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Memories of the Christmas party at the Dutch Club

By Black Country Bugle  |  Posted: December 18, 2013

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MANY aliens married British people through meetings during World War Two.

My parents were an example - my dad, a Dutch merchant seaman, married my mother originally from Worcester and living in Birmingham since 1925.

There were many new Anglo-Dutch families in the West Midlands after the war and the Anglo-Netherlands Society better known as the Dutch Club would meet at Dudley.

I was only about five years old but remember Rosamarijn in her pink dress and the Christmas party would involve the Dutch tradition of St. Nicholas accompanied by Black Peter going back to the time that Spain ruled the Netherlands in the 16th/17th centuries.

The origin of Black Peter was the time that St Peter denied Christ three times. He would be dressed in Tudor costume including ruff and hose and be blacked up to appear negroid and carry a birch to punish the naughty children while Santa gave presents.

But in the 1950s he would merely throw out gingernut biscuits to the children.

I sang a ditty that I had learned at primary school :-

Clap your hands and shout hooray!

Santa Claus is on his way -

Rearah! Rearah! hip hooray!

Galloping along on Christmas Day!

Roger F. de Boer,

Northfield since 1948,

1077 Bristol Road South,

B31 2QW.

rfdb10@live.co.uk

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