My earliest memories are dad’s stories of the Dutch resistance during the Second World War. In 1956, my family came from the Netherlands to Canada, settling on what was then called Lulu Island. Our first home was in a rented house on Cambie Road just West of No. 5 Road.
In the early 1960s, my late brother Roger was riding an elevator in downtown Vancouver. Some older elevators did not yet have automatic doors. Such elevators required an attendant to ride inside the elevator to open the doors manually.
In this case the elevator attendant looked very intently at Roger, so much so, it made him feel uneasy.
Later on the ride down, the attendant asked, “Are you from the Netherlands?”
And then the next question, “Are you from Nieuw Loosdrecht?” This was almost spooky, how did this stranger know our little Dutch village?
The war veteran said, “I know your father, I see him in you. I was shot down during the war and came down by parachute. Your dad, together with others, got to me before the Germans did. For three days and nights your dad and I were together on a small boat out-running the Germans on the lakes, canals and marshes surrounding your village. Your dad and his friends may well have saved my life. I am sorry he has died.”
Dad had died three month before. It was long ago, but I do wonder if anyone might have more particulars.