Dutch Network Newsletter - Edition March 2019
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Netherlands Association "Je Maintiendrai"
March Dutch Network Newsletter
Welcome to the Dutch Network March 2019 Newsletter! 

Well we have a very full newsletter this month, "Save the Date" announcements from the Dutch school De Esdoorn for their Easter Egg Hunt (April 13th) and Family Koningsdag (April 27th). We also have a CAANs announcement for their next lecture (in Dutch) on March 21th. Details below.

Our regular story contributors are back, with a story about community from Francoise van Buytenen entitled "Common People" and with the third installment of her series “Through Orange Coloured Glasses” Laura Davis shares her experiences and insights of the Netherlands with "Adventures in Confusion: A Canadian in Holland". Our featured recipe this month is a tasty treat, "Utrechtse Boterspits". 

Also in this edition: A Dutch 'Koffie Club' in Nanaimo, Pub Night dates, Klaverjas Club dates, NEW Classifieds, and much more.

We start the Newsletter with an important article by Joost Blom about the "Faces to Graves" Project. I want to make special mention of this article and ask that if you have any Canadian friends that may have had family that fought in the Liberation of The Netherlands please pass it along to them, we would like to reach as many people as possible. Thank you and enjoy.

Liberation of The Netherlands 1944-45 – “Faces to Graves” Project
by Joost Blom

The Dutch Liberation 2020 Canadian Society is a group of volunteers that has got together to assist and promote the commemoration in B.C. next year of the 75th anniversary of the Liberation of The Netherlands by Allied forces, a large part of whom were Canadian soldiers, sailors and airmen. As part of its aim to raise awareness of the Liberation, the Society hopes to spread the word about a very worthwhile project in The Netherlands called “Faces to Graves”. It is not specifically related to the 75th anniversary commemoration, but it holds the promise of strengthenng the already powerful bonds that the Liberation created between the people of The Netherlands and Canada.

The project, which goes back to 2014, was the initiative of three members of the Royal Canadian Legion, Dutch Branch 005 – Liberation of The Netherlands. The mission of this branch is to play an active role in ceremonies at Canadian and allied military cemeteries and at ceremonies where fallen soldiers from the Second World War are commemorated. The three members conceived and developed a project to create a virtual memorial to the members of the Canadian Armed Forces who are buried at the Groesbeek Canadian War Cemetery in The Netherlands. There are 2590 names on the headstones and 1029 names of missing soldiers on the Memorial Wall.

The aim is to create an online collection of personal documentation for as many as possible of the fallen who lie in this cemetery. Every one of them, it is hoped, will be recognized by a photo and a story of their life, so they will never be forgotten. To do this, the Faces to Graves Project needs to reach as many as possible of the relatives, in Canada and elsewhere, of the Canadian Forces members who are interred at Groesbeek. We hope that members of the Dutch community here in Vancouver can help to spread awareness of this project by bringing it to the attention of everyone who may be related to a member of the Canadian Forces who died in the battles of the Liberation 75 years ago and is buried in the War Cemetery. They are invited to contribute photos and other personal history to the virtual memorial, and so enhance what we, and later generations, know about their relative and the thousands of other Canadians who lie at Groesbeek.

The Faces to Graves Website, at, tells te story of the project and gives the details of how to contribute to this far-reaching endeavour to assemble the thousands of individual stories behind those who gave their lives for the Liberation of The Netherlands.

The best way to spot real Canadian people is to visit a community center.  I LOVE these centers.  No matter how big, old, modern, well equipped or not, this is the place to find ‘the common people’.  It is busy and bustling.  Since we have three children, I find myself hanging around these centers quite regularly observing guitar, swimming, and art lessons.  I can easily sit down for hours.  I have not signed up for a class or sport myself; I do not need to.  Observing the behaviour of people at community centers is my new hobby.  A bit like bird watching or plane spotting; I never understood people with these strange hobbies, until I discovered the community centers and now I am one of them.

