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New Guinea veteran to host Dutch war veteransí reunion

Venue change after two decades

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

ABBOTSFORD, BC- All veterans of the various Dutch military campaigns or actions are invited to attend an annual reunion which has been organized at the Van der Kooi farm near Abbotsford, BC, on Saturday, August 20.

Originally launched as a reunion for Dutch Marine Corps veterans, the event was later broadened to include all other Dutch veterans' groups, including VOMI (veterans of the Dutch Indies actions), Wapenbroeders and survivors of the Dutch resistance during World War II. The reunion has attracted new participants nearly every year.

The first reunion of the Marines was held in 1986. For over 20 years, they gathered at the property of fellow former Marine Jan Schouten who recently died at the age of 82. Reunion organizer Dolf de Vries and a group of veterans attended Schoutenís funeral early May. He said they will miss Schoutenís generosity, hospitality and support.

New host Hank van der Kooi served with the Dutch Army in the then threatened colony of New Guinea in the early 1960s. His farm venue is able to accommodate both rain or shine weather situations, is easily reached, and has a spacious yard.

Organizer Dolf de Vries promises that coffee will be ready at 10:00am, with Chinese food for noon and good camaraderie on Saturday, August 20. He kindly requests timely registration (please before August 13) and can be reached by phone at 604.869.2855 or by e-mail at burink(at)telus(dot)net. Van der Kooiís address is 35222 S Parellel Rd, Abbotsford.