The Antwerp draughtsman Jan Peeters was known for his ship drawings. This etching appeared in the volume: "Thooneel der Steden ende Sterckten van t'Vereenight Nederlandt met d'aengrensende Plaetsen soo in Brabandt Vlaenderen als enen Rhijn en elders verovert door de Waepenen der Groot-moghende Heeren Staeten onder het gheley vanande seer Edele Hooghghebore Princen van Oranien". Edited by Gaspar Bouttats at Antwerp. Antwerp; 1674
On Tuesday, April 26, 2016, I was appointed a Member in the Order of Orange-Nassau
It did not come as a complete surprise because the day before, the Mayor suddenly visited me with a letter in his hand which he handed to me stating that the next day, the Mayor would award me with a Royal Decoration in the Grote Kerk in Weesp.
Things were a little strange in the Claesen home that Monday afternoon. Suddenly my sisters were on the doorstep. They came to drink tea (all the way from Brabant?) because they were on their way to Swifterband to visit the Orchid farm. They would spend the night somewhere in a small hotel. Then Fabian (my son) called who was in the neighborhood and also wanted to stop by. I began to feel a little wet. Especially when the mayor rang the bell and shortly thereafter my former colleague guide Harmen announced himself. Only then did the Mayor hand me the aforementioned letter. They were all in the "conspiracy". My wife Agnes and Fabian included.
Because there had been two previous attempts to nominate me which had failed, I had heard from Harmen last year, in passing, that he would make a third attempt, especially since he had stopped working as a guide at Pampus last year. And when I subsequently heard nothing more about this from him I gently suspected that it might succeed now. So hence it didn't quite come as a surprise. But that the mayor came to tell me personally that I never expected.
Letter from the Mayor of Weesp
The day it was to happen went off without a hitch. At 10:00 a.m. all concerned had to gather in the Grote Kerk because the Town Hall was too small for such a large gathering this time. Indeed, eight people were to be appointed.
The Mayor took his time and did so in a pleasantly clear manner so that everyone could hear clearly why the person in question had been appointed.
Pampus was well represented with about 25 people including the director, many volunteers and the former fort watchers Nanette and Eric with whom I started my volunteer work on Pampus at the same time. They clearly showed that Pampus was well represented when I was pinned on the decorations belonging to the appointment. With loud applause and cheering they showed their approval.
Just a private chat with son dearest.
The eight appointees
After the ceremony, the reception was a great time. There was a lot of handshaking and talking about old times. To my surprise there were also a few former volunteers of Pampus present with whom I always got along well. I really enjoyed that.
After the reception we had lunch with a small group at a well-known restaurant in Weesp. That was also a pleasant affair.
All in all it was a very successful and unforgettable day. And it has given me enough inspiration to continue this fantastic volunteer work on the wonderful island of Pampus.
I would like to mention that I am very grateful to Fabian that, with a little help from his girlfriend Karen and despite his busy job and studies, he managed to give Agnes and me an unforgettable day.
The entire photo reportage can be seen at this link: Ribbon Rain
Under the watchful eye of my loved ones, Mayor van Bochove pinned on the award.
There it hangs.
Tjitske, of course, couldn't stay away from it.
The Government Gazette
Congratulatory letter from the King's Commissioner
Two articles from the "Weesper News" Click on the arrow to activate
Message in the "Vecht Journal"
Fort Island Pampus (Pampus Facebook)
April 27, 2016 at 10:06 am
On April 26, the Rain of Ribbons also descended on our head guide Peter Claesen! Not that he was shy about pins, because as a former Navy-man he already has a rich collection. But this time he was made a Member of the Order of Orange-Nassau for his commitment to the Model Building Club Huizen and of course for his extensive work on Fort Island Pampus! He has recorded his extensive knowledge about the fortress island in a handbook that is used by the guides during the tours but which everyone at Pampus eagerly uses. He also regularly takes photos of events, gives lectures about Pampus in the area and appears on radio and TV recordings when a real expert is needed. Tom van Nouhuys, director of Pampus: ,,Peter is living proof of how Pampus is maintained with volunteers! What hasn't Peter actually done since he joined Pampus in 1998..." Pride splashed off Peter and his family as he received his order. Volunteers and staff at Pampus are just as proud and congratulate Peter wholeheartedly!
Peter Claesen decorated (Pampus Newsletter)
Yesterday Peter Claesen was decorated with a ribbon for his extraordinary services to Pampus. The ceremony took place in the Grote Kerk in Weesp, where the Mayor of Weesp appointed Peter to the Order of Orange Nassau. The mayor praised Peter's unbridled dedication to first the model club in Huizen and then Pampus.
From our perspective we can only agree and repeat these warm words. Fort Island Pampus has been overjoyed with Peter's involvement and commitment since 1997. For what else has Peter not been within our ranks: shore base volunteer, shore base coordinator, VAR chairman, house historian, guide and head guide, model creator, guide planner, etc.!
Peter was surprised and delighted with the award, which he received in the presence of many fellow guides and fellow volunteers from the Wednesday shift, as well as former volunteers and staff. Cheers even rose during the pinning of the award, because after all, Pampus always provides a bit of a stir! Naturally, we feted Peter and his wife Agnes on behalf of all of us with flowers and a gift in the form of a dinner voucher. Hopefully that will force Peter to leave Pampus for at least one long evening in favor of his wife, without whose support such a commitment would obviously not be possible....
My Royal and Military awards
From left to right: Member in the Order of Orange Nassau, New Guinea Memorial Cross, Medal for long, honest and faithful service in the navy in silver, The Naval Medal.