With a coffee and a notebook (paper and pencil, of course, this is not a hipster’s MacBook area) I keep track of the most amazing things people do.  Let me name a few of the most remarkable ones, at least they seem so to me:

  • Tennis with a very short racket or big paddle with an annual ‘King of the Court’ tournament;
  • Dancing behind a chair for seniors, on the upbeat sound of Gloria Gaynor’s ‘I will survive’;
  • Hawaiian dancing in Hawaiian clothes with straw skirt (no coconut bras, though);
  • Quilting, truly sweet to observe these women with their little ‘lapjes’;
  • Choir singing opera music (I must admit, I left quickly after they started);
  • Ukulele, in a soundproof room, obviously;
  • Cribbage: Tell me if you know this game, it’s something with sticks.

I think we could surely add ‘sjoelen’ as an activity and arrange a ‘King of the Sjoelbak’ tournament.
I watch and watch; and do not to judge.  Everyone looks different and still there is a great similarity among them:  no fancy sports clothing or bright colours.  Everyone comes and goes in black, maybe gray, dark blue if they go wild; sports shoes, sweatpants or leggings and a t-shirt.  Still, the variety of people is truly amazing.  The full demographic population of average Vancouver is represented; toddlers with their grandparents, teens on basketball courts and in karate suits and children in bathing suits or skating outfits.  It does not seem to matter where you are from; come as you are is the unwritten rule.  All ethnic groups join all sorts of sports; except maybe for table tennis.  It is just too hard to keep up with the Chinese.  That would be the same for us with our Sjoelbak tournament, I suppose.

But I have one favourite among all visitors by far:  the boy with the blue headphones.  I see him three times a week and I know he is there every day.  Everyone knows him.  He always wears his headphones and dances his particular moves to the music.  He hums along, obviously way too loud and with no specific words, but with all his might.  He is always smiling and full of joy.  Whenever I see him, he just makes my day; my favourite boy with Down syndrome.

This newsletter is sponsored by:
Holland Shopping Centre

Adventures in Confusion: A Canadian in Holland

            # 1   The first place I ever visited in the Netherlands was an Albert Heijn in Groningen. It was late-November and Sinterklaas was in full swing. I knew a few things about it, but the finer details were still lost on me. My friend had collected me from the airport and he was going to make me my first stamppot. The supermarket had big windows in the front with a large shelf containing a single shoe in each cubby hole. My brain began piecing together a story that could explain what this was. It must be a lost and found. Why else would it be so close to the front door? Dutch children must be insanely careless in shops, I thought. I suddenly imagined Dutch children running around with a single shoe on. The “sole” mate discarded in the vegetable aisle; others abandoned in the canned goods. My brain was on fire creating a back story to the status of these shoes until my friend burst my bubble and revealed the true story. I learned a lot about Sinterklaas that night walking through the aisles of the Albert Heijn passing well-shoed children.
            # 2   I remember enjoying a beautiful day in the Netherlands walking down the street. It was nice to walk through quiet streets and not have to worry about a family of bears crossing your path. True story. My eye caught a backpack in a highly (no pun intended) unusual place. At least it was unusual to me. It was resting on a flagpole mounted to the front of the house. That kid has some cruel siblings, I thought. I recalled my own childhood and the pranks I played on my sister. I certainly chucked one or two of her beloved toys on the roof before, but I didn’t get fancy like this. The flagpole was a nice touch. I giggled at the thought and kept walking. Then my eye stumbled on another and then another one. With a firm grip on my backpack and a very confused look on my face, I walked back to meet up with friends. “The backpacks are hung on the flagpoles when students have passed their exams,” I learned. This definitely raised more questions than it answered, but I was relieved to learn this wasn’t part of some hazing ritual.  
            # 3   One of the first TV programs I began watching was Ik Vertrek. I usually watched it in the morning accompanied by a glorious breakfast that even Willem would agree was fit for a king. One morning with my breakfast in tow, I began scanning through the episodes undecided on which one to watch. I finally settled on one: Geen kinderen, Geen honden, Geen kleren. I interpreted each word carefully in my head: no kids, no dogs, no...something. I recognized the last word, but the meaning failed to surface. I figured I understood about two-thirds of it and that was good enough. The show began and suddenly cut to a woman pushing a wheelbarrow wearing nothing but gloves and boots. As I was watching in complete shock, the meaning of kleren hit me like a freight train. (Clothes) The next scene cut to her husband’s feet and I clung to the very last shred of innocence (or maybe it was naïveté) that his “nether regions” would be blacked out. The camera moved and there he was in his…entirety. I learned that the Dutch are very open when it comes to nudity on TV. Conversely, I realised how conservative we are here.
            I must say that the Netherlands has to be one of the most wildly underrated countries in the world. Yes, the tulips are beautiful; the wooden shoes are iconic; the canals are tranquil, but the country is filled with tiny pockets of charm and, at times, hilarity. I refer to the timeless adage of Vernon Law who wrote of experience and how the exams come first, the lessons later. In my travels abroad, especially in Asia, I clung to these words as a guide through rough, murky waters of polarising cultural differences. The phrase remains relevant even in Europe, although the lessons are much easier to grasp often invoking laughter. Without any genetic ties to the land of Orange, this collection of anecdotes has become the narrative in shaping my own story, making them all the more precious.

