Friday, April 5, 2013

Double Dutch

I was born in the Netherlands in a small Noord Holland village in the dunes along the North Sea. Shortly after World War II we emigrated to the Union of South Africa, where we lived for twelve years, remaining as Dutch citizens, and later returning to the Netherlands. I emigrated to Canada in 1965 with my Dutch passport in hand to start a new life. Fifteen years later I was expecting my first daughter, Amy and I wanted to add her onto my Dutch passport. Since her father was Canadian, I was unable to do this, so I decide to become a Canadian myself. We still had to get Amy a Canadian passport and I had the application ready for the delivering Doctor to sign. Upon leaving the hospital we had a passport photo taken, a small smile was allowed, and the documents were sent away. Two weeks later Amy was on her first trip to Holland with her Canadian passport. 

Since then the Dutch have become a bit more lenient. If Amy could prove that I had a Dutch passport when she was born, she could apply for dual citizenship. I supplied the documents, Amy did the work and she eventually received her dual citizenship. Amy and her husband, Bram, who is a Dutch citizen, were expecting their first daughter, Annelies and Amy began the passport application process while she was pregnant. Shortly after her birth, Annelies became the proud owner of two passports; Canadian and Dutch.

I now have a daughter and granddaughter with Dutch citizenship, but the Netherlands would not allow me to regain my Dutch citizenship. This is a bit bizarre, as I can trace my family trees back to the mid 1700's with roots in Rotterdam, Amsterdam and Edam. That is three Dams, including a Dutch cheese, how much more Dam Dutch can one get?

Recently, the Netherlands announced that for a limited time only, they will allow those who have surrendered their Dutch citizenship to re-apply. I had to dig up documents almost as far back as the reign of William of Orange, and with Amy's help, I send in the application nine months ago. So the question is will I swear my allegiances to Queen Beatrix or to King Willem-Alexander? Only time will tell.


  1. Just to let you know that I'm enjoying your blog...interesting little snippets and nice photography. Wouldn't want you to think nobody was reading it! As a fellow Vancouverite and Hunter 49 owner, I have also followed Michael's blog and am sorry to hear about the sale of Sequitur but definitely understand the allure of calmer waters and...civilization :)

    1. Pat, Thank you for your kind comment and for following my blog. Saying good-bye to Sequitur didn't go without tears. Michael is close to publishing our book Sequitur - to Cape Horn in Comfort and Style. It is a man-style book with diagrams, tools and grease. Although I was very much part of the journey and the storms, the navigation and technical parts were handled by Michael. There is certainly a woman's story in it and my experiences will be woven through this blog. Cheers Edi