Arrived: November 21, 1953
I was born during world war II in the Netherlands. I was 10 at the time of our entry to our new country and remember a terrific storm during our crossing of the Atlantic and the fear I had at that time.
When we made land my mother went to her knees and thanked God. I recall seeing ( to my eyes) a very" high mountain" with a castle at the top. I know now we landed in Montreal. We were put onto a train and travelled for 3 days to our destination of Edmonton Alberta where we were met by the family who sponsored us to Canada. We were 4 of us My Mother, Step father my older sister and myself. The family that sponsored us was a family of 9 boys plus their parents. We lived with them for 5 months until every one found jobs so we could support ourselves. It was very cold and snow soon followed and I felt as though I was being "buried" in this mountain of white. We were not prepared for this cold and snow and I wore every warm things I owned all at once to try and stay warm. I started school the following week and was not prepared for the fact that I did not speak the same language as everyone else. Children can be cruel and often made me cry when they made fun of me.
The label of DP which I was called often still at times resonates in my mind. I do however recall that first Christmas and how it changed everyone to be nicer and happier how the trees were lit and the stores transformed into these wonderlands for children. To this day it is still my favorite time of the year and I still look at it with wonder and the wide eyes of a child. Canada has been good to me and has become my country of choice, I love it's wide open spaces and its beauty but most of all it's democracy and the chance to flourish if you are willing to work hard.