Page 49 - Farmer John Eyking: The Holland Years
ISSUE : Issue 50
Published by Ronald Caplan on 1989/1/1
went was to get away from it. I never really had a steady girl friend. I was not committed, you know. (You didn't feel com? mitted to Holland.) No. I had no use for it. Then. There was another thing was happening. Our boys who fought in Indonesia--first the Japs, and then to hold onto the colony. There was about over a hundred thousand of them. A lot of them came back in Holland. It was just like the Viet Nam deal, you know what I mean? All these poor guys in Viet Nam that fought a stupid war, and no? body really appreciated them for it. The Dutch people went through the same thing. We sent over 150,000--it was all our youth. I was not quite old enough. And everybody thought, "Oh, the colony's ours. That uprising is only a bunch of no- goods." You know what I mean. "Because the Dutch know what to do with these people." I mean, the brain was like that. I thought like that myself. Afterwards, I said, "Hey, you're only an imperialist or colo? nialist, or whatever you want to say." So these boys came back--there was never any hooray, no nothing, no flags out. But anyway, a lot of these guys were also ready to go, so there was already a lot of people talking about going, and getting fed up with their country. A lot of them went somewhere else. (Is it that you wanted to leave because you, too, felt Holland was narrow-minded?) Well, it's easy to say what I felt, but I don't really know what I felt. It was a combination of things. Easy to say it was like this.... I'd get away from my par? ents. I thought there was no opportunity for me where I'm around my parents, 'cause I had to fit in. And the other thing was adventure. I think adventure was more than anything. "Oh, wouldn't it be nice to get away from this, and see other places, do ?? what you like?" And when you come here, you think you'll do what you like, but you're still molded by your upbringing, do you know? You come up here, all right--oh, you'll start whor? ing around--no, sir. You still go to church, you still do.... You say", "Ah," now I'm going to live it Up!" (But) you do the same thing as you (did) at home. Because down in your heart you know that's the right way, whatever you think is the right way.... (Do you think the fact that Canada liber? ated Holland had anything to do with your choice of coming here?) Aw, indeed, yeah. I mean, we were so close to Canada.... (How did you get to this country--on a plane, on a boat?) Okay, now I was ready to go. You're on the list. You go to The Hague. I didn't have two clues about Cana? da. I read about it, and I wanted to go in the bulb business. So here was Canada, and there was a coastline here and a coastline there. And I knew bulbs grow on the coast? line very well. I should have been smart enough to study exactly what was growing on the coastline. So I said, "I'd like to go to Vancouver Island." Average degrees, January--5 above. The average degree in Nova Scotia is 5 below, Celsius. Five above, there. Anyway, to make the story short, there was unemployment, and there were strikes going on in 1953, believe it or not, in B. C. So the Canadian ambassador--not himself--I guess one of his.... He said, "No, sir. Cape Breton GIANT by James D. Gillis With Photographs, and a "Memoir of GiUis" by Thomas H. RaddaU This Cape Breton Classic is now bacit in print as a quality paperbacic booit $5.95 from local boolcstores, or direct from the publisher: Cape Breton's MAGAZINE Wreck Cove, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia BOC 1H0 Cape Breton's Original English Recipe! And We're Open in Halifax, Tool 539-8188 76 Townsend St. Sydney 794-3555 Next to North Sydney Mall North Sydney 420-0477 6186 Quinpooi Road Halifax 562-6745 849-5150 863-2866 "The Oasis" Senator's Corner Antigonish IVIall Sydney Shopping Centre Glace Bay Antigonish ~ HOME STYLE PROCESS ~ The Fish and Chips Specialists
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