On The War Memorial Trail…..The Farewell Dinner In Makkum To End The Halifax L9561 Commemoration Events

November 24, 2019. On October 12, 2019, the events that led to the memorial panel in The Netherlands to honour the crew of Halifax L9561 being unveiled ended with a farewell dinner at  ‘Gasterij Hennie fan Rijcht’ in Makkum, located 2 kms from Wons.

With the narrow streets in Makkum, we had a long walk to the restaurant, but once we were inside, the restaurant was very picturesque, with a warm, cosy atmosphere, and delicious food.

IMG_6440 Oct 12 2019 Walking to the restaurant in Makkum

Walking to the restaurant in Makkum. Left to right: Pieter, Ralph and Valerie Muttart. Behind them, the family of Halifax L9561 crew member David Cotsell. (Photo credit: Sikko Drijver)

20191012_180317 Oct 12 2019 Outside the restaurant in Makkum

The Canadian flag was flying when we arrived at the restaurant in Makkum for our farewell dinner! Left to right: Annie Lee MacDonald, Elmer MacDonald, Daria Valkenburg, Don Coutts. (Photo credit: François Breugelmans)

CIMG3541 Oct 12 2019 Dinner in Makkum

Inside the restaurant in Makkum. (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

CIMG3544 Oct 12 2019 Dinner in Makkum

Pam Alexander gave a heartfelt thank you, on behalf of everyone, to the Missing Airmen Memorial Foundation for organizing the day’s events, and to Pieter Valkenburg for uncovering the story of Elmer Muttart’s final actions. (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

IMG_6458 Oct 12 2019 Dinner in Makkum

A buffet like no other! How do you choose? (Photo credit: Sikko Drijver)

CIMG3543 Oct 12 2019 Dinner in Makkum

After 3 years of research on the events around Halifax L9561’s last flight, and giving presentations to help fundraising efforts for the memorial panel in Wons, Pieter can now relax… until the next memorial project on his radar. (Photo credit: François Breugelmans)

No one wanted this day to end, but it eventually did, and the bus brought us safely back to the hotel in Leeuwarden.  The hard working volunteers of the Missing Airmen Memorial Foundation gave all of us a day to remember, with special thanks to Douwe Drijver and Alexander Tuinhout. A big thank you goes to our bus driver, Bernard Bruning, who was so friendly and helpful throughout the day. Bernard, a taxi driver by profession, was one of the many volunteers who helped the Missing Airmen Memorial Foundation make this day such a success.

If you have stories or photos to share about the crew or the events of October 12, 2019, please contact Pieter at dariadv@yahoo.ca or comment on the blog.

© Daria Valkenburg

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