Early years (1954 to 1957)

This page covers the period from my birth until we emigrated to South Africa.
After completing his studies my father worked at the Shell oil refinery on the Dutch Island of Curacao. On a trip to the Netherlands he met my mother in the town of Woerden. After they married they went back to Curacao. He was a keen philatelist a hobby which I later took over Here is a First Day Cover commemorating the Dutch queen, Juliana's 50th birthday sent to my father in 1948. Philately is more than mere stamp collecting and I have gained invaluable knowledge in many fields including geography, history, politics and environmental.
I was born on the 27th June 1954 around noon in the city of Willemstad. The nurses were at lunch but as I couldn't wait to start this wonderful life I showed little consideration for the staff and arrived safely. For the skeptics here is documentary proof that I am not merely a figment of your imagination.
I was the second child to my eldest sister, Corien. My father was working as a chemical engineer at the Shell refinery which today faces a dilemma.
My first day at home with my mother who has always taken good care of me. She said that I was a fast learner and so after watching my father soon understanding and was potty trained at under 18 months.
 
When I was only 2 years old the family moved back to the Netherlands crossing the Atlantic in a small banana boat. the 'Arawak' We had a rough crossing and me in my cot sliding from one side of the cabin to the other with my father desperately trying to hold on while my mother held my sister, Corien. We arrived in the Netherlands at Rotterdam and settled in Nijmegen where we lived in the Atjen street.

 

One of the first things my parents did was to travel to their home town of Woerden to have me baptizes an set me off on my journey with God.

 

I was brought up in a very special family environment and my father would take time out of his busy schedule to spend time with us. Here my father is reading the newspaper to Corien and I and so stimulating an interest in current affairs.
Wasn't I too cute on a visit to my Grandparents in Woerden.
Like any young boy I was keen to explore and try out new things. My first scar was when I fell down a flight of stairs. To this day a small scar between my lip and nose serves as a reminder to the first time I pushed my limits and by no means the last.

Onto the next period in my life: