Thursday, May 7, 2020

Kees' father Jan Schipper's birthday.

Dear Kees,
I have a genealogical calendar that shows family events that have occured through the years on this date. Today it mentioned that it was the anniversary of your father, Jan Schipper's birthday, 7 May 1900. He was born in Texel, Noord Holland, The Netherlands. He was the first child of his parents Gerri and Marijtje (Platvoet) Schipper. Seven other children followed.
Birth Registration for Jan Schipper
Texel (pronounced Tessel) is an island off the coast of the Netherlands know for its dumes and bird life. It is well known for the Dunes of Texel National park filled with beaches, grass topped dunes and trails through the forest. It must have been a beautiful, if sparsely populated place to live.
Map of Texel just off the coast at Den Helder
One of the buildings that your father knew still exists, the Texel Lighthouse at the end of the dunes.
19th Century Texel Lighthouse VVV
You can't imagine how we are living these days with most of us under stay at home orders. Because many are having difficulty adjusting to these times, there have been several posts about what challenging lives those who were born in the early 20th century lived. They were young teenagers when World War I began. Considering the times most would have left school and begun their trades. Though Netherlands maintained its neutrality during the war, the population was not un affected. The Royal Netherlands Army was mobilized throughout the war and the Dutch provided housing for refugees, captured soldiers. The government also restricted the free movement of the Dutch people.

Of course, the War was followed by the depression and then the Second World War. Your father lived through very difficult times. I remember you telling be that you thought the deprivations he experienced during World War II had just worn out his body. He died, much too young, on 25 Jun 1951.

Today we salute his memory!

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