CAANS (Canadian Association for the Advancement of Netherlandic Studies)

CAANS' next lecture will take place on Thursday, March 21, 2019 at 7:30 pm
Location: 1099 Sitka Square, Vancouver (close to Unit No. 1101 Lamy's Mill Road).  

Erik van der Ven will present a lecture entitled "3 maart 1943, een familietragedie".

England was intent on destroying the V-2 rockets that were launched daily from het Haagse Bos, The Hague, to London. By mistake the bombardment hit the civilian neighbourhood Bezuidenhout instead, with all its tragic consequences. The lecture will be in Dutch and is free. After that a membership is available. 

For more information on CAANS go to  

For further questions contact Annette Dorrepaal, president, at

SAVE THE DATE: Easter Egg Hunt

The Easter Egg Hunt organized by the Dutch school De Esdoorn on Saturday, April 13 from 1 to 2pm in Vancouver.

From 1 to 2pm, Easter crafts and games are organized for the children and their families which will be followed by a traditional Easter Egg hunt.

Costs are $5.00 per child (which includes all materials for games, crafts and chocolate eggs).

Exact location will be announced on our Facebook page:
Sign up by April 5 by emailing name and age of the child(ren) to

SAVE THE DATE: De Esdoorn’s Family Koningsdag

Besides the official Koningsdag celebrations on April 27 by Dutch Network, there is also the Family Koningsdag 2019, organized by De Esdoorn and co-sponsored by the Dutch Network in Vancouver. It will take place on Saturday, April 27 from noon to 2pm. Koningsdagspelen, vrijmarkt, Dutch food, crafts and games will be organized for the children and their families. We had lots of fun last year.

More information will follow soon on our Facebook page:

Utrechtse Botersprits

The soft crumb, the sweet taste, the undeniable flavor of quality butter, sweet sugar and freshly zested lemon peel or vanilla make for an amazing combination. Sometimes spritsen come with an edge of dark chocolate, sometimes they present themselves in all their simple glory.


   2 sticks quality butter, room temperature
   1 1/4 cup sugar
   1/4 teaspoon salt
   1 egg
   1 teaspoon vanilla extract
   2 cups all purpose or cake flour
   2 teaspoons lemon zest (optional)


Cream the butter and the sugar into a pale, fluffy mass. Add the salt, stir once or twice, then add the whole egg and stir it with the paddle or by hand until the egg has been fully incorporated. Now mix in the vanilla extract. Sift the flour and divide it in two halves: add one half at a time to the butter and stir until it's absorbed. At this point you can stir in the lemon zest if you'd like. 
Transfer the soft dough to a piping bag outfitted with a large star tip. Pipe the dough moving left to right on parchment paper, or pipe individual cookies. Just make sure they're approximately the same height and volume, so they can bake at the same time. .
Heat the oven to 350F. Place the parchment paper on a baking sheet and place it in the hot oven. They should turn color in about fifteen minutes, and are ready as soon as the edges start to color golden. If you baked long strips, you can cut these in individual portions (approx 3 or 4 inches) immediately when the cookies come out of the oven. Let them cool while you brew some fresh coffee or tea, and look forward to enjoying the fruits of your labor!
Tip: draw two pencil lines on parchment paper, parallel to each other with a distance of 2 1/2 inches apart. Pipe the cookie dough in between these two lines, as seen in the picture. It will help to maintain similar size. 

