Matthieu Kerbosch was born into a strict Catholic middle-class family. His parents had a shop selling household items in Venlo.

With the help of the Schrijnen family, Matthieu studied to become a pharmacist in Utrecht. However, he graduated in Leiden (because the final exam fell on a Catholic holiday), where he also obtained his doctorate.

It was there that he met Marie Spiegel, whom he married in 1912.

Kerbosch became the director of the Cinchona plantation in Tjiniroean, West Java. This became the most profitable cinchona plantation.

The first seeds of the Cinchona tree came from Peru, where it was discovered that water in which the bark of the tree had been soaked helped against fever. However, this discovery was not pursued in Peru. After 4 years, the seeds arrived in the Dutch East Indies. The quinine produced on this plantation became of great importance worldwide in the fight against malaria and tropical fevers.

Under his leadership, the Conchona Succirubra was developed, a plant resistant to root disease and used as rootstock for the delicate Ledgeriana, which had a high yield. He supplied young plants to other cinchona plantations.

Visitors were given seed packets as souvenirs, and it was later discovered that these seeds had successfully taken root in Belgian Congo! (More about cinchona culture in the special chapter on this topic.)

During the period of Ethical Policy, Matthieu contributed significantly to social improvements, but the priority was always on profitability. He managed to ensure that during a malaria epidemic, the expensive quinine would be provided at a low cost. However, when the company failed to fulfill this promise, Matthieu strongly protested against it.

As a result of this incident, he was not later appointed as director of the Kinabureau in Amsterdam, even though he was the most suitable person for the position.

Returning from one of his furlough trips to the Netherlands, as a favor, he brought along a young member of the Schrijnen family, Pierre, a not very diligent pharmacy student (nicknamed Champagne Piet), to his enterprise. Perhaps he could be of use on the plantation.

They departed on December 31, 1921, and arrived on January 28, 1922. My father was appointed as an agricultural assistant at the experimental station of the Government Cinchona Plantation.

Pierre worked in this company until in the year 1925, the opportunity arose to become a mining employee in a new department of G.K.O., which was to be developed in one of the forest areas of the Pengalengan highland plateau.

a flower that is growing on a tree
a flower that is growing on a tree
a letter from mr john korbecks to his wife
a letter from mr john korbecks to his wife