tell.

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  • Mishaal  Sardar
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