Source: The Dutch Table
This newsletter is sponsored by:

Dutch Pub Night

Join us and meet your local Dutch community over a drink and a conversation in Dutch. Our Pub Nights take place twice a month and are a great opportunity to get in touch with other Dutch people in your area. All you have to do for this free event is show up, order your drink, and take a seat with the rest of the group. Everyone is always happy to meet new people.

Our Langley Pub Night takes place every first Wednesday of the month, while our Vancouver Pub Night takes place on the third Wednesday of the month.

Dutch Pub Night – Langley
Every first Wednesday of the month (next Pub Nights are March 6 and April 3, 2019)
Time: 19:30
Location: Jimy Mac's, 19935 96 Ave, Langley (1 minute from Hwy 1, exit 200 Street)

Dutch Pub Night – Vancouver
Every third Wednesday of the month (next Pub Night is March 20, 2019)
Time: 19:30
Location: The New Oxford, 1144 Homer St., Vancouver (Yaletown, 1 minute from Canada Line)

If you have any questions regarding Pub Nights, please contact us at

Sponsor The Dutch Network

Are you interested in sponsoring Dutch Network?
Please send an email to:

Brewery Tours in and around Vancouver

About 2 years ago, Sjoerd set up the very first Dutch Brewery Tour in Vancouver. It became a recurring event every 3 or 4 months. Dutchies (and non-Dutchies) come together to talk and enjoy each other’s company over some beers in new and old breweries. Every event we go from brewery to brewery, all in walking distance from each other, in and around Vancouver. Main street breweries, Olympic Village breweries, Port Moody, there are so many to explore!

Sjoerd moved to Australia last month, and now I’m taking over. Together with Laura and Gilles, I organized a Carnaval Brewery Tour last Saturday. Because I’m from the south of the Netherlands, Carnaval is an important event for me and being able to celebrate this in Canada is amazing!

Dressed up as Pippi Longstocking, a Sunflower and a Tiger who is a PSV fan, we discovered breweries in East Vancouver and Downtown.

The next Brewery Tour will likely be held around May/June so keep an eye out for an invite on Facebook or Meet Up. If you like to drink beer or just hang out with some Dutchies, you’re more than welcome to join us next time!

Eline Naaijkens

Klaverjas Club in North Surrey meets on Wednesday, March 27, 2019.

The Dutch North Surrey Klaverjas Club meets once a month at St. Matthews Roman Catholic Church, 16079-88th Avenue, Surrey, BC, in the Fire Site Room. (Click here for map.) The cost is $5 per person per month, and includes coffee, tea, cookies and snacks.

Join the club on Wednesday, March 27th, from 11:30 am to 4 pm. If you would like to join, contact

  • Thea van Vliet at 604-560-1250 for registration
  • Ann Verbaan at for travel directions; or
  • Gerard Jansen, Card Club Organizer, at 604-930-2762 or
The future club meeting dates are as follow: April 24, May 22, and June 26, 2019.

Travel Directions

For people coming from the Port Man Bridge, do not take exit 152nd Avenue but go to the 160th Street exit. Follow 160th Street to 88th Avenue and turn left; the church is on the left side, 50 meters from the corner. For people coming from Langley or South Surrey, take Fraser Highway until 160th Avenue. Turn north for one block to 88th Avenue, then turn right.

Vancouver Koffie Club meets weekly

The Vancouver Koffie Club meets weekly, every Thursday from 10 am to 12 pm. The address is 1099 Sitka Square (close to Unit #1101 Lamey’s Mill Road) in Vancouver, in the Social Suite. Please telephone Bill or Marion Stroet for further information at 604-738-4391.

