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  #1  
Old 23-07-18, 12:29
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Hanno Spoelstra Hanno Spoelstra is offline
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Unhappy My father

My father Robert Willem (Rob) Spoelstra unexpectedly passed away on Sunday 8 July, at 86 years of age. As my mother passed away 10 years ago, to me this is the end of a era.

After the funeral, we had some of the bouquets placed along the Wall of the Missing at the Netherlands American Cemetery and Memorial at Margraten, where he lived close by. This wall commemorates the American soldiers who are still Missing in Action, listing all of their 1,722 names.

While he was too young to be a soldier during WW2, he did live through Japanese internment camps in the former Netherlands East-Indies colony (now Indonesia). After initially being interned with his mother and sister, he was separated from them at the age of 12. When he heard about the Japanese surrender in August 1945, he fled the camp to travel to the last known camp of his father. He was picked up by a British convoy driving trucks with those peculiar back-slanted windows...

Having lived through WW2, he never felt remorse towards his oppressor, but always emphasized the importance of international peace and stability. We felt placing the bouquets is a nice homage to the men who fought for freedom, but never found eternal rest.

Hanno

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  #2  
Old 23-07-18, 12:42
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My deepest sympathies Hanno. Cherish the memories. Rob.
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  #3  
Old 23-07-18, 13:38
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Janet and I would like to extend our condolences to you and your family over the loss of your father. It was a nice tribute to the fallen by placing the flowers where you did.
Met hartelijke groeten,
Barry and Janet
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  #4  
Old 23-07-18, 14:20
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Hanno. Sorry to hear of your loss. My condolences to you and your family. Tim
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  #5  
Old 23-07-18, 14:43
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Condolences to you and your family
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  #6  
Old 23-07-18, 18:20
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Hanno Spoelstra Hanno Spoelstra is offline
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Dear Rob, Barry, Tim & Jordan,

Thank you very much. I was shocked to hear when he passed away unexpectedly, but we are consoled by the fact that he had a full life of 86 years and did not suffer.

Best regards,
Hanno
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  #7  
Old 23-07-18, 18:35
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Very sad news Hanno. My condolences to you and your family.
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  #8  
Old 23-07-18, 22:14
Richard Coutts-Smith Richard Coutts-Smith is offline
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Sorry Hanno, sad news indeed, my condolences.
Rich.
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  #9  
Old 23-07-18, 23:30
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Sad to hear, Hanno. Thinking of you and family.
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  #10  
Old 24-07-18, 01:19
rob love rob love is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hanno Spoelstra View Post
Having lived through WW2, he never felt remorse towards his oppressor, but always emphasized the importance of international peace and stability.
He sounds like a class act Hanno. Condolences to you and your family on your loss.
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  #11  
Old 24-07-18, 01:34
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So sorry for your loss, Hanno.


David
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  #12  
Old 24-07-18, 10:46
Pete Ashby Pete Ashby is offline
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My thoughts are with you and your family Hanno at this sad time.

I fully understand your feelings with regard to the end of an era I felt, and still feel that loss 20 years on. It makes what we do with our trucks all the more important as we are now responsible for the memory of a generation that has all but passed into history.

Best regards

Pete
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  #13  
Old 24-07-18, 19:05
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Condolences Hanno..thinking of you and your family.
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  #14  
Old 24-07-18, 22:39
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Hanno Spoelstra Hanno Spoelstra is offline
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Wayne, Richard, Lynn, Rob, David, Pete, Lance,

Thanks a lot for your sympathy and kinds words.

Hanno
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  #15  
Old 25-07-18, 02:34
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My condolences to you and your family Hanno
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  #16  
Old 25-07-18, 03:15
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Sad news, but I like your sentiment towards remembrance.
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  #17  
Old 25-07-18, 03:32
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Hanno, condolences to you and your family on your loss.

