all images and stories are the property of Catherine Beerda-Basso and are not to be used without given permission...thank you

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Where we come from...

This is my mom
She is 73 and very  active.
She is a wonderful mom.
She is kind, giving and very very patient.
Today she sent out an email that I really wanted to share.

 it was 60 years ago : Jan.22  that Dad & Mom , myself, (Anna) Clarence (Klaas )  & Jack (Auke ) left Holland , from Rotterdam, boarding the Zuiderkruis. The voyage took 8 days ,and we were well looked after.  We arrived in Halifax on Jan.30th.  Boarded the train , destination Houston , B.C. the train trip was a challenge for Dad & Mom sometime,small quarters with two active boys,  arrived in Houston on Feb.5th. met by Mom's brother Oom Adriaan & his wife Tante Annie ,and several cousins , Auke, Fimke ,Wynand & Frits. Right away had the taste of moose meat at supper time.
We reported for school the next day ,but were promptly sent home , because King George had died .We moved into a one room cabin behind Oom Adriaan's house ,home made bunk beds,( all unplaned lumber ) a airtight heater in the middle of the room.Our stay in Houston was not long as there was no work for Dad ,he went to Smithers and got work there on the Planermill. With our few belongings we went to Smithers and moved into a home behind the planermill,it was called the 12 acre place, for us it always remained the 12 acre place . We lived in the back of the house , 2 bedrooms, pantry (a luxery ) living,dining & kitchen all in one , a small back porch.and of course the outhouse.We had the pump in the kitchen ,   we had to share this with the couple that lived in the front part of the house with two little boys ,they were Piet & Annie van Egdom & Janneman & Peter. Piet was a mechanic at O'neills Chevrolet.  When the pump was frozen, snow was melted,and it took a long time to get a pail full of water,or we went to the creek ,made a hole in the ice, and pulled the pails of water up the hill on a sled.  The house had a wood/cook stove .The three of us also had to get the firewood from the planermill, but at least there was no shortage of firewood ! We went to Muheim Memorial School  in Smithers. The snow did not leave us untill around Mothers Day.
 Our belongings arrived finally when we were 12 weeks in Canada. That was a great day ! To see things that we called our own. This was the year 1952 , when Louis St.Laurent was our Prime minister, W.A.C.Bennett ('till 1972 )was premier of B.C., we had never heard of the Chinese New Year, or the Robbie Burns day. I could go on , but just did not want this day go by unnoticed .This is just a little history about our first 3 months in Canada,I could have been a lot more elaborate , but I do know that Clarence & Jack enjoyed the snow, and I enjoyed the two little Van Egdom boys.Their mother died in child birth / Cancer in 1956 . The Adema's & the Hamhuis' became friends of Dad & Mom right away.These early immigrant days were not easy for our parents and we have to be thankfull to our Heavenly Father,for supplying us with all our needs in those years.
 Hope you all have a good day , Love Ann

(this picture was taken this past summer. It is my mom with one of my brothers and her brother Jack)

This email really touched me.
A lot of times those who have gone through war or immigration do not often often talk about those times. 
Over the last number of years my mom has revealed to me more and more about some of the things she experienced as a child.
Like her mom having a baby but then  few days later the baby was gone, yet no one told my mom what had happened...(the baby had died)
Or when her and my Granny had to go into hiding when Germany was occupying Holland. My Grandfather had escaped from a work camp and there was concern for my mom and Granny's safety if the German army came to  look for him at home.
My mom and Gran went to the country and lived in a barn, with other families. My Granny earned their kept by being and seamstress for the farmers wife.
(Both my Granny and Mom are gifted seamstress')

(my mom, this past summer, with some of her grandchildren...3 boys and 1 girl is missing)

Amazing stories.
I came into my mom's life when I was 3 weeks old. 
I was to be their fourth and last child,
three of whom were adopted.
And even though I am not flesh of her flesh
blood of her blood
Her stories mean more to me than words can say.
For they are my stories too.
Her life has influenced mine
and I am grateful.

Thank you mom
I am so proud to be your daughter.

Love and Light

(upon doing this post I realize I do not have any recent pictures of my mom and me...I will have to remedy that!)


  1. Halifax! I've just finished reading "The Birth House" which is set in Nova Scotia and talks about the Halifax explosion.
    What a gorgeous post - your Mothers story is wonderful and a must keep xxx

  2. I loved this. I love stories and history. What a beautiful post for your mom. I wish my father would share more stories too ( my mama shares freely). Maybe one day, I'll have a sit down and just ask him to share more of his early life before he came to Canada... and Halifax?? it's my city the good and the bad of it and so neat to see the name written here! xoxo

  3. Both stories (yours and your mom's) are very beautiful. Thanks for sharing them.

  4. What a wonderful post in remembering and being grateful for our past and heritage. It's a priceless treasure.
    Yes! You must remedy the picture:)

  5. Oh wow - amazing story Cat. Beautiful!!!

  6. Love this post. Such a special bond in the sharing of history


Your voice is welcome here, your connection appreciated. Love and Light