Geert Greven

Sylvia Jordt, Delta, Canada

I was born in Groesbeek in 1954, that was where my father(Jan Eykhout) lived, but my mom(Cecilia Plamont)I came from Nymegen, She came from a family of 11, and they lived in the nierstraat 52, where one of my aunts still lives today. 

My whole childhood was mostly spent in Nymegen because Groesbeek at that time was a pretty small town. Mondays we would go to the Markt and my mom would buy fish all packed in Newspaper and she would put it on the back of her motorbike and I would sit on top. Nice warm way to ride. There were Weddings and Anniversaries and all sorts of way in which we came together. Those are my fondest memories. My oldest Uncle Franz had 11 Kids and all the others had 5 or 6, so there were always many many cousins to play with. I have an aunt and uncle who live in the Van TíStraat, they have lived in the same house for over 50 years and going back there to visit is like being a kid again. It is the same and very comforting
They lived on the route for the fierdaagse and every year as a kid we would have a front row seat and we would run and give gladiolas to the walkers we knew and there were always quite a few of them. I went to Hallo, it was a club run by the zusters of Hallo and my aunt worked with them. Itís where I learned to embroider and chrochet. And everytime you attended you were given a small star in a little booklet and once a year there would be a fair and you would use these little stars to buy things with. It was like a bazaar with donated items. But to this day I still have the dolls I got there , the books 
and other toys, they came with me to Canada and I have them still. I Loved the Kermis and the easter festivities. We went to the Efteling, and shopping at V&D and the Hema, There used to be a store named the Byenkorf, and they had the greatest toys and dolls, I could spend the whole day there, I remember one time my Mom got me a doll for my birthday but she was trying not to let me see so my Aunt was keeping me busy, but I thought I saw anyway, well somehow my mom gave the dollbox to my aunt who hightailed it home ahead of us and when I ran into the house to see this doll all I found was a box full of apples, I had to wait till my birthday to get the doll. And going to the automats and getting chips and those bosche bollen, I loved those things and you just cannot get anything quite like them here, you can get tompoesjes but not bosche bollen, when my cousin came to visit she actually brought me 4 of them all carefully wrapped in ice packs, and those nasiballen, even my husband fell in love with those. 

My father worked at the Swift and every year at St Nicholas day, they would have this great party with swarte piet and Sinta Klaas and weíd all get gifts. 

My parents emigrated to Canada in 1963, I was 8 years old. My father had a sister who had come here as a warbride and another sister & brother who had followed her and they convinced my dad that Canada was the place to be. My mom & dad worked hard for what they had, they did well and enjoyed their life,, but you have to admit , here is a way different lifestyle and I donít honestly know if it was the best thing for them to do, My relatives in Holland have done pretty well, some more than others, but that is everywhere. I have lived here most of my life but coming here at 8 years old I grew up fast, I learned the language much faster than my parents so I became their help in so many ways. 
My father never went back to Holland once he came here, but my mom did and I have as well. There are none of my dadís relatives left here except one cousin but in Holland I still have aunts & uncles & so many cousins, and those cousins kids and even some of those kids have kids. I am getting old. But I love going back to visit, Out of the 11 in my moms family there are 3 left all in their 80ís but they are the greatest people and seeing them makes my heart full.

We live in Delta, which is about 25 miles out of Vancouver, I work at Vancouver City Hall and will be retiring in 2 years. My husband is a graphic design technician who really actually likes his work, We have a good life here, and I have my mom & dad to thank because they took such a scary step as moving here. They are both gone now too my dad in 86 and my mom in 99. I was last in Holland in 2001 for my aunt & uncles 50th anniversary and it was a wonderfull celebration, where everyone dressed up and they put on little skits and had people that they hadnít seen in years as a surprise, and I was the biggest surprise of all, because they didnít know I was coming. It was wonderful. 

I plan on going again next year and in my retirement I plan on going back more often. There are just so many memories there, I love your website, I check it out all the time and when I get my moms pictures sorted out I will forward you some for she had many old pictures of Nymegen. Thanks 

Sylvia Jordt. 

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