Introduction

 

It is almost inappropriate to describe to you what the Netherlands has meant for the Emerald Isles. Especially here in the good city of Den Bosch, which has many ties to the former Dutch East Indies. It is connected through the many youth, who travelled there in the period after the war. And still through the missionary Congregations, which then and now continue to perform their blessed work in the East, thank God.
The work of these congregations cannot be measured and assessed in numbers and statistics. I would like to illustrate a small aspect of the work of the Dutch in Administration, Commerce and Culture.

I would like to describe the way the Dutch succeeded in creating a thriving culture from nothing and how they managed to transfer that culture to those currently in power on these islands.

Many years ago I stood on one of the southernmost points of Java, approximately 300 meters above sea level, next to an Indonesian. We were both lost in thought, perhaps both struck by the wonderful spectacle of the Pacific and the way its large waves come rolling in from the South Pole and only break on the cliffs of Java’s southern coast. Sand Bay, a jewel in dark blue and purple lay before us. He then began to tell an ancient legend, which implied this prediction: “One day there will come a time that the sea will rise over the rocks, the land will flood and all who have come here from the outside will disappear. Then a time of happiness will arrive “…. We hope that this Indonesian didn’t mean the good nuns of JMJ.