S: Adriaan and Corrie van Berkel - 60th Anniversary
FC: Happy 60th Anniversary | "
1: April 13, 1952 - 2012
2: Adriaan and Corrie met at the wedding of Adriaan’s brother in 1948. Soon after Adriaan had to serve in the Dutch army and was sent to the West Indies for two years, then still a colony of Holland. The only contact they had together was by airmail, no internet or cellphone at that time. When the two years were over Adriaan was dismissed from the army and went to work at the van Berkels’ home farm. Then plans were made to immigrate to Canada. In 1951, in March of that year, Adriaan left by boat for Canada destination the farm of L Gray, west of Brandon. Adriaan worked there for one year when Corrie arrived the following month of March. They got married on April 13 1952 and went to live on the Gray farm where they both worked for another year. Then they moved to Brandon where they both worked at the mental hospital till John was born. All of their children were born in Brandon. Corrie was born on May 20 1930 in Waddinxveen in the Mohle family, and went to school in Moerkapel, a town about 5 km from Waddinxveen. Corrie was a patient reader, and she educated herself with a lot of books. She was the person who was the most interested in reading books. After she graduated from grade eight, Corrie went to work at a manse of a church minister’s family; she always came home at weekends. During that time, plans were made together with Adriaan to immigrate to Canada. The last year when Corrie was home, she worked at a mixed farm in Moerkapell to get familiar with farm work and at the same time there was also time to make plans and pack all the clothing and things. Anton Mohle (Uncle Tony)
4: HOE ADRIAAN EN CORRIE ELKAAR LEERDEN KENNEN Nadat Corrie werd geboren in het huisje aan de Noordeinde in Waddinxveen, tegenover de boerderij van de familie van Berkel, kwam moeder van Berkel op kraambezoek. Zij heeft toen Corrie als baby’tje vastgehouden. Zou ze misschien toen al gedacht hebben dat Corrie wel eens een goed meisje zou kunnen zijn voor één van haar zoons? Wie had gedacht dat zoon Adriaan later met Corrie zou gaan trouwen? Corrie was als meisje bevriend met Corrie van Gils. Broer Jo van Gils was vriend van Adriaan. Toen Chiel van Berkel ging trouwen, zocht Adriaan een geschikt meisje om mee te gaan. Zijn keus viel op Corrie Mohle! Maar waar haalde Corrie zo snel een galajurk vandaan? Gelukkig was daar Bep de Gelder van wie zij de jurk mocht lenen. De groene kleur paste heel mooi bij haar haar en haar ogen. Het was een knap stel, Corrie en Adriaan. Voorlopig bleef het hierbij, want Adriaan ging voor dienst naar Aruba en het enige communicatiemiddel in die tijd was de brief. Er zijn er veel geschreven, ook een enkele schijnt afgedrukt te zijn in het Weekblad van Waddinxveen. Maar helaas is daar niets meer van terug te vinden. Adriaan’s liefde voor Corrie uitte zich in het sturen van nylons. Haar eerste paar! En zij was er zuinig op. Intussen had Corrie een functie voor dag en nacht bij de familie Heiner in Zevenhuizen. Daarna heeft ze het boerderijwerk geleerd bij de familie Zegwaard. In het jaar dat Adriaan weer terugkeerde werd de verloving van Corrie en Adriaan gevierd. Geen uitbundig feest, gewoon met beide families bij elkaar een kopje koffie met wat lekkers bij pa en ma Mohle en misschien werd er ook nog wel een advocaatje gelepeld. Het was inmiddels augustus 1950. Kort daarna trouwde zus Trijntje Mohle met Jaap Asscheman. Adriaan had de leeftijd om getuige te zijn bij dit huwelijk op 19 oktober 1950. Na Adriaans terugkeer in Nederland werkt hij in het Westland bij een tuinderij. Zijn plannen om naar Canada te gaan worden verwezenlijkt in 1951. Hij vertrekt in maart van dat jaar. Een jaar later volgt Corrie hem met de boot genaamd de Zuiderkruis. Van die uittocht van emigranten uit de regio werd in het weekblad wel verslag gedaan. Binnen 4 weken na Corrie’s aankomst, op 13 april 1952, vindt de huwelijksvoltrekking plaats. Corrie was voorbereid: ze had haar bruidsjurk, gemaakt door Annie van de Berg, bij zich. Vanuit het huis van de familie Donkersgoed zijn Corrie en Adriaan getrouwd. Broer Anton was daar bij en ontmoette daar zíjn vrouw voor het leven: Janet Donkersgoed. Maar dat is een ander verhaal. Het was moeilijk geschikte woonruimte