A new Dutch 'Koffie' Club in Nanaimo!

A new Dutch coffee club is starting up in Nanaimo. We'll be meeting every first Friday of the month, from 10:30 am to 12 noon, at the Quality Foods coffee shop on Turner Road in Nanaimo.

Wij beginnen een gloednieuwe hollandse koffie club die iedere eerste vrijdag van de maand bijeenkomt. Vrijdagmorgen 1 maart a.s. hebben we onze eerste ontmoeting in de coffee shop van de Turner Road Quality Foods in Nanaimo.

Meeting Place: Quality Foods coffee shop, 5800 Turner Rd
Date: first Friday of the month (March 1st, April 5th, etc)
Time: 10:30 am to 12:00 noon
Contact: Laura at 250-755-1133 or

We hopen van harte veel nieuwe mensen te ontmoeten voor een bakje koffie en een babbeltje.


Newsletter and Facebook Volunteers Wanted!

We are looking for volunteers to help with maintaining our social media platforms and the newsletter. Do you like to read Dutch news? Why not post it on our Facebook page and keep your fellow Dutchies up to date?

Send us an email if you are interested in joining the Dutch Network Board. We are looking for Board members who are interested in taking a lead in organizing Dutch events and/or just participating on the Board with your thoughts and ideas to promote Dutch culture in Vancouver.

Contact Adriana Zylmans, president at 604-816-3243 or email or


Koningsdag is only 2 months away and organizing this incredibly popular event has already started. Tickets were sold out within 2 weeks last year. We know this is our signature event within our community.
We listened to your feedback over the last two years and we hope to improve the event to make it even better. We would like to involve entertainers from within our community or via friends or family. If you are part of a small band or quartet, play music, are a DJ, a clown, a magician, have a photo booth or anything that can bring some entertainment value to our event, please contact us. Due to our small and limited budget, your involvement will have to be on a volunteer basis.
We would love to make this event more lively, entertaining and interactive. Please contact us at

Seeking Volunteer Communications Director
Dutch Liberation 2020 Canadian Society

The Dutch Liberation 2020 Canadian Society is an association organizing events to honour and remember the 1945 liberation of The Netherlands by the Canadians in 2020. To create awareness of all the upcoming events, the association is in need of a volunteer with a strong communications background. This person knows how to build a good communications campaign and already has established contacts with media outlets across Canada, especially British Columbia. As Communications Director, you will send out media releases, setup interviews, oversee a social media strategy, assist in developing marketing communications materials and try to setup segments with TV and radio stations. You do not have to be Dutch to fulfill this role or to be part of this society! Any and all help is very much appreciated.
Please contact us at until the Society’s new website is up and running. Thank you in advance.

Large collection of Dutch books and Dutch LPs in Nanaimo. Free, except where noted. Call Laura Kristiansen at 250-755-1133.

  • Grote Winkler Prins encyclopedie (20 delen) 1975 editie - $25
  • Het Koninkrijk der Nederlanden in de tweede wereldoorlog -  eerste 7 delen, gaan t/m Mei 1944 - $25
  • Kleine Winkler Prins encyclopedie (3 delen)
  • Woordenboeken (E-N, N-E; F-N, N-F; Nederlandse Van Dale)
  • 27 Agatha Christies - $25
Verder een varieteit van:
  • leerboeken over klassieke muziek
  • Humor
  • Griezelverhalen
  • Science fiction omnibus
  • Meisjesboeken
  • Sprookjes
  • Jules Verne omnibus
  • 3 Fons Janssen dubbel-LPs
  • Toon Hermans
  • Cornelis Vreeswijk
  • Mastreechter Staar
  • Herman van Veen
PLACE A CLASSIFIED!  If you would like to sell your Dutch books, find a lost relative or promote your AirBnB to the Dutch community, our newsletter is a strong vehicle to get the word out. This is for you, by you! Cost is $10 per ad per month, which goes directly into supporting the events we organize for the Dutch community. We do not accept Commercial businesses.

To place an ad, email us at

Visit our website for the latest updates on news and events

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