Friday, August 7, 2015


Van Marel Reunion, June 11-26, 2015, in the Netherlands.

     The 5th bi-annual family reunion was again held in the country of our forefathers, The Netherlands..  There were 31 family members who left the United States to celebrate this gathering.  A tour was organized by Willem and Rina van der Marel, distant cousins who live in the Netherlands.  It wa an exciting time to get reunited with some family members, but most of the attendees had not met most of the other members before this trip. A wonderful time was had by all, both on an off the bus!!!  The occasion was a fantastic time for bonding, plus we all had the opportunity of seeing many interesting sites along the way.  A selection of photos has been compiled to give you a little taste of our family tour.

Thursday, August 6, 2015


Zaanse Schans (Zaanstad)   Stopping at the entrance for a photo opportunity--front:  Carolyn Odens, Kathy McKinstrey, Keith & Mary De Jager and Colleen Bomgaars; back:  Rich Odens, Jay Van Marel, Cheryl Colton, Ann van der Marel and Craig Colton.

Well-preserved windmills and homes were moved to this museum in the 1970’s.
Typical scene with a windmill and its surroundings.

Unusual wooden shoes in the museum.

Lots of highly decorated wooden shoes for sale in shops

Madurodam (The Hague)—opened in 1952.  It was built in memory of George Maduro, a Jewish law student, for his valor demonstrated  while fighting  the Nazis.  He lost his life in a concentration camp in 1945.
 
 

Overall view with St. John Cathedral, Hertogenbosch, in front

Government building

Miniature canal, house boats, drawbridge, apartments, etc.
Family members gather throughout the new Madurodam display--Front:  Shanna Franklin, Bill Van Marel , Carl Van Marel, Jaylynn Jeffers and Kevin Jeffers; standing:  Brian Franklin, Valerie James, Lois Cleveringa, Cal Cleveringa, Rina van der Marel, Melissa Bradley, Colleen Bomgaars and Twila Oolman.
The Peace Palace in The Hague, built in 1913, houses the International Court of Justice, the principal judicial body of the United Nations.
The Netherlands Federal Building on a canal in The Hague.
Knights' Hall among the Federal buildings.
A silver display at Schoonhoven's Silver Museum.
A beautifully decorated canal in Schoonhoven!
Ann and Rina van der Marel are showing us the REAL way to eat herring!
While visiting in St. Bartholomew Church in Schoonhaven (built 1354), some of family members decided to sing a couple of hymns in praise for our Creator, who has blessed us way more than we deserve.
The Van Marel tour group was invited to the annual reunion of Willem & Joop van der Marel, their families, and their brothers' families.  It was hosted in the backyard of one of their family members.
As a special surprise and treat for the attendees, Irene Ousen planned, developed and had cakes made with our family crest in the frosting.   These delicious cakes were available for everybody!

 
Piet, one of the van der Marel brothers gifted most of the ladies with beautiful and colorful scarves!

Dorpskerk, the Reformed Church of Berkel en Rodenrijs was the last church where the family of Jacob and Margaretha van der Marel worshipped prior to migrating to the United States in 1848.  This church dates back to 1347.  The current building was constructed in 1732 and the tower was built in 1500.

At the front gate of the church of our ancestors.
Most of the travelers were in this photo:  Front: Craig Colton, Jay Van Marel, Cathy Te Slaa, Ann van der Marel, Norm Te Slaa, Jaylynn & Kevin Jeffers, Melissa Bradley, Twila Oolman and Joop van der Marel; standing:  Rich & Carolyn Odens, Wayne & Delma De Weerd, Don De Weerd, Cheryl Colton, Willem van der Marel, Lois Cleveringa, Susie Van Marel