ED
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  #18  
Old 25-07-18, 18:19
James P James P is offline
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Sorry to hear of your fathers passing and like others within the MLU family I extend my condolences.
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  #19  
Old 30-07-18, 14:51
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Sorry to hear your news Hanno, my mother in law passed away this morning at the age of 92.
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  #20  
Old 30-07-18, 18:22
Darrell Zinck Darrell Zinck is offline
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Hi Hanno

I was saddened to read about your Father. Please accept my sincerest condolences for your loss.

kind regards
Darrell
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  #21  
Old 31-07-18, 17:17
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Hanno Spoelstra Hanno Spoelstra is offline
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Robin, Terry, Ed, James, Andy and Darryll,

Thanks a lot for your sympathies.

Andy, I am sorry for your loss. I hope your mother in law passed away peacefully. My condolences.

Hanno
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  #22  
Old 31-07-18, 22:11
Bob Carriere Bob Carriere is offline
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Default My condolences......

Sorry to hear about your loss Hanno.

My sincere sympathies to you and your family.

Bob C
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  #23  
Old 24-08-18, 18:13
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Hanno

I must apologize, being caught up in my own life and not to have seen this sooner. I lost my father unexpectedly in 2011. It is always a shock even though, like your father he was in his mid eighties and had lived a full life. My apologies for my tardiness in my condolences to you and your family.

Best Regards
John
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  #24  
Old 24-08-18, 18:39
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Hanno Spoelstra Hanno Spoelstra is offline
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Bob and John,

Thanks for your sympathies. We all have to go through events like this in our lives. The merry go round of life doesn't stop spinning, but those who are affected step off for a while. It is best to just step back on again, because the world around us does not stop. At least we still have the fond memories!

Hanno
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  #25  
Old 08-09-18, 10:15
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Hanno, I am sorry but I had not seen this sad news until just now. Jill and I extend out sympathies to you and your family. 86 is a good age, I lost my father when he was 57 from war related injuries. He was a commando in New Guinea and suffered for a long time. On a better note, I just received a phone call from one of my sons to say I will be a grandfather again either tonight or tomorrow the way things are going. Anyway we are thinking of you. R'n'J.
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  #26  
Old 14-09-18, 13:40
Terry Witiuk Terry Witiuk is offline
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Hanno. Sorry for your loss. Please accept my condolences.
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  #27  
Old 26-06-19, 10:42
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Hanno Spoelstra Hanno Spoelstra is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hanno Spoelstra View Post
When he heard about the Japanese surrender in August 1945, he fled the camp to travel to the last known camp of his father. He was picked up by a British convoy driving trucks with those peculiar back-slanted windows...
An exposition about the MS Oranje (see link below) triggered a recollection of my late father, Rob Spoelstra. He lived in the Netherlands East-Indies (now Indonesia) from 1931-1945. After V-J Day, he fled from a Japanese interment camp and went looking for his father, mother and sister. Note: his family was separated: his father was in a mens camp, his mother and sister in a women and children camp. At 12 years of age, he was taken away from his mother and put in a boys only camp.

So, in August 1945 they hear the war is over and as a 14 year old boy my father and a friend decide to go and find their family. They had some letters via the Red Cross so they had a clue where they could be, not knowing if they were still alive. They traded some clothes for a couple of goose eggs, made a knapsack and crawled under the barbed wire and headed in the direction of their father's camp.

Out on the road they were stopped by a Japanese patrol (who were now tasked with protecting the Dutch against the Indonesians). They were about to be taken back to the camp, when a column of British-Indian Army trucks passed by. A British officer asked what was happening and after his explanation, my father and his friend were taken along by the British-Indian troops as they were heading in the direction of their father’s camp.
My father told me they “drove in trucks with peculiar back-slanted windows”, identifying them as Cab 13 CMP trucks. My father told me this story when I first showed him my Ford F15A CMP.

Luckily, my father was reunited with his father, mother and sister and they were repatriated to the Netherlands very much in the same was as can be seen in the link below.

https://www.facebook.com/24315614237...61874503832943

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  #28  
Old 27-06-19, 23:28
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Default Your dad

Great story Hanno!
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