On The War Memorial Trail…..The Reception In Wons

November 19, 2019. On October 12, 2019, the memorial panel in The Netherlands to honour the crew of Halifax L9561 was unveiled.  (See On The War Memorial Trail…..The Memorial Panel In Wons Is Unveiled!) After the ceremony and photo taking, we were invited to the community centre ‘it Bynt’ in Wons for a reception.  It was a welcome opportunity not only to be someplace dry and warm, but also to meet the Dutch people of Wons.

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Community centre in Wons. (Photo credit: Sikko Drijver)

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We received a warm welcome at the community centre in Wons. (Photo credit: Sikko Drijver)

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Some of the Muttart relatives. Left to right: Don Coutts, Heidi Eggert, Lori Eggert, Valerie Muttart, Ralph Muttart. (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

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Left to right: Bauke Posthuma, Cor Politiek, Johannis Politiek, Pieter Valkenburg. Standing behind Cor Politiek is Fred Jackson of the Middle Saint George Memorial Association. (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

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The warm welcome in Wons was very much appreciated. (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

The Missing Airmen Memorial Foundation had a surprise for all of us.  They had prepared a booklet, explaining what happened to Halifax L9561, for schoolchildren in the area.  Of course the booklet was in Dutch, but an English summary was also published for the Canadian and British guests.

Photo He Died That We Might Live booklet

Cover of the English language version of the booklet prepared by the Missing Airmen Memorial Foundation.

Cor Politiek, the only surviving living witness to the crash, received the first copy of the booklet.  The second copy went to Jonathan McLean Foreman, nephew of Halifax L9561 crew member Leslie Albert Roberts, who had to make an early departure.

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Jonathan McLean Foreman, far left, and his wife, far right, receive a copy of the booklet. Next to Jonathan is Cor Politiek and next to him, Sietse Kuiper. In the back is Knilles Elgersma of Dorpsbelang Wons. (Photo credit: Sikko Drijver)

Don Coutts, nephew of Elmer Muttart, was presented with the flag of Wons that had covered the memorial panel before its unveiling.

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Left to right: Cor Politiek (in the background), Don Coutts, Douwe Drijver, Knilles Elgersma. (Photo credit: Sikko Drijver)

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Lori Eggert, right, presents a Cape Traverse Ice Boat Crew t-shirt to Cor Politiek. Jantina Politiek acts as translator. (Photo credit: Daria Valkenburg)

What a wonderful end to our time in Wons!  Our last event of the day was a group dinner at a restaurant in the nearby community of Makkum.  No one wanted this day to end! 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