Born: We 05 May 1926 at Oosthem, Friesland, Netherlands
5 Children: living
pic displayed at funeral ===>>
Oosthem, Friesland (birth to May, 1929)
Andijk, Holland (May, 1929 to 1946)
younger brother and Stan c1931
Grandpa Sjouke often read from the Bible. He looked for a long time for Grandma (Trijntja's) favorite passage, but could not find it. Once when Stan was visiting, Grandpa finally found the passage (Psalm 32). He was very happy to have found her favorite passage.
Stan mostly remembers the work, work, work and more work associated with the family farm. Since he was the oldest child, he was expected to set a good example for the others.
Stan enjoyed Friesland since he would often visit his Uncle Duije (he had been married to a sister of Stan's mom Ietje, but she had died from diabetes, so he remarried). He worked for the railroad, it was his job to turn the bridge so the trains could come over...his house was right next to the tracks. During WWII, the railway workers went on strike. Uncle Duie's contribution to the anti-German effort was to open the bridge. The next train to arrive went directly into the water! Stan later found the newspaper clipping that had this story. Its the 28 May 1983 issue of the Zaterdagse bijlage Leeuwarder Courant (Saturday Edition?). it includes a picture, taken in 1919, of Stan's uncle Duije SEEKLES, his 2-year old daughter Akke, his 3 year old son Anne (pronounced OH'-na), his wife Jikke NIJDAM (older sister of Ietje) and Ytsje (Ietje). Dad later recalled that he never met Jikke since she had died early. Duije had married another woman who also died and Dad never met. Dad remembers the 3rd wife of Duije. The occasion of the article was the 100th anniversary of the rail service for which Duije worked.
Stan's younger brother (#2) remembered a couple of stories about growing up in Andijk. He said, picture Stan at 15 and his younger brothers. Each day, the boys worked all morning at farm duties. Lunch was served promptly at 12 noon to 12:30pm. Stan's dad was in the habit of taking a nap from 12:30 to 1pm each day. This was always a good time for the boys to play outside and throw the ball or whatever. One snowy day, however, the boys had to occupy themselves inside. They noticed the haypile was at a good height (5 feet) for making a safety pillow in case of fall. They jumped up into the rafters and began to swing around on a rope that was tied to the winch hook at the top of the ceiling. They'd ride the rope and try to push each other off. Naturally, they did their best to land in the haypile if they fell. Unfortunately, this made alot of racket and Dad woke up. He was pretty mad and chased the boys. #2 was small so he dove through a hole used to dump hay in front of cows in the barn section of the house. Since #4 was also small, he easily followed. Lolke (#3), however, was a little too big for this and got stuck in the hole. Dad caught him first and gave him a spanking he never forgot.
Another story is when Stan and the others played a trick on #2. They secretly tied ropes to his chair at the dinner table. During dinner, and on Stan's signal, the other boys yanked their ropes and #2 fell flat on the floor. This naturally led to spankings, but the laugh was worth it (for some reason, #2 didn't remember this one :) ).
#2 remembers peeling 50 pounds of potatoes each night to serve as meals for the family and city visitors the next day. This was boring work, so they'd add a little fun by poking the potatoes with a knife and trying to flick it into the barrel. Sometimes it would land on the dirty floor so they'd have to clean it off. Normally these pototoes were for the cows, but these were hard times. They'd pick out the biggest ones to eat themselves.
Stan's younger brother Ted (#5) was always the one to help his mom with housework. She always said he was really good this way, but he kind of resented it in later years. Maybe that's why he never liked doing too much housework at his house to the day he died (7 Feb 2005).
When Stan decided to leave home (after 1.5yrs in the army, cf below), his Dad tried to convince him to go to Friesland instead since he had enjoyed those visits to his uncle.
Uilke was all set to sell his farm and move to Houston, BC and start another, but the outbreak of WWII caused the buyer to back out, nixing that plan. See also Jake PRINS' recollections of wartime Netherlands below (same thing happened to Jake's family).
Here's some info on Stan's (and others') wartime experiences:
From Jake PRINS' bk: When WWII broke out in Sep 1939 (after Hitler invaded Poland and England came in) Stan was 13yo. That winter was one of the coldest ever e.g. 20" ice on the Ijsselmeer! But in Feb 1940 it began melting (kids played dangerously on ice). 3/22 was the last day of school (wow, early, for farmers?). I think by this time Stan's 2 best friends were Jake and Sam PRINS (2nd cousins, Stan 1st cousin to Agnes NIJDAM?, who later m. Jake). By spring 1940 the war had nixed 2 moving plans, Jake's family to Houston, BC, Canada and Stan's family to the same place. In latter case the buyer of the Andijk farm backed out (same for Jake's case or ?). 1st 6mos of war was mostly trench stalemate on the W Front, not affecting the Netherlands much (which remained neutral, as in WWI, tho Jake says ~95% favored Allies). Meanwhile the Soviets attacked Finland but bogged down just NW of Leningrad for cntl of the isthmus. But then on 4/9 Germany broke this stasis by attacking Denmark and Norway to acquire their Atlantic harbors, then on 5/10 attacked Holland and Belgium w/paratroopers. There was a short but stiff resistance e.g. Germans were stopped at both Afsluitdijk and at the Grebbeberg, a line of historic forts in Utrecht. But when the Germans firebombed Rotterdam on 5/14, killing 1k's of civilians, the Dutch govt capitulated 3/15 and its ldrs [Q Wilhelmina ...] and navy escaped to England to continue the war [govt in exile] from there, beginning 5yrs of German occupation. Stan turned 14yo in June. For the 1st ~6mos the Germans tried persuasion e.g. common ancestry, culture, 'germanic' v. 'english' offered mostly local cntl, so things weren't too bad. But once they realized locals mostly weren't buying it, they cracked down hard; arresting ldrs, cntl-ing media and deporting Jews and other 'undesirables'. In spring 1941 came their Balkan and Greece offensives, successful w/in a few weeks. The infamous attack on Russia (Operation Barbarossa) came 6/21 despite the Hitler/Stalin pact ('we liked that; the devil fighting the devil'). Like Napoleon 1812, the Germans advanced but failed to take either Moscow or Leningrad, so the blitzkrieg 'bogged down'. Then came the Dec 1941 Pearl Harbor attacking, bringing the USA in (Stan is 15yo). Jake says 'we thought the Japs had really blundered, but were surprised by their successes in Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam (French Indo-China), the Philippines and even the Dutch E Indies (Indonesia). We followed progress secretly by radio BBC from London'. Over the winter of 42/3 was the famous Battle of Stalingrad, where Germany lost a whole army i.e. trapped in that city. In 1943 the Germans called up many Dutch 18-9yo's to work in their (local?) factories, but many went 'underground' (Stan just missed that, still 17yo). The Dutch expected an Allied landing and it finally came w/D-Day 6-6-44. They arrived in S Netherlands by Sep, but were halted by the big rivers Meuse and Rhine from proceeding further NE.
