International Women's Contact The Hague

Memories 1

 

 

IWC 40th,
Ruby Jubilee Year

 

 

Dear Members,

 

It is our great pleasure to welcome you all to the new IWC year. We will start celebrating our 40th, Ruby Jubilee year this October.

We expect it to be a wonderful year, full of events, activities and lasting memories.

The IWC represents and emphasizes the togetherness and friendship that so many women have experienced during the past 40 years.

Nine stories of memories, written by different members with different nationalities, will be published in our IWC Monthly News throughout the coming year, beginning with this October issue. All the memory stories and accounts of all the celebratory events will be published in a special Jubilee edition of the Monthly newsletter at the end of the year.

Regien and Emmy

 

MEMORIES 1

Having been a member of the IWC for the past forty-four years has given me tremendous joy. The great diversity of women with so many different nationalities, has enriched my life and broadened my horizons. I feel very privileged to be a part of this organization.

The monthly meetings, the social hour, the excursions, the coffee mornings along with so many other activities, have given us the opportunity to meet each other, to work together for the IWC and to take care of each other. Long-lasting friendships, so important to our well-being.

Before the IWC started up in The Hague, I joined the IWC in Amsterdam. I was introduced by two Swiss women who, like myself, took a painting class in the van Gogh Museum. After a couple of years, I moved from Amsterdam to The Hague as did my friend Sarah Voorhoeve who asked me to help establish the IWC in The Hague.

The idea originally came from Henriette de Lange. In 1978, I sat at a small table with a cash box at the “Sociëteit de Witte” to welcome the women with an invitation. The cost was 1 guilder and
50 cents for coffee and use of the coat check. The morning was a great success and the IWC The Hague was born.

Sarah Voorhoeve, Henriette de Lange and Hanneke van Eekelen were the founders
and together with Christine Both, Jeannette Shriek and me as treasurer, formed the first board.
The meetings were always very friendly and welcoming and were often held at Christine’s home. She and I became very good friends as she was very involved with the art group as a painter. I often think of her as unfortunately, she died at quite a young age. Once a month, the painters of the Art Group met at Dons van der Gronden’s home. It was wonderful that she opened her home to us for that purpose and she was a marvellous hostess.

I remember once having a woman in traditional dress from Scheveningen as a model and how we all loved it. In order to present the work of the artists of the IWC, Dons, Regien Mannesse
and I organized exhibitions at various locations, such as the Congress building, Antoniushove hospital and the Ministry of Finance. We convinced the then Minister Ruding to open the
exhibition by drawing something, but I don’t think he felt comfortable doing it.
I loved the excursions we took, especially when we went by bus, gathering at Central Station in The Hague early in the morning.

One of the highlights of these excursions, was the fashion show at Max Heijmans salon in the P.C. Hooftstraat in Amsterdam. He was a prominent and eccentric designer at the time and we all loved the show. During that bus trip, I had the pleasure of sitting next to Dons’ mother. We talked and talked and talked the whole way, she was so interesting.

Women come and go. Sometimes you have to say goodbye to very good friends. My dear Australian friend Louise Silberg returned home which I found very difficult, but these things happen. There is so much more to tell about all the wonderful women I met during all the years at the IWC. It has been so enriching to meet women from all over the world, I hope I can be a part of it for the next 40 years. I would love it.

Emmy Deelen