You may or may not know, but my dad passed way a couple of weeks ago.
Is it then a time for sorrow, mourning and grieving or should we be happy, rejoice and reflect on the life of a man who had an impact on a lot of people.
I loved my dad and sure he will be missed by all, especially my mum who has been married to him for also 60 years. But he is now where he has wanted to be for a number of years. He believed the bible and often said we are given 3 score years and ten. (In modern terms 70 years) He lived till he was eighty eight so we had him for a bonus of 18 years for which I am thankful. It also means that 9 grandchildren got to meet their Opa. And all 25 of his grandchildren got to know him and now have good memories of him.
So who was my dad, Jan Dirk van’t Wout,
He was born 2 Nov 1925, in Zoetermeer, The Netherlands. The third child and first boy of seven children. His family was poor with very little material possessions, yet had a happy childhood. He left school at the age of 12 and went to work at the local tomato growers in order to help support the family.
He was a teenager during WW2 and joined the Dutch Resistance. After the war he joined the Dutch Army and went to fight in Indonesia. But he told us very little about these experiences. I think there were 2 reasons for that
1. War is horrible and most who experience it talk very little about it.
2. He didn’t want us to know what he had to go through.
After Indonesia he couldn’t settle down in Holland. So imagrated to New Zealand in 1952
Met my mum and were married January 1954.
They had five boys and a girl. I was the second youngest.
He spent 23 years dairy farming and then bought a market garden and did that until he retired. He was always a hard worker.
He taught us how to work by working with us.
He would say if you want pocket money go and earn it.
On the market garden he said there is land there grow what you want there is more land than I can handle. He supplied the land, the seed and fertilizer we had to do the work and got half the profit
I have learnt a lot from him.
But the things that really stand out are:-
- When you start a job you should finish it
- If a jobs worth doing it’s worth doing well.
- Always buy with cash don’t use hire purchase or buy on terms.
- Don’t go into partnership.
- Get a trade then you always have something to fall back on if you try something else.
- He never complained
He was a quiet man except when he was back in Holland. Then he was a different man he would talk to anyone and make jokes and have fun. He was a dutchman even though he sent most of his life here in New Zealand. He flew both the NZ and Dutch flags outside his home.
He did have a sense of humour and enjoyed having a laugh.
I am sure he would have found this story amusing.
The morning he died the undertaker arrived. Three of my brother and four nephew were there. As the undertaker got out of his car the rubbish collection truck picked up our wheely bin and empted it. One of then said “We’re Dutch and cheap but not that cheap”
He is now gone to be with his Lord and Maker and is also reunited with his brothers and sister who have all passed on before him. Not to mention many of his friends.
Yes we will still miss him
But we are happy and joyful that he is where he wants to be.
And I am the person I am today because of my dad. Thank you dad I really appreciate all you did for us.
your son Bob