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Photograph only connection to 1951 Volendam sailing

Immigration story has blanks

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

LANGLEY, British Columbia Enid, the oldest daughter of Willem and Willemijntje (Valkhof) Van Nes, remembers nothing of her family's July 1951 Volendam journey to Canada, but hopes to remove a few question marks from her family's photo album.

From a few scraps of information she was able to verify that her parents, along with their two children, two-year old Enid and her baby-brother Henk, came to Canada aboard the troop carrier Volendam, which made its final cross-Atlantic journey a few months later.

Among the remaining evidence of the Van Nes-Volendam connection is a snapshot made aboard the 1920s, picturing her parents together with acquaintances they may have met aboard the ship but who until now are nameless figures in the sparingly documented history of the Van Nes immigration.

Not much of the Van Nes emigration story was put on paper. Reviewing the pre-emigration circumstances Enid readily understands why her parents, with their growing family, would have pulled up their Rijsoord stakes. A policeman with farming ambitions, her Dad saw no future in the Netherlands, a country at that time still plagued by a severe housing crisis, attributed to the aftereffects of World War II and a stifling bureaucracy. They had little hope of finding accommodation of their own and simply opted to leave, giving his parents and their three teenage siblings more room to breathe.

Since her parents have already passed away, Enid is eager to fill in a few blanks and find out the names of the other people in the picture, perhaps along with a few stories of the July 1951 Volendam sailing to Canada. Any information and comments may be send, marked Van Nes, to Windmill"at" or by calling 1-800-881-0705.