te vinden. Na de geboorte van John op 1 mei 1954 settelden ze zich in Brandon. Oma Mohle miste haar dochter erg en vertrok in 1957 voor 3 maanden naar Canada. Opa en oma Mohle zijn later nog vaker samen geweest. Oma wilde graag de kleinkinderen in Canada beter begrijpen en begon Engels te leren. Elke week kreeg zij ‘les’ van haar oudste kleindochter Ineke in Nederland. In het jaar dat Corrie en Adriaan 12,5 jaar getrouwd waren hebben ze voor het eerst weer een bezoek gebracht aan Nederland. John, Tony en Elisabeth kwamen mee. Later volgden nog vele bezoeken over en weer tussen de familieleden. Nu, 60 jaar na hun trouwdag, is de band met de familie in Nederland zeer stevig. De oudste 2 zussen, inmiddels allebei in de tachtig, maken gebruik van de moderne communicatiemiddelen om elkaar te spreken en op de hoogte te houden. Vanuit Nederland wensen wij Corrie en Adriaan een mooie 60e trouwdag toe, in gezondheid samen met kinderen en kleinkinderen. Tini Asscheman-Mohle en Ali Mohle | .. | .. | .. | .. | ..
5: HOW ADRIAAN AND CORRIE MET EACH OTHER After Corrie was born in the little house at the Noordeinde in Waddinxveen, opposite the farm of Van Berkel, mother Van Berkel went on a maternity visit. She held Corrie as a baby. It is possible that she then already thought: this might be a good girl for one of my sons. Who would have believed that her son Adriaan would marry Corrie years later? As a teenager Corrie befriended Corrie van Gils. Brother Jo van Gils befriended Adriaan. When Chiel van Berkel went to get married, Adriaan was looking for a girl who wanted to accompany him. He chose Corrie Mohle! But where could she find a gala-dress so quickly? Luckily there was Bep de Gelder from which she could borrow the dress. The green colour suited perfectly with her hair and her eyes. They were a handsome couple, Corrie and Adriaan. Temporarily this was it, because Adriaan became a soldier and left for Aruba. The only way of communicating was via the letter. And there were many of them. It seems a few of Adriaan's letters were printed in the Weekblad van Waddinxveen. But unfortunately nothing can be found. Adriaan expressed his love for Corrie by sending her nylons. Her first pair! And she cared about them very much. In the meantime Corrie had a job for 24 hours with the Heiner family in Zevenhuizen. After that she worked at a farm with the Zegwaard family. In the year Adriaan returned home the engagement with Corrie was a fact. They celebrated it at the house of opa and oma Mohle. Not a copious party but a coffee party with both families. In the meantime it was August 1950. Soon after the engagement party, sister Trijntje Mohle married Jaap Asscheman. Adriaan was their best man at the wedding on the 19th of October in 1950. After Adriaan returned, he worked in the Westland at a garden. His plans for emigrating to Canada come true in March 1951. One year later Corrie follows with the Zuiderkruis. A journal of the exodus of all the emigrants from the region was reported in the Weekblad. Within four weeks after Corrie’s arrival in Canada, they married on the 13th of April 1952. Corrie was prepared: she had brought along her wedding dress, made by Annie van de Berg. From the house of the Donkersgoed family Corrie and Adriaan married. Brother Anton was also there and met his future wife: Janet Donkersgoed. But that is another story. It was hard to find a proper house; after the birth of John on the 1st of May 1954, they settled in Brandon. Oma Mohle missed her daughter very much and left in 1957 for 3 months to Canada. Later opa en oma Mohle went together a few times to Canada. Oma wanted to communicate with her grandchildren in Canada and started to learn English. Every week her granddaughter Ineke helped her. In the year that Corrie and Adriaan were married 12.5 years they visited Holland again. John, Tony and Elisabeth joined them. Later on a lot more family visits followed. At this moment, while they celebrate their 60th wedding party, the family is very close. The two oldest sisters, both in their 80s, use the modern ways of communicating to inform each other about their lives. From Holland, we wish Corrie and Adriaan a happy 60th wedding anniversary, together with their children and grandchildren. Tante Tini and Tante Ali | .. | .. | .. | .. | ..
9: The little house on 1st Street, that is where all my first memories sit. That's where we lived when I was born and I lived there until we made our move to Ontario. I don't remember too much of the actual layout of the house, but here are the things I still remember vividly: Being in my crib and suddenly realizing there was a cookie missing that I thought was in my hand. Laying in a bunk bed and noticing animals looking down at me from the top bunk, probably John's toys. Taking a bath in a tub in the basement that I believe had to be filled with pails. Looking at the yellow pages in the phone book. Listening to the radio and hearing beeps at regular intervals whenever anyone was being interviewed. Watching the headlight from a car traveling on 1st Street cause a silhouette of the window to circle around the room at night. Tree we used to climb in the backyard. Finding a dead bird in the lane. Finding a whole bunch of pennies in the lane and using them at Starkells. The deep snow in the winter, probably because I was so short (but still I think there was more snow, we dug tunnels). The old car which I think was a Chevy. Even now when I visit Brandon I still am drawn to checking the place out and seeing if I recognize anything. Anthony
11: Growing up at 939 4th St. N., before the streets were paved and we had sidewalks and cement curbs, it was just a plain gravel road. During spring thaw, water would run down from top of the north hill, often creating huge gullies in the front road and ditch, and sometimes making the road impassable to through traffic. Water would pool on the south side of the house, creating a huge lake between us and Dufferin Avenue. At night the top surface would freeze. As kids, we’d venture onto the thin ice in the morning, often breaking through and getting our rubber boots full of water. Sometimes we’d even go through waist-deep the further out we went. I spent many hours on those early spring ponds. I would build small rafts out of whatever logs or timber that would float, nailing an old door or piece of plywood across – a local dump, south of what became Braecrest Drive, was always a good source for discarded construction materials to use for my various projects. I would push myself along the surface of the water with a long pole, balancing myself on my raft which was quite unstable. Often I’d capsize and have to get my clothes changed. Mom, you were usually upset about the extra work, given you had a house full of younger ones. But you were always quite accommodating when it came to me or Tony having to get changed into to dry clothes. Saturdays were especially hard: you’d be cleaning and polishing floors in preparation for Sunday, a day of rest and church services.
12: The south field was a huge open area stretching all the way to Dufferin and 3rd Street, with only a hydro line running down the middle of it. I spent many an hour on it experimenting with wooden balsa airplanes and homemade kites, always having to be wary of the hydro line. Sometimes I’d get my kite caught in the wires and have to cut my string; sometimes having to abandon the kite because it was too tangled in the wires. Danny was often my young assistant in those days – we spent hours at the living room table experimenting with Lego, building vehicles with steering assemblies front and rear to see how they would move on the table. I can remember one huge kite I made, when I persuaded Danny to strap himself into a rope harness I had made. I wanted to see if we could get him to lift off the ground. Fortunately, a watching neighbour intervened. John
18: My earliest memory of your father, Mum, is thick, white peppermints. He liked to take us for walks on the dirt roads, smile big, and hold my cheek in his huge brown hand. Of Oma, that she could know when I was “fake sick” to stay home from second church. I couldn’t understand much they said to us, but like all your family that visited you when we were kids, they brought a lot of energy into our hot summers. Years later, I understood how much work their visits were for you – on top of seven kids. When I got to visit Oma in Holland alone, I went armed with a Dutch-English dictionary and vague hopes of finding my roots. I met her surrounded by yellowed pictures of us tucked in frames, willing to play Dutch-English Scrabble with me while Tante Ali served tea. It was the same when I visited your brothers, Dad. I’ve wondered if our decisions to live so far away from one another, and from Brandon, were shaped by your own decisions to emigrate from Holland. My drive to live in Halifax, the closest I could get to Holland without actually leaving the continent, I always said. Whether you built in us this sense of autonomy and self-sufficiency that should not get in the way of love. Lis