On 17 Sep came the Battle of Arnhem (part of Allied Operation Market Garden), ending in disaster ("A Bridge Too Far" at Nijmegen), so N Holland remained occupied for another 6 months, creating the "hunger winter" of 1944-5. That fall, the Germans found Jews hiding in the home of a family who lived in Zwolle (whose son Willem had worked for Jake's dad) and took 2 bros of that family, Willem and Jaap TENSEN, jailed them for 12 days, then executed them both 13 Oct along with 5 others. The hunger winter was by far the most terrible time for Holland. The southern 3 provinces, Limburg, Braband, Zeeland were already free, but N of the great rivers the Germans held on, even launching a counteroffensive in the Battle of the Ardennes, their last big one. No food in the cities, no electricity or fuel, cold and dark, many died of cold or starvation. The Russians were closing in and already controlled Poland. The Allies (US, UK, France) had France and Belgium but didn't move E til March. There was enough food in Andijk because of the potatos, beans, peas, etc. and peat for fuel. The PRINS farm also jury-rigged a wind generator (airplane propellor, car generator) while most used candles or oil lamps. There were many travellers from the city and an active black market, but we had to be very careful. Saw hundreds of bombers w/fighter escorts. Quite a few were shot down, around 600 crashed in Ijsselmeer. In Mar/Apr 1945 the Allies crossed the Rhine in Germany and came N to free Groningen, Friesland so by Apr only N and S Holland and Utrecht were still occupied. That's when the Germans blew up the dike at Wieringermeer 17 Apr (they were desperate at that time). On 1 May, 4 resistence men were caught and shot by Germans, bur. 4 May. The very next day 5 May [VE Day], the German army in Holland capitulated and Canadian and Dutch armies came to the big cities; Amsterdam, Alkmaar, etc. It took a few days more before we saw them. By 8 May it was all over (Stan is nearly 19yo).
Gradually life began to return to normal in Holland. The political parties that were united in opposition to the Nazis began to fight each other again; a sure sign of democracy [oy vey]! Old Queen Willhelmina and her govt returned from 5yrs exile in London to the Hague. But we were still at war w/Japan and Indonesia was still in enemy hands. Japan capitulated after the Aug 1945 atom bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Jake agrees it was the right thing to do, saving many thousands of lives and $ in a land advance. So 15 Aug [VJ Day] the great war ended.
The Netherlands didn't have an army to assume power from the Japs in Indonesia, so the English army and navy did that in 1945. It was perhaps a year later [Aug '46, Stan 20yo] that the 1rst Dutch troops arrived there. Meanwhile the Japs had given alot of weapons and training to the party that had collaborated w/them during the occupation, the Nationalist Party, led by SUKARNO, and they declared independence right away in Aug 1945 after Japs had capitulated. The English could (or would?) not do anything about that. This brought on quite a political and military struggle. The Netherlands agreed to work toward independence but favored a gradual transfer of power over 10-15 years and have a democratic govt installed, and a sort of federation of Indonesian states. Of course, SUKARNO and his friends did not like that and wanted to hold on to the one-party power system that they enjoyed, and so the conflict between the Netherlands and Indonesia ensued. There were other armies also fighting e.g. Communists, Daroel Islam, etc. The Dutch govt sent troops (121K from 1946-9) to restore order and good govt 'and of course to salvage the investment of big companies'. Jake served from Nov 1946 to Mar 1950 (2.5yrs in Indonesia), stationed in W Java in an airfield defense company. Before he left (during training at Breda), he gave confession of faith in the Andijk church Su 6 Apr 1947 along with [nearly 21yo] Sjouke and about 50 others. Java was the most important of the 13K islands of Indonesia, where about half its population lived (50M then, >100M by 1995, 225M in all). Java is 1k km [622mi] long E-W and 200-250 km [~140mi] wide N-S, 6-8 degrees S of equator, a row of 20 volcanos, very fertile lowlands w/rice, and of course lots of coffee, tea, rubber, sugar cane plantations run by European companies. His company of about 150 were stationed at Kalidjati, a military airfield about 100 km E of Djakarta (Batavia), guarding it against terrorist or insurgent attacks.
In the Spring of 1947 Sjouke (who was for a little while also in the military service and even stationed in Breda, but was not sent to Indonesia) demilitarized and [later i.e. ship departed Th 3-12-48, cf below] went to Canada to Jake's brothers Jan and Roel (in Lacombe) [Jan had moved there already in 1933. He worked for Jan in the potatoes for a year or so [tough, dark, dirty work in the cellar], and then went to Oliver, BC [spring 1949? so nearly 23yo], where he worked for a dairy farmer (HETTINGA), and met Jansje HOEKSTRA, whose father and family were there also [they arrived late 1951]. Then they all moved to Port Alberni [HOEKSTRAs '52, Stan '53, right?] where he married 'Jane' on 6-26-1954 [Stan 28yo, Jane 21yo]. 'Stanley' [the Anglicized name he'd been assigned in Halifax upon arrival] worked for almost 40 years for a dairy factory (1rst MacKinnon, then Dairyland) delivering milk (and other dairy products) to houses and businesses in and around Port Alberni [incl. to the W Coast] and later in Parksville where he moved 7 Oct 1986 and still is (but now retired [in 1995 when Jake's bk was written]).
