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Visit to the SS Rotterdam

IMG_587513 June 2014

by Patricia Gonzalez

It’s amazing how far you can go on a ship that has been moored for the last ten years. On our two-hour tour, we were transported to the ‘50s and ‘60s – to days of steamship technology when transatlantic journeys were run on turbine engines and stabilizers, boilers and condensers; to glamorous evenings when women in full-skirt silhouettes and stiletto heels wended their way through mid-century modern furniture aboard La Grand Dame. And, it being the first joint outing between the Tilburg, Breda and Eindhoven clubs, we met people from different parts of the world for whom the Netherlands is the current port of call. Our group included expats from Mexico, America, Spain, Australia, Germany, Lebanon, the Philippines, even a Dutch couple originally from Tilburg who migrated as far afield as Thailand and are now back in the Randstad.

What was it about the 38,645-ton ship that so fascinated us that we signed up for the outing? Maybe the SS Rotterdam appealed to the adventurer in us. We all left the safe, comforting haven of home to make a new life in a country not our own. Perhaps the many transformations of this colossal ocean liner spoke to us. A ship that has spent 12 years as a trans-Atlantic vessel, more than 20 as a cruise ship (when long-distance commercial flights replaced sea travel), and 4 as a hotel, restaurant, museum and visitor attraction is the epitome of adaptability. We, who’ve packed up our lives, our families and careers and adjusted to initially unfamiliar cultures, know that transitions are an inevitable part of migration. They have to be welcomed, embraced. But then again, maybe what brought our group together that Saturday morning was just the allure of looking out over the water, gazing at the Rotterdam skyline, sitting down to lunch on a sunny poolside deck or snacking on high tea petit fours, with the added convenience of being transported from our city to the Rotterdam port and back again.

Some journeys take you great distances. Others, like this one, are only a city or two away. But both can make you question how far you’ve come and appreciate where you are now.


AGM and visit to Peerke Donders

Peerke Donders

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10 June 2014

by Yiyi Bai

It has been 6 years since TIC launched in June 2009. This year, TIC celebrated its 6-year birthday at Peerke Donkers Park.

We met in front of the park at 3 pm. We had a new guest – Sam joined us in this activity. An English tour guide showed us around the park, the house in which Peerke Donders was born and told us a lot of moving stories about Peerke, the Tilburg icon, as well as showed us around the various structures of the small complex. Petrus Donders was born in 1809, he was the son of a simple Tilburg weaver. Peerke, as he is fondly called, wanted to become a Catholic Priest, but his parents lacked the financial means to send their son to the Seminary for training. Due to his determination and persistence, however, he was given a chance and was ordained as Priest in 1841. He was sent to Suriname as a missionary where he cared for slaves and lepers, making no differentiation between position or station in life. Full of compassion, he served others until his death in 1887 in Suriname. Since that time, Peerke has been honored and revered for his example of selfless charity and humility. I was very moved by the inspiring stories of him.

After the tour, we had a short business meeting in the museum of Peerke Donders. We gave an update on your club’s past year, as well as vote for new Board Officers and announce the winner of the new TIC logo contest. Currently, we have 31 family members and in total of 77 expats from over 20 countries are members of TIC. In the current financial year, TIC has been doing really well in terms of trying to make break-even in every event.

As according to the constitution, all board officers have to be re-voted after 2 years term of office and all three board members – the secretary, president and IT manager were appointed 2 years ago. So we voted for new board officers and Yolanda will take over the presidency from Mala, Patricia will become the new event planner after Yolanda, Anne and Thijs will remain secretary and IT manager for the next term.

The last section of the meeting was voting for the logo, as the old logo is not easily replicable in black & white or gray tones and not clears at a glance to be for an international club. The lack of a B&W option has proven especially unhandy as it means all our promotional materials have to be printed in color, which significantly increases the cost. So we started the contest about a month ago and received over 10 entries from members. We selected 3 printable and adjustable logos and send them to all members. In the end, we have received over 20 votes from members through email and voting, and the number one logo which was created by Ms Van Oorschot won the final prize.

We also started a new job and announcement page this past year and help for keeping website and social media updated is needed.

Then we had drinks in the Peerke Donders Café on their lovely outdoor terraces. The new president – Yolanda bought us snacks and TIC offered the free drinks. The weather was wonderful and we spend a lovely afternoon together.

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