Marian Amelotte (van Santen), Ontario, Canada
|I was born in Nijmegen in 1946. I have three brothers and we all live in Canada. We immigrated in 1957 on the Groote Beer. I visit Holland quite often and the best trip I had was when my brothers and I all went back to Holland together in October of 1995. We had no spouses with us and it was just like going through memory lane. We loved it. My father was a schipper on his own boat and travelled all the canals. My two older brothers lived on it with my mother until the boat was taken in the war by the Germans. I was in Holland with my daughter in May but we had a bad experience while we were there. We were in Groningen and was going to Nijmegen and she got really sick. So while we were in Nijmegen we stayed at the Mercure hotel and we didn't even leave our room because she could not sit up. We finally got a doctor and got some medication in her. She got a intestinal viral infection. She is O.K. now and we were able to fly home. I love going back to Holland and really miss it sometimes. I get homesick thinking about it. I still have a aunt who lives in Dukenburg and some cousins.
When we lived in Holland we lived on 33 Bosbess straat. We were the first family to move in that neighborhood. The buildings were all new right after the war. I don't remember the name of the school but it was a all girls catholic school. It was quite an experience going to Canada. My husband and I would have liked to live in Holland for a few years but we started our own business and bought our house and we didn't want to start over again. I also tried to get dual citizenship for our kids but that could not be done. Since I am a female and not a male. My youngest brother got it for his kids. My kids have been to Nijmegen and just love it. When I go back with any of my brothers we always end up at the Waal. We can watch the ships for ever. We took all kinds of videos of the ships. My grandfather was born where the flee market is held. In behind the church. I don't know the name of that little street but you go under the arch way and turn right. My family was Rits on my mothers side and I was van Santen on my fathers. I find that the city has really changed a lot. We used to go swimming at the Goffert. I get lost in Nijmegen but it is getting better. I always walk past the house where we use to live. My one aunt lived on Papaverstraat. We lived on that corner and Bosbess Straat. We lived down stairs and there were two families living up stairs. One of my brothers and I went to the vier daagse. I go back sometimes twice a year but since I don't have much family there anymore I won't be going back as much. My grandfather was the engineer of the train. They had his picture in the paper a few years back in black and white. I never saw it but I wish I did because I heard about it. His name is Johannes Cornelis Rits. (Kees) I think that this picture was put in the paper in the early nineties. He passed way in 1955. If you ever come across this picture I wish that you could e-mail it to me, or how could I find out how to get the picture. I think that the picture was in the Gelderlander. Well I think that you have heard enough about my rattling on and I love Nijmegen accept maybe going to the Casino where I always donate money and never get any in return, but then the same happens in Canada. We all live in Ontario right across from the United States. We live on the St. Lawrence River in the Thousand Islands. It is beautiful here, but a little cold right now. Yesterday was -18 c and we have some snow. But we know how to dress for it. I told my cousins to come to Canada in the winter but they are all chicken. They say too cold. Thank you for listening to my story.
Marian Amelotte (van Santen)