22: July 20, 1969. I’d have been 15 years old. It was the day Neil Armstrong made the first lunar landing; the Apollo 11 mission, and became the first man to walk on the moon. I had my own black and white TV downstairs in the basement. Mom and Dad had resisted having television in the home or any of us attending movies. In fact, I attended my first one secretly a year later. Opa and Oma Mohle were upstairs visiting from Holland. I liked having them there. Oma I remembered from the year before, as we departed from my first visit to the Netherlands, pinching my cheek and saying in Dutch that I had a mischievous twinkle in my eye. Neil Armstrong was about to descend onto the moon, live via cameras mounted to the landing craft. I rushed upstairs to announce the event and invite Mom, Dad, Opa, and Oma to come down and watch. Everyone looked at me like I made no sense. I took a breath of air, gulped and proceeded back downstairs to witness the event. When I left “Little Big Man” in a state of elation the following year, I was dismayed to see I had left the lights of my first car on. Punishment for attending a movie? I turned the ignition on. No problem: the car started. John
24: As the youngest child of seven I may have a unique perspective of Dad and Mom and our family. John, Tony, Richard and Dan seemed a bit more like uncles to me than brothers. But I did not grow up with any close uncles around either. It was always fun and exciting when John and Tony came. John always with something different: a new motorcycle or truck, a new game to teach, or the idea to head into town to buy what was needed to build a kite (which apparently involved a phone call to the police and a kidnapped child report!). Tony and I secretly making trips on Sunday afternoons to Bert’s to buy a Coke. Or going to visit him as such a young child alone on the train to Calgary! Richard, the quiet older brother, and the car trips he would like to take me on when he was home. Dan, the most energetic older brother, outside building a snowman or snow fort with us, or giving me a face wash followed by a toss into the snow bank. Andrew and Lis were, of course, the closer siblings. A big brother to take me to my first movie (I think Star Wars when I was 6), tobogganing and skateboarding down 4th Street. A big sister who I don’t remember playing with more than we fought and argued with each other. I know we did some of both and one was more than the other, but maybe only Dad and Mom can remember which was more? I got to have parents with more experience in parenting, I got a little more of your attention and I maybe got away with more. Summer vacations to Clear Lake to stay at the Idylwylde Cabins. My first and only trip to Holland, also when I was 6. Our first trip to BC in the Boler with Dad, Mom and Lis, who really did not want to be with us. I’ll also go down as the first and only child to get their own dog! I got to work with Dad at the Mental Hospital when he worked a Saturday. I wonder if you got tired of all my “why do you this?” and “why that?” questions? The fun was always in driving all the different trucks that you got to drive for work. When I got a bit older, I sometimes helped or did work for Dad at the Brandon Sun in the evening. And it was always a nice way to start the evening helping Mom with the supper dishes and talking about the day. David
26: I have been thinking about what you taught me. It sounds ludricrous, but did you teach me to be a dentist? Did you introduce me to my wife? To tell you the truth, you did. Life is a series of experiences, and each one makes us bigger, even though it is hard to see this when we are in it. The setbacks and griefs develop character and help us in our marching forward. This Henry Ford quotation describes well my gratitude for your contribution to my life. That I appreciate the little, unexpected experiences which shaped us. Were my trips to the orthodontist by Greyhound to Winnipeg an example of parental irresponsibility? I never thought of it that way. It probably taught me independence, as well as an appreciation for my future occupation. I also remember the trips to Winnipeg with Dad. Not any conversations, but I remember Dad once falling asleep on the way home. One might say it was dangerous, but I remember and appreciate it as me taking care of my Dad. I remember eating lunch at the bus depot restaurant and Dad wiped my face with his handkerchief wetted with spit – only something a father could do. I remember the sex education book and intro talk Mom gave me. I remember Mom confronting me when the igloo carved out in the alley started venting smoke when we thought it was an ideal secretive place to smoke – even though the igloo was clearly visible from the kitchen window. I appreciate Dad quitting smoking. Those who know me likely think I can be too serious. But my seriousness is balanced by the belief that it is good to “accept the impossible, do without the indispensable, bear the intolerable, and be able to smile at everything.” You have instilled me with the belief that to accept life is easier than you think. Dan
