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Past and present January 2022

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How it all started. Early in 1978 when we were living in Hoxton Park our friend Frans Klaassen visited us. He was very excited about the fact that a group of friends were starting a new Dutch club.
Q; New? What’s wrong with the existing one ‘Wilhelmina’?
A; It was the fact that there were poker machines installed and a group of members was totally against gambling.
Q; So, if this new club you are starting does something you don’t agree with, will you be starting another club again??
A; No, no, no, it is the gambling we are against. It will be in the constitution of the new club that this is not ever allowed to happen.
We, Jan and I were thinking hard about this answer and left it up to the original group to start the Rembrandt Dutch Club how they wanted it. We did however become members.
The Foundation members were; K & J Dooms, N & B Boersma, J & A Geluk, J & W Grabijn, W Holmes, F Klaassen, H & A Klijmij, G Langenberg, A & L Maasland, P & B Maasland, W & I Matzer, W & I Matzer jnr, L Pennings and G van Bergen.
While writing this I also like to reminisce about the Wilhelmina Club. We migrated in 1971 which was well after the Wilhelmina Club settled in Auburn. It was a ‘gezellige’ club. That is where I met Beppie Boersma during one visit, when we managed to get a baby sitter, and Jan and my Dad, who was here on holidays played billiards. Beppie showed me the card game Solitaire. We became friends with many club goers. One day there was a family night with a singing contest. The Sunrise Choir was also involved. Our 5 year old daughter sang; De Speeltuin. She won a club-souvenir spoon.
Then one day the Wilhelmina Club moved to Rooty Hill, to the old Rooty Hill RSL Club building. Jan helped with the move. (Years later a young man visiting the Rembrandt Club recognised Jan and said: I remember you helped my Opa with moving Wilhelmina. That was a grandson of Koos(je) Dooms.) We visited Wilhelmina in Rooty Hill a few times. The board tried to improve the club, but the noise of the poker machines overruled. We went to our very first Sinterklaas party with friends and children. Sinterklaas arrived by train and his horse was waiting for him. Everyone walked from Rooty Hill station to the club. There were people dressed in Dutch Folkloric outfits. It was all very exciting, especially for the little people. And now we are back to where we started. Decisions were made. Rembrandt was born. The first couple of years the club was at Lee Holm Drive on the other side of Dunheved Industrial Park. The Pennings Brothers rented us (Rembrandt) a unit to help out. The inside of the unit was dressed up with huge paintings of Dutch sceneries, framed and covered with curtains. It was like looking out into the Dutch streets and fields of flowers. The coffee was free for visitors and there was almost always a person playing the piano. This was an excellent meeting place.


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