(left) Imme Henrikus BOELSMA
at the age of 17,|
in 1897 - just over a century ago.
He was born in Balk in the province of Friesland, and became a teacher and principal of a teacher's college.
He taught English, even though from 1900 on he hated England with a passion because of their barbarian treatment of the "Afrikaander" women and children during the Anglo-Boer war.
He was almost seven foot tall and married my grandmother, - one of his students - who was less than 5 foot in size... They had two (average size) children, my mother: Catharina Geertruida ("Truus") and her younger brother, Fekko Johannes ("Joop").
After his retirement around 1935, they travelled a lot through Europe, making cruises on the Rhine and along the coast of Norway. Of course, these activities stopped during the Second World War (1939-1945) at which time they lived in Amstelveen. He died on March 7, 1947 in Amstelveen, and my grandmother in 1956.
|She was born on May 21, 1911 and went to her father's teacher's college
where she met my father around 1926.
[ ( left : ) Truus in 1929 , a n d ( right : ) Truus in 1930. ]
They both taught elementary school in the early 1930's, during the "Great Depression", got married in 1932 when I was born, followed in 1936 by my sister Carla. As was customary, she stopped working to take care of us and the household - a tough job, especially in the Second World War.
She was very smart, attractive and self-disciplined.
It was only after 1950 that she and my father traveled abroad, bought a car, washing machine and refrigerator. She became rather disillusioned by Holland's 'Welfare System', but they did finally enjoy their hard-earned financial independence in the 1970's. She died unexpectedly in 1981.
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