54: Christmas and Thanksgiving
57: EARLY MORNING TAXI Early morning darkness In the January snow A favourite song On the radio I'd just taken out this taxi And I'm content to be alone Contemplating life Anticipating the dawn's glow A moving monastery Visiting fares in then out Sometimes I seem to grasp a Truth that will never leave my mouth Richard 2006
58: 80th birthdays
64: While we each had our own private difficulties, we have shared two big crises as a family. The first was Dad’s pancreatic cancer. Dad, your cancer was frightening for us because we thought we could lose the man who never seemed as old as he was. You always outworked yourself in the yard. Never turned down a long walk or bike ride around the city. Were ready to hitch up the Boler for you and Mum to go to Clear Lake for a week away. Then you faltered; your body said stop. That there was a surgeon in Brandon who could save your life was a miracle. We could see that your illness was also frightening for you, and we also know that survival has not been straightforward. It frustrates you that your body is now old when your mind feels the same as always. We know it is your journey that we are witnessing. In the back of our minds, we know you are preparing us for our own illnesses and old age. | Hardships
66: The second crisis was Richard's death, which was a shock to us, even though he was sick for a long time. We seemed to get used to his illness; it was an inseparable part of him. There isn’t a day that goes by when one of us isn’t reminded of him. We know you wrestle with his death, and that you are grateful that he is with God. We are grateful to have been brought closer to one another and to you, Mum and Dad. Lis
71: If you read the Brandon Sun last summer you would have seen a picture of a fully loaded semi truck with the right back wheels in the ditch almost upsetting between the service road and the Chapel and a tow truck is trying to pull it backward onto hard surface. As I was inside the Chapel cleaning and putting literature on Living a Christian Relationship and Trust In Jesus and How To Be Saved there was a knock on the door from a policeman telling me I should get out. It is not save in here he said. He probably meant not safe with an F from harm. Not save with a V as the Christian literature and the Bible say about Saved through faith. One of those cables for pulling could disconnect and could fly at the Chapel he said. I left my work for awhile and went watching outside to be more safe. Not save. There is also a Bible at the Chapel for visitors to use. Another time in 2004 while painting at the Chapel a car with two from Kentucky US stopped by on their way to Alaska. We go there and come here every year they said. They wrote in the guest book and also told me that here are the most friendly and nicest people they meet on their travel. Back home they do go to church they said. It was a good opportunity to share about faith and knowing that it is by grace we are saved and also safe. They took some literature from the Chapel with them. The semi truck got out and went on its way going west on the highway and the car with the friendly couple were going to go north on Highway 10. Expenses at the Chapel $100, Donations $390. And again many visitors and comments. Adriaan Van Berkel
74: PLAYING GAMES
75: AND RELAXING
76: Fariba and I are so grateful that Mom, Dad, and David were able to travel to Iran to attend our wedding. When the idea first surfaced we weren’t sure how realistic it was. Plans were made, but with Dad in the hospital less than a month before the trip it didn’t appear too likely. That in the end it all went so smoothly seems like a minor miracle. I know it was very tough on Dad. The long waits at the airport, the crazy taxi rides, the 10:00 pm dinners, the constant family visiting and sightseeing. But through it all Dad seemed to have a special energy (I think it was all those power naps!), always ready with a friendly “shalom” and an effort to remember very strange sounding names. I especially remember when Mom, David, Fariba, and I went to explore the market, leaving Dad behind sitting on a bench to rest. We were gone a while, and were kind of worried. But when we returned, there we found Dad laughing and smiling and being the center of attention amongst a group of Iranian school girls. It was that Mom & Dad were so interested and engaged in experiencing this new culture that was especially joyful to see. Though there were many new customs (like rubbing sugar over the bride and groom!), Mom had done her research and seemed to know exactly what to expect. This familiarity though never stopped her from always being wide-eyed with excitement and curiosity. Thanks Mom & Dad for helping to make such a special memory for me. Thanks for everything you have done for me throughout my whole life. I know I sometimes didn't make it the easiest for you while I was growing up. But looking back now, I want you to know that I have nothing but admiration, respect, and even a sense of awe for how I was raised and provided for. Andrew
