A double Dutch reunion
IT’S taken 50 years but Tabulam’s Chris Visser feels like he’s finally being recognised by his old government.
Mr Visser is a former soldier with the Dutch Army and served in Indonesia from 1946 to 1950.
However, after the Netherlands recognised Indonesian independence in 1949 following an armed and political struggle, Mr Visser said the soldiers that served in the troubled country were never recognised.
He said the Dutch soldiers who were in Indonesia were treated like the returned Australian soldiers from Vietnam.
“It’s taken them more than 50 years to recognise us,” Mr Visser said.
“I was there for three-and-a-half years.”
Tonight, Dutch soldiers who resettled in Australia will hold a reunion at the Netherlands Consulate in Brisbane after being invited by attaché Kasper Kuiper.
Mr Visser settled in Australia after leaving Indonesia and lived in Tenterfield, moved to Queensland, then back to Tabulam to be closer to family.
He said this region has a colourful Dutch history with servicemen stationed in Casino, Lismore and Evans Head during World War II.