In Indonesia there was on 19 Dec 1948 the 2nd 'police action', actually an army offensive, and the Dutch troops went right to Djokjakarta where the [Nationalist] Republican [i.e. SUKARNO's] govt was located and took over control of the whole country (pop. ~100M). The Dutch army totaled just over 100K and to control a country as big as Europe w/100M pop. is of course quite impossible. So it was just the cities, main highways, airports and harbors under control and there was alot of terrorist insurgency. In 1949 an agreement was made between the Netherlands and Indonesia, under pressure from the UN to transfer authority to the Republic of Indonesia, president SUKARNO, so we left Djocja 28 June and went to Malang, E Java ... home by 24 Mar 1950.
From Sam KISTEMAKER bk:
Sam blames the failed 'Bridge Too Far' attack at Arnhem by Brit Gen. Bernard L MONTGOMERY on 17 Sep 1944, who launched it with incorrect and incomplete military intel by sending paratrooopers across the river. They were immediately decimated by fierce German firepower, and 'Montie' lost the battle and needlessly prolonged the war. N Holland was now cut off, creating the 'hunger winter' in which thousands died of hunger and cold. City dwellers begged food in the country and were often robbed by Nazi collaborators and/or German soldiers. The Allies lost many planes and men during daylight bombing runs, averaging 1 plane per linear mile during the 5yr war. Out of spite, the Germans blew up a dike 17 Apr 1945. 4 young men were killed just before end of war.
Many thousands of Dutch came to Canada and the US. Canada in 1948 had only 12M pop., mostly in Ontario. Holland had 10M. The 1rst boat of immigrants from Holland left Rotterdam 17 Jun 1947. Sam's family left 8 Apr 1948 aboard the Kota Inten (same ship as Stan to Canada [1st Kota Inten sailing from Rott. to Halifax; left Rotterdam Th 3-12-48, arr. Halifax Mo 3/23, arr. (by RR?) LaCombe Easter Su 3/29] and Jake to Indonesia). This boat was built in Rotterdam 1927, was chartered by Britain in WWII as freighter, released to Dutch govt 1946 as troop/passenger ship.
8-21-18: Ir learns o/l that Kota Inten ship (d/l pic) sailed 1x/mo for only 7 mos, Mar to Sep 1948. Stan talked of his friend (met aboard?) Bill MANTEL on that voyage (Ir learned he d. 51yo, his son of same name at 52yo!? both in Canada). Must've taken trains to points W from Halifax.
Note: Kota Inten was 7191 tons, 450 x 61 x 29.5 feet, 14 knots max, 18 crew + 1800 passengers (max), blt 1927 @ Rott. for E Indies co., '42 assigned to British War Transport, '43 assigned to US War Transport, converted '43-4 to troop ship in NYC, served in Pacific theater, released '46 to Dutch govt, '48 voyages to Canada operated by Holland America Co., '51 refitted as freighter, '59 scrapped in Hong Kong (from bob.plord.net/Ships/MS-3/Netherlands/KotaInten.html, see also books.google.com ... Holland America Lines 1950-2015 by Wm H MILLER).
WB: Netherlands suffered 2 man-made floods due to WWII. In 1939 the Dutch govt flooded some of its E parts as a possible defense line against Germany, but that failed since the attack later came from the S. Then in 1945 the Germans flooded several polders in an unsuccesful attempt to stop the Allied advance. The Dutch 'underground' [Pake H involved] opposed the occupation for the duration, using the hill of St Pietersberg near Maastricht (in far SE at tip of 'peninsula') to hide escaped Allied prisoners and hide art, people ... the hill contained a mine w/>200mi of tunnels, and Germans wouldn't enter for fear of getting lost (and attacked, of course). Some caves were turned into u/g 'towns' for ~20k people. Japan seized Indonesia in 1942, destroying most of the Dutch navy in the process, and held cntl there til the end of the war [Aug 1945], co-opting local Natl-ist ldr Sukarno, who later  won indep from the Dutch [via UN mandate, not mil. victory]. The Netherlands became a charter member of the UN in 1945. Q Wilhelmina celebrated her 50th yr as Q in 1948, but then soon after, on 9/4, she abdicated (old age) in favor of dau Juliana. Neth. joined Belgium and Luxembourg to form the 'Benelux' econ. union in 1948. Than Neth. joined NATO 1949. In 1952 she joined the Euro Coal/Steel Community, in '53 becoming 1st nation to xfr [some] 'natl. sovereignty' to 'intl orgs'. In 1954 the colonies of Dutch Guiana and Neth. Antilles became equal partners in the Kingdom of The Netherlands. In 1955 Neth. joined the W Euro Union, a defense alliance, then in 1957 became a (fnd-ing?) member of the ECMkt and Euro Atomic Energy Community. Indonesia's claims to Neth. New Guinea were finally settled by a UN-proposed agreement giving Indonesia cntl in 1963 [planned 1969 vote on W Irian (W New Guinea) joining Indonesia or becoming indep i.e. 1965 WB!].
After his experiences in WWII, Stan spent the rest of his life trying to understand what had happened by reading many books on WWII topics. Some of his favorites were 'At Dawn We Slept' and 'A Bridge Too Far'.
Stan was stationed here with the Army. He had voluntarily signed up for this service. In preparation for this, Stan trained in Wolver-Hampton, England for about 7 weeks. Stan rose to the level of Sargent in the Dutch Army. After spending time at Breda, and the training in England, Stan volunteered for continued service. He was assigned to the anti-aircraft gun section, so he had a very complete knowledge of these 4-inch barrel weapons.
Although all of the other petty officers ending up being sent to Indonesia, for some reason, Stan was not (he kind of wanted to go, to 'see the world'). This is still a mystery. Apparently, God had other plans. Jake and Sam PRINS (cousins), Stan's best friends, had been drafted in the meantime into the Army for service in Indonesia.
Jake PRINS, Stan, Sam PRINS in uniform c1940
Stan met up with these 2 at the Breda barracks which was a big surprise. Jake then began to talk about going to Canada, since he had a brother (Jan, eldest) in Canada. This was the original spark that got Stan thinking about moving to Canada (an alternative way to 'see the world' and get away from the farm). He'd already decided he didn't want to make a career of farming work!
Note: Stan is related to Jake PRINS through both the DIJKSTRA and NIJDAM sides. Stan's uncle Lolke (Uilke's bro) m. a SLUIS girl, sis of Jake's Mom, and Jake m. Akke NIJDAM, a 1rst cousin of Stan (dau of Ietje's bro Durk and Dorothy (SLYS) NIJDAM).
At that time, if you had served for a given time, you could request discharge from the Army. Stan made this request after 1.5 years in the Army. In response, his Captain called him into his office and offered another proposal, to promote Stan to Sargent-Major and offer a new commision. He wanted him to stay in awhile. Stan agreed to think it over. After a few days of thinking, Stan decided to stick to his original plan to leave the Army and go to Canada.
Although Jake and Sam returned from Indonesia, many Dutch soldiers did not due to the serious conflict there. Many returned with mental and emotional scars, since it was very bad there in places.
He needed Stan in order to switch from grain to potatoes, which requires more work. Stan helped him build a root cellar where work can take place during the winter. Stan understood how to do this from his earlier experience. Jan also had cows. Stan remembers this as a good experience, but very hard labor.
Stan joined the local young people and enjoyed bowling (first time) and other fun activities. Although most grain farmers take it easy during the winter, Jan did not, expecting hard work all year round.
The second fall, Jan didn't have as much work, since things were settled and more mechanized. Also, Jan's boys were able to start helping by this time. The minimum was a year, then Stan was free to look for something else. Stan and his friend Neil RIETEMA went to the farm labor office in Vancouver. They had first checked the waterfront for work as longshoremen. Things were still pretty bad at this time. They travelled by greyhound bus (first time) to Vancouver.
At this office, there was a listing by a farmer named HETTINGA for work on his farm. Both Stan and Neil set out for Oliver.
Stan enjoyed this time with his friend Neil and the hired delivery man. Although HETTINGA was difficult to deal with at times, he wasn't too bad during this time. In addition to work, Stan was in a bowling club and often went to town for fun times with friends.
When Stan arrived, the weather was very bad and his initial impression of Oliver was not good. But Neil encouraged him to give it a chance, and sure enough, eventually it improved.
During the time Stan was there, MANY men came to work, but most of them eventually left due to inability to work with HETTINGA and the hard work. There was a Dane named BREMS. He didn't fit in too well with the Dutchmen.
The HOEKSTRA's arrived in June 1951. Stan picked them up in Penticton. The first words he said were "Are you the family that's supposed to go to HETTINGA?". They all jumped in the back of the pickup and the rest in the back with the luggage (Siebe and Janke in front).
When they arrived at the house, they were shocked. The add had said "house and garden available". However, the house and garden were not for the HOEKSTRA's, but for the HETTINGA's. The HOEKSTRA's had to stay in a small shack with no garden. It had no indoor plumbing, but only an outhouse nearby. This was really false advertising by HETTINGA. This was a big step down from what the HOEKSTRA's had enjoyed in their home town of Kollum back in the Netherlands (i.e. a middle class lifestyle due to Dad's and Grandpa's trucking business).
The Dutch workers often got together in the evenings at the HOEKSTRA's place and shared stories and laughter, and eventually Stan and Jane began courting. Stan eventually took another job in the Delta region near Vancouver working for another farmer (name?), but he and Jane continued to get together by taking the bus and meeting for dates to watch movies, etc. When the HOEKSTRA's heard there was work in Port Alberni and moved there, Stan was soon to follow. As it turned out, jobs were hard to find there, and Sam and Nick for several months would pack a lunch and show up at one of the mills hoping to be hired for the day at least. Finally, Jane got a job at the hospital as a dietary aide. She walked to/from the job and for a time was the family's only source of income besides their dwindling savings. Stan moved there after all this (right?). Eventually Sam, Nick and Stan found jobs at the mills in town and the path was clear for Stan to marry his sweetheart.
This is where the kids mostly grew up (youngest to age 15), attending the local CRC church and enjoying many gatherings of the relatives there. Stan initially worked at the plywood? (Alberni Plywood Division, APD) mill for Macmillan Bloedel company, but, realizing this wasn't the job for him, quickly found another job delivering dairy products for Mckinnon Dairy (later his younger brother joined him there [came to PA 1953]). Around 1970 Stan left Mckinnon and joined Dairyland (bro stayed), where he worked for 19 years until his early retirement in early 1989, 2.5 years after moving to Parksville 7 Oct 1986.
During these 35 years in Port Alberni, Stan often had odd hours (e.g. to bed after supper, up midnight, home noon, etc.) but worked diligently to provide for his family. All 4 older kids attended the CRC's Calvin College in Grand Rapids, MI (3 graduated). He also served faithfully at the local First Christian Reformed Church (CRC) as Deacon, Elder, Treasurer, Teacher, even reading prepared sermons occasionally when a minister wasn't available. The large extended family often got together for birthdays, holidays, etc. and always enjoyed spending time together playing games, swimming, camping and always alot of laughing, talking and eating.
Wedding pic w/sis 26 Jun 1954
In Sep 1986 (youngest was 14yo) Stan's job delivering milk and other dairy products for the Dairyland company was transferred from Port Alberni to Parksville, so the 3 of them moved there on 7 Oct 1986, 1rst to the house on ? Forsythe. This was a big decision, since they'd lived in Port Alberni for 35 years and hated to leave the extended family and CRC church there, but on the other hand, the Parksville-based job was much better suited to Stan at that time (the Port Alberni job was increasingly demanding, requiring regular trips to the west coast of the island along treacherous roads). Stan retired 2.5 years later (early 1989) at age 62, 3 years early due to disability. They later moved within Parksville to 756 Humphrey (1993?) where Stan worked very hard putting in a beautiful yard and garden (pic). They had thought this would be a nice quiet neighborhood on a non-through street, but the city later approved opening it up into a through street and it became very busy. This is what prompted the move to 690 Gaetjen (Nov 1998).|
Stan and wife c1995?
Stan was always conservative in his politics and theology, very serious about Reformed (Calvinist) Christianity. In Canada that translated to support for Conservative, Reform or Liberal (i.e. classical small-govt, NOT American big-govt) candidates and in discussing US politics (as we often did) to Republican candidates. He always enjoyed discussing books, ideas and current events and never got riled when there were disagreements (he was an exception to the rule 'never discuss religion or politics w/family'). Like his Dad and many Dutch Calvinist people, he loved 'disputation' or reasoned, civil, thoughtful debate on any issue. He had a lifelong interest in WWII and read many books on it, including At Dawn We Slept, The Nightmare Years, A Bridge Too Far and many others. He also enjoyed Henry Kissinger's Diplomacy and even had some Dutch language books on theology and the Dutch experience in N America. In summer 2007 he was moved to tears when we read passages from Jan BUMA's book on his WWII experiences in Holland, since they brought back so many memories for Stan of his similar ones (e.g. warplanes flying overhead while he was in the fields working). He always enjoyed talking with people and was genuinely interested in their stories. He would say 'everyone has an interesting story!' He would almost always find a common interest with them, often even a family connection if they were Dutch or Frisian. He had a lifelong interest in reading and learning. He also loved games (esp. Chess, Scrabble) and was always happy to play with his kids and grandkids. We all miss him greatly.
|As Stan's Alzheimer's worsened and shortly after his youngest son got married and moved to Pennsylvania, Stan and wife moved to Nanaimo to the Oceanwalk 'over-55' development (May 2005), where his wife provided more and more care. As his disease continued to worsen, Stan was placed into Malaspina Gardens nursing home in Nanaimo in early Jan 2007 (after about 9 months on the waiting list, since Apr 06), remaining there 17 months until his death Monday evening around 7:30pm 16 Jun 2008. He was well cared for there and the family will always appreciate the professional, kind and even loving care of the staff. Toward the end, Stan had trouble talking but enjoyed listening to Alan Jackson's CD Precious Memories with many beloved hymns of the faith (e.g. Blessed Assurance, Softly and Tenderly, Love to Tell the Story, When We All Get to Heaven, Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus, I'll Fly Away, What a Friend We Have in Jesus, Standing on the Promises, Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus, Leaning on the Everlasting Arms, The Old Rugged Cross, How Great Thou Art).|
At youngest son's wedding Apr 04
At the funeral, Stan's 4 older kids gave really nice tribute talks. The oldest (#1) shared some stories of his Dad (e.g. his diplomatic response to an issue at Sunday School), #2 on what a great encourager he always was, #3 on his "thankful heart and gentle spirit" and #4 gave a short talk before introducing his nice DVD w/pics and "Give Me Jesus" by Vince Gill. He said his dad was the only guy who could enter a room with 2 contentious men (he named them!) and have everyone come out happy.|
at Oceanwalk Jul 06
Granite Bible at Port Alberni cemetery
Stan's grave w/family, Bible 21 Jun 2008
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I read Japp ('Jake') PRINS' book "His Story" (2008, 106pp) and it contains some info pertinent to Dad. Jake and Stan were born in 1926 (he was b 18 Jul 1926, Dad 5 May 1926). They both started Christian school in Andijk in Spring 1932, among about 250 children, attending elementary school for 8 years. Some kids then went to high school in Enkhuizen, but most then went to work at their dad's business. Most people were self-employed in that remarkable place (Andijk, meaning 'near the dyke'). There's more about Andijk in the "SLUIS Book" (Jake's mother's family, Uilke's bro Lolke m. a SLUIS, sis of Jake's Mom). Our fields were little parcels of land, say 1-3 acres, ditches filled w/water around them. The land was flat as a pancake, and drainage ditches also served as transportation canals, held at a certain level by diesel electric pump stations (in earlier times, windmills). There was 1 pump station for every 5-10 villages and the water was pumped over the dike into the Ijsselmeer [i.e. the meer or lake formed by the River Ijssel]; the former Zuiderzee [i.e. southern sea], which in 1932 had become a fresh water lake when the afsluitdyk was built. This all had to do with the inpoldering (dry making) of the Zuiderzee. Our polder Grootslag was part of Drechterland which was part of West Friesland, province N Holland. The polder consisted of 100s of parcels separated by sloten (canals). Most people had to go to their land by small boats (schuiten) in the canals. Jake's oldest bro Jan went to Lacombe, Alberta, canada in 1933 already, others later followed. Jake's paternal grandma was. Aafje BROUWER d1938 79yo. The Depression yrs were known in Canada as the "dirty 30s". The family often travelled by bike to Enkhuizen (13km), Hoorn (20), Amsterdam (60), Alkmaar (40), Den Helder (40). They walked to school, about 2.5km. Jake liked history, geography, arithmetic, and loved chess (all like Stan). His best friends were Simon ('Sam') PRINS (2nd cousin) and Sjouke ('Stan') DIJKSTRA (1rst cousin of Agnes, related on both NIJDAM and DIJKSTRA sides). Stan's dad Uilke was one of the few dairy farmers in Andijk. All lived near the dike, the old 25-foot-high earthen dam around the polder, below sea level. In Apr 1945 the Germans threatened to blow it up, but never did. They did blow up the dike of the Wieringermeer polder 15km NW of Andijk. The boys often played achterdijk or behind the dike, where there was a small experimental dike, the Proefpolder, that had been drained in 1927 before any other as an experiment, to try different crops, etc.
In Sep 1939 the war broke out between Germany and Britain/France because Hitler invaded Poland. It was a very cold winter, the ice in the Ijsselmeer froze 50cm (20") thick, something Jake had never seen before. In Feb 1940 it started to thaw and moved over the dike, forming big ice mountains, on which the kids would (unsafely) play! 22 Mar 1940 was the last day of school. The war had nixed his family's plans to move to Canada (i.e. Houston, BC. Interestingly, Stan's family had also planned to move there, also nixed when the buyer of the Andijk farm backed out due to the war). That first half-year of the war, between 1 Sep and Apr was more a war of the trenches, w/the Germans occupying the Seigfried Line on their territory and the French their "Maginot Line." No big offensives, just fighter dogfights and long-range artillery. The English were also in French fields and trenches. It seemed like a stalemate. In that winter, the USSR attacked Finland and fought for months just NW of Leningrad for control of the isthmus. At that time, most Dutch hoped to remain neutral, like in WWI, tho 95% sympathized w/France/England, a strict policy of neutrality was maintained. Germany attacked Denmark and Norway on 9 Apr to get Atlantic harbors, then 10 May they attacked Holland and Belgium w/paratroopers. There was a short but fierce resistance and the Germans were stopped at the Afsluitdijk and at the Grebbeberg, a line of historic forts in Utrecht. Then the Germans firebombed Rotterdam 14 May, killing thousands of civilians ("true to their devilish behavior"). The Dutch capitulated 15 May 1940, its govt and navy escaping to England to continue the war from there, the beginning of 5yrs of German occupation. For about the first 6 months, the Germans tried to win over the Dutch with friendly talk of common racial heritage and culture and those nasty English, etc. They promised to allow local control, so things weren't too bad. But later, the Germans realized it wasn't working (the Dutch weren't buying it) and they cracked down with an iron fist. There were arrests of political leaders, control of media and deportation of Jews and other 'non-desirables.' In Spring 1941 they began their offensives in the Balkans and Greece, controlling them in a few weeks. Then they famously attacked the USSR 21 Jun along a front from the Baltic to the Black Seas (Operation Barbarossa), despite the Hitler/Stalin pact. We liked that, "the devil fighting the devil." The Germans advanced but failed to take either Moscow or Leningrad before winter, so they were stuck on the Russian Steppes like Napoleon in 1812. Then in Dec 1941 the Japs attacked Pearl Harbor and brought the USA into the war on our side. We thought the Japs had really blundered, but were surprised by their successes in Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam (French Indo-China), the Philippines and even the Dutch E Indies (Indonesia). We followed progress secretly by radio BBC from London.
In 1943 the Germans called up many 18-9 year-olds to work in German factories (Arbeitsdienst, or work service). Many of these disappeared by going underground (becoming onderduikers or under-divers). There were 300-400 of these Andijker refugees, and Germans would occassionally stage raids (razzias) to root them out. They caught a few but not many, since the locals well knew the fields and canals and the Germans weren't equipped to chase them there on a large scale. Jake attended courses for business admin, bookkeeping in winters 1942-3 and 1943-4, which well prepared him for later farm and church accounting work. The landwacht (traitors, i.e. local Nazi collaborators) were always on the lookout for onderduikers. In 1942-3 was the big battle of Stalingrad, where the Germans lost a whole army that was trapped in that city. We expected an Allied landing and it finally came 6 Jun 1944 D-Day. In a few months they'd advanced through France and Belgium and by Sep to S Netherlands, halting at the big rivers, Meuse and Rhine. On 17 Sep came the Battle of Arnhem, ending in disaster ("A Bridge Too Far" at Nijmegen), so N Holland remained occupied for another 6 months, creating the "hunger winter" of 1944-5. That fall, a German razzia found Jews hiding in the home of a family who lived in Zwolle (whose son Willem had worked for Jake's dad) and took 2 brothers of that family, Willem and Jaap TENSEN, jailed them for 12 days, then executed them both 13 Oct along with 5 others. The hunger winter was by far the most terrible time for Holland. The southern 3 provinces, Limburg, Braband, Zeeland were already free, but N of the great rivers the Germans held on, even launching a counteroffensive in the Battle of the Ardennes, their last big one. No food in the cities, no electricity or fuel, cold and dark, many died of cold or starvation. The Russians were closing in and already controlled Poland. The Allies (US, Britain, France) had France and Belgium but didn't move E til March. There was enough food in Andijk because of the potatos, beans, peas, etc. and peat for fuel. The PRINS farm also jury-rigged a wind generator (airplane propellor, car generator) while most used candles or oil lamps. There were many travellers from the city and an active black market, but we had to be very careful. Saw hundreds of bombers w/fighter escorts. Quite a few were shot down, around 600 crashed in Ijsselmeer. In Mar/Apr 1945 the Allies crossed the Rhine in Germany and came N to free Groningen, Friesland so by Apr only N and S Holland and Utrecht were still occupied. That's when the Germans blew up the dike at Wieringermeer 17 Apr (they were desperate at that time). On 1 May, 4 resistence men were caught and shot by Germans, bur. 4 May. The very next day 5 May, the German army in Holland capitulated and Canadian and Dutch armies came to the big cities; Amsterdam, Alkmaar, etc. It took a few days more before we saw them. By 8 May it was all over.
Gradually life began to return to normal in Holland. The political parties that were united in opposition to the Nazis began to fight each other again. A sure sign of democracy! Old Queen Willhelmina and her govt returned from 5 yrs exile in London to the Hague. But we were still at war w/Japan and Indonesia was still in enemy hands. Japan capitulated after the Aug 1945 atom bombs were dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Jake agrees it was the right thing to do, saving many thousands of lives and $ in a land advance. So 15 Aug the great war ended.
The Netherlands didn't have an army to assume power from the Japs in Indonesia, so the English army and navy did that in 1945. It was perhaps a year later that the 1rst Dutch troops arrived there. Meanwhile the Japs had given alot of weapons and training to the party that had collaborated w/them during the occupation, the Nationalist Party, led by SUKARNO, and they declared independence right away in Aug 1945 after Japs had capitulated. The English could not or would not do anything about that. This brought on quite a political and military struggle. The Netherlands agreed to work toward independence but favored a gradual transfer of power over 10-15 years and have a democratic govt installed, and a sort of federation of Indonesian states. Of course, SUKARNO and his friends did not like that and wanted to hold on to the one-party power system that they enjoyed, and so the conflict between the Netherlands and Indonesia came about. There were other armies also fighting e.g. Communists, Daroel Islam, etc. The Dutch govt sent troops (121K from 1946-9) to restore order and good govt "and of course to salvage the investment of big companies." Jake served from Nov 1946 to Mar 1950 (2.5yrs in Indonesia), stationed in W Java in an airfield defense company. Before he left (during training at Breda), he gave confession of faith in the Andijk church 6 Apr 1947 along with Sjouke and about 50 others. Java was the most important of the 13K islands of Indonesia, where about half its population lived (50M then, >100M by 1995, 225M in all). Java is 1000 km long E-W and 200-250 km wide N-S, 6-8 degrees S of equator, a row of 20 volcanos, very fertile lowlands w/rice, and of course lots of coffee, tea, rubber, sugar cane plantations run by European companies. His company of about 150 were stationed at Kalidjati, a military airfield about 100 km E of Djakarta (Batavia), guarding it against terrorist or insurgent attacks.
In the Spring of 1947 our friend Sjouke (who was for a little while also in the military service and even stationed in Breda, but was not sent to Indonesia) demilitarized and went to Canada to my brothers Jan and Roel (in Lacombe). He worked for Jan in the potatoes for a year or so [tough, dark, dirty work in the cellar], and then went to Oliver, BC, where he worked for a dairy farmer (HETTINGA), and met Jansje HOEKSTRA, whose father and family were there also. Then they moved to Port Alberni where he married "Jane." "Stanley" worked for almost 40 years for a dairy factory (1rst MacKinnon, then Dairyland) delivering milk (and other dairy products) to houses and businesses in and around Port Alberni [incl. to the W Coast] and later in Parksville where he moved in about 1990 and still is (but now retired [in 1995]).
In Indonesia there was on 19 Dec 1948 the 2nd "police action", actually an army offensive, and the Dutch troops went right to Djokjakarta where the Republican [i.e. SUKARNO's] govt was located and took over control of the whole country (pop about 100M). The Dutch army totaled a little over 100K and to control a country as big as Europe w/100M pop is of course quite impossible. So it was just the cities, main highways, airports and harbors under control and there was alot of terrorist insurgency. In 1949 an agreement was made between the Netherlands and Indonesia, under pressure from the UN to transfer authority to the Republic of Indonesia, president SUKARNO, so we left Djocja 28 June and went to Malang, E Java. Home by 24 Mar 1950.
Agnes (Akke) NIJDAM's family lived in Bantega, Friesland, on a dairy farm, but she spent alot of time in Andijk, since she was working in Enkhuizen as a student nurse. On the night of 31 Jan - 1 Feb 1953, a terrible storm on the N Sea broke the dikes in Zeeland and S Holland, leading to other breaks, killing 1800 people and many thousands of farm animals, a full-scale disaster. That was when the Delta works began and lasted 35 years! (to 1988). They were m. 29 Dec 1953 in Lemmer, Friesland. They left for Canada 19 Feb 1954 aboard the Holland America Rijndam to Halifax. They settled in Lacombe and did farming.
In the 15-6C the North Sea pounded the area later known as North Holland, leaving only a strip of dunes (behind which was the Zuiderzee) and a number of sizeable lakes, marshes, and parcels of low-lying grassland. The people worked hard to create a dyke, digging canals and piling the dirt manually. Old adage "God created the world, but the Dutch created Holland." Late 16C in Reformation, Protestants had to flee N to escape Holy Roman Empire [HRE] forces under Charles V, many found out of the way places along the dyke (e.g. Andijk) as safe haven, forming a Reformed fellowship and culture. HRE soldiers weren't skilled at navigating the swamps/canals, so these communities were relatively safe. Simon was b1930, and in 1932 the govt built a (E-W?) levee between Friesland and N Holland, turning the saltwater Zuiderzee into the freshwater Ijsselmeer, named after the Ijssel River which flows into it. The 1920s were boom years with worldwide demand for bulbs, etc., until the 1929 crash. 3 of Simon's sibs died young, he watched his 4yo sis drown. In the 1rst half of 20C evangelical Christianity blossomed in the Netherlands under the leadership of PM Abraham Kuyper, with much of private and public life explicitly following Scriptural principles. Kuyper founded the Free Univ. of Amsterdam in 1880, free of govt control and chartered to be based on biblical principles. By 1968 the need for teachers (due to Baby Boom students) led the board to officially loosen the requirements to loose Christian persuasion (after a long process of secularization), signifying the disappearance of the earlier Reformed emphasis. Faith was serious during WWI and WWII, w/full churches, but later there was much slippage. In Mar 1927 Jacob PRINS (gdad of Sam's later wife Jean, dau of George of Houston, BC) and Simon GROOT went to Edmonton w/8 kids each, later drawing many Dutch there and to other places in Canada (Lacombe 1936, mostly Ontario, but also Manitoba, Sask, Alb, BC, Dirk said not connected to Jake's 'Honk' PRINS', hmmm). George was later a founder of Houston, BC. Sam's father wanted to go to the US in 1921 w/Peter SLUYS (who had 1rst left Andijk in 1906 for Grand Rapids, MI, lost a dau en route), but was too young.
Hitler annexed Austria 1937 (Anschluss), invaded Czech. (Sudetenland) 1938, then declared war on Poland 1 Sep 1939, prompting Britain and France to enter war. Tho it tried to remain neutral, war came to Holland 10 May 1940, and the country capitulated after only 5 days of fighting, due to overwhelming air power and tanks. A feeling of defeat came over us. Rotterdam was firebombed. Others were allowed to remain neutral (Sweden, Ireland, Switz), but Hitler needed the sea access to attack Britain. Sam: Hitler's crucial mistake was in attacking Russia instead of Britain, stopped more by bitter winter than Russian troops. US entered war 8 Dec 1941 after Pearl Harbor, using Britain as a launching pad. Andijk traitor Nazi collaborator Bertus KOK. Postmaster Jan TIMMERMAN had intercepted his letters to Nazi HQ. The hardest time was D-Day (6 Jun 1944) to VE-Day (5 May 1945). Sam blames the failed 'Bridge Too Far' attack at Arnhem by Brit Gen. Bernard L. MONTGOMERY on 17 Sep 1944, who launched it with incorrect and incomplete military intel by sending paratrooopers across the river. They were immediately decimated by fierce German firepower, and Montie lost the battle and needlessly prolonged the war. N Holland was now cut off, creating the 'hunger winter' in which thousands died of hunger and cold. City dwellers begged food in the country and were often robbed by Nazi collaborators and/or German soldiers. The Allies lost many planes and men during daylight bombing runs, averaging 1 plane per linear mile during the 5yr war. Out of spite, the Germans blew up a dike 17 Apr 1945. 4 young men killed just before end of war.
Many thousands of Dutch came to Canada and the US. Canada in 1948 had only 12M population, mostly in Ontario. Holland had 10M. The 1rst boat of immigrants from Holland left Rotterdam 17 Jun 1947. Sam's family left 8 Apr 1948 aboard the Kota Inten (same as Stan to Canada and Jake to Indonesia). This boat was built in Rotterdam 1927, was chartered by Britain in WWII as freighter, released to Dutch govt 1946 as troop/passenger ship.
After training as a CRC pastor and graduating from Calvin Seminary, Sam's 1rst pastoral assignment was in summer 1955 to the Port Alberni church in BC, but due to a mixup he was only there a short time (the called pastor came early but didn't work out, fired 2 months later).
In 1958 the Free Amsterdam University [FAU] still had evangelical, conservative, Reformed professors in its Theology dept, but that changed drastically in 1968, when a doubling of student body size caused the trustees to loosen faculty requirements to merely general 'Christian at heart' statements. Unfortunately this change opened the door to liberalism and resulting in the diminishing and eventual disappearance of the earlier Reformed emphasis. One of Sam's mentors was Dr. Ned Stonehouse.
Sam served as Pastor at Vernon/Penticton CRC Mar 1961 to Aug 1963. He shares the funny story about buying a building from the local CMA church, who said 'like Gideon they'd put out the fleece and the Lord had told them to ask $10K,' a reasonable sum. The CRC'ers offered $8K and they took it, fleece or not!
He considers the most important moment of his life to be the Apr 1982 morning when he received a letter from Baker Book House asking him to continue the work of the deceased Dr. Wm Hendricksen in writing NT Commentaries (aimed at pastors), who'd died half way through that project. Saying the hardest would be Corinthians (easier after tongues ceased) and Revelation, he picked up w/Hebrews, which appeared in print Fall 1984. He continued w/James / 1-3 John, then 1-2 Peter / Jude, Acts, Corinthians (1 Cor 'many pitfalls, a mine field'), then finally Revelation (2001). The set was promoted as "the only available commentary from a Reformed perspective that covers the entire NT." After this work for pastors and interested Bible students was done, he turned to writing for the common people, including "The Conversations of Jesus" (2004) and "The Miracles of Jesus" (2006). One day as he taught about Solomon's Temple in Sunday School, a man approached who said 'you don't know much about the Temple, do you?.' It turned out he was a 32nd degree Mason, but when Sam invited him to address the class, he never returned, since its taboo to divulge secret society info! He retired in 1996 and moved to Orlando, FL area (Maitland, but still teaches parttime at the S RTS campus near Oviedo). Always been active veggie and flower gardeners, 'at work in the natural splendor of God's great creation.' In addition to his many books for both scholars and lay people, he also consulted on the NIV Bible and served as ETS president '75-6 (active '74-92).
Jane PRINS, a sis of [wife] Jean's paternal gfather Jacob had gone to Indonesia as a nurse in the early 1920s. Her sis Grace w/hubby Simon GROOT joined her there in 1930s. After Pearl Harbor 7 Dec 1941, Japan quickly moved forces S, conquering Singapore 15 Feb 1942, then the oil fields of Indonesia to fuel their war machine, landing on N shore of Java, rounding up numerous men of Dutch descent and mowing them down w/machine guns, bur. in mass graves. Women and children were sent to concentration camps (documented in a fascinating movie we watched w/Stan and wife, name?) where many perished. Among these were Jane and Grace and their children. Simon was put to work building a road through Myanmar (Burma, i.e. 'Bridge on the River Kwai') where he died of ill health. Grace and kids were liberated at end of war and returned to Holland, but Jane died while caring for sick patients in the camp just a few months before liberation, a martyr for the cause of Christ.
Sam gives a fascinating insight into the 26 Dec 2004 tsunami in Aceh province of Indonesia. He and Jean were there in Jan 05 on a lecture tour. A Dutch paper had printed that the tsunami was God's punishment of those who'd recently persecuted Christians there. Although this opinion was widely criticized as being judgmental and intolerant, that Christians should show only love and compassion instead of condemnation, Sam has some insights that weren't covered in the press. The devastated area, Banda Aceh, has been publicized as the 'doorway to Mecca' because radical Muslims would regularly enter churches during worship and gun down the pastor. The Indonesian media had made it known that these radicals had forbidden Christians in the region to celebrate Christmas, chain locking the doors of the churches and forcing the Christians out of the city (and incidentally onto higher ground). The radicals' long-term objective was to purge the area of Christians. Interestingly, the animals also somehow knew something was wrong and headed for the hills too. The tsunami killed an estimated 130K mostly Muslim Indonesians. The Christians were safe, tho they lost their homes and churches. Even on a coastal island near Banda Aceh inhabited mostly by Christians was spared, no lives lost there! The poeple there had been warned by Japanese familiar w/effects of tsunamis that when the sea recedes, flee to higher ground. Some Muslims even asked Christians to pray for them, admitting that the radical Muslims had sinned. Also, back in Dec 2000 radicals had warned Christians living at Manado on the NE corner of Sulawesi (aka Celebes) island that it would be a 'bloody Christmas.' But on 24 Dec, the river area where most Muslims lived flooded due to excessive rainfall. Local police, tipped off, found 36 bombs in Muslim homes that were destroyed by the water. God answers prayer and is active in human affairs! Outsmarted there, the radicals then went to Bali and successfully blew up a hotel, killing numerous tourists. The media covered that well since tourism was hurt, but didn't mention the 'backstory.' Interestingly, the 26 Dec 2003 earthquake in Bam, Iran, killing 30K, occurred exactly 1 year before the Aceh one. Hmmm (Ps 91:8).
The Baptists and Presbyterians have made good progress in S Korea, but have faced some obstacles in Japan (hmmm, Kobe, Japan earthquake). Sam notes that Japanese politeness in society has had a stifling effect on the growth of the church there. Christianity is seen as a western influence, not native to Japan. <1% Japanese are Christian (all stripes), and only 300K are evangelicals. The govt itself suppresses Christianity by requiring all JH and HS students to attend classes in govt on Sunday mornings 10-11am! Such subtlety. Also, emperor worship has been reintroduced as it was in the days prior to WWII. Everyone has to bow to the emperor and whoever refuses is considered an outcast (very serious to consensual Japanese). But the Bible is still a bestseller there. Satan knows he's almost done and he engages all the world's religions against Christians. Most Christians lost their lives as martyrs in 20C than all other 19 combined. Gospel is circling globe E to W, from Pentecost W (God-directed, see Acts) until now the slogan in China is W 'to Jerusalem,' completing the circle.