80: When I think about you, Opa and Oma, I think most of your youthful spirit. So many of the memories we share have been playing games: dominoes with Oma, shuffle board with Opa. Staying up late with Opa playing Scrabble long after everyone else has gone to bed. I admire your physical energy and your desire to stay active, riding your bicycle and going for walks. I am always impressed by your willingness to learn new things, how “tech savy” Oma has become and the books you continue to read. You have never let physical distance stop you either, coming to Toronto to get to know your grandchildren and bring the family together, even as it is becoming more difficult for Opa. It reminds me how you have always managed to make it for graduations and other special events. I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to visit Waddinxveen, see the homes where you grew up and get a glimpse of your life before Canada. I try to imagine who you must have been then and how you arrived at where you are today, and I hope I can live life with the same energy I still see in you. Sam
82: I have always felt somewhat special being the only granddaughter. When my brothers and I were younger, I would look forward to every year when my parents would take holidays together, because that meant that you would be coming to Edmonton to stay with us kids. I’m sure my parents were always looking forward to this vacation together, too -- but we would sit down and play what seemed like hours of Dominos with Oma and Opa. You would be so patient with us as we would say, “Again! Again, let’s play again!” I don’t think I have ever played Dominos with anyone else, we always seemed to be ‘saving’ it for Oma and Opa. Then David and I would sit on the couch next to Opa -- one on either side of him, and the others peering from behind the sofa, trying to find the hidden words in Opa’s crossword books before he did. It always blew my mind that Opa seemed to be much faster than all of us kids combined! The rare times we did seem to find a word before Opa, we would excitedly point our fingers at the book making sure he knew where it was also. Even though we lived in different provinces, you always supported me in my life. I cannot recall an important occasion in my life you have not been a part of -- from graduations, public profession of faith, my wedding. And for my brothers as well. The amount of effort, time, and finances this took every time did not go unappreciated. The love you share, and have for the last sixty years, is so evident and shines through in your love for both your children and us grandchildren. I pray that God blesses the two of you with more years of happiness and health together. Congratulations on your Diamond Anniversary, Oma and Opa. Christina
84: With many great memories we have experienced over the years, I would have to say my fondest of them all is when you two would come babysit Landon and I every year while Mom and Dad were in the Bahamas. As bad as it may sound, I would count down the days till Mom and Dad would leave and get the guest room ready for Opa and Oma. When you two would arrive and Mom and Dad had departed for their vacation, I would urge Opa to play me in a game of sjoelbak or foosball. We would play for what seemed to be hours and then run upstairs to Oma’s delicious cooking. I have never been a person to go for walks, but I remember we would go on numerous adventures around the neighborhood to the park and I ended up loving them. I also remember always helping Opa with his crossword puzzles and having him rip me out a page and racing him. Oma tucking me into bed at night meant a lot to me, and I would like to thank you for all the little things done to make every experience a great one. As the years went on and we became older not needing to be babysat anymore, I would miss your guys` annual visit. But I still look forward to your next visit with the whole family. Lucas
88: You bring me and Virgilio to really nice and fancy restaurants whenever you visit us in Ontario – like the Keg. We love it the best when you visit us because you always do stuff with me and Virgilio. You took us to Uncle Tony and Aunt Janet’s farm. You made a yummy gingerbread house. Oma made a big turkey for us for Christmas dinner. We were lucky to celebrate your 80th birthday with you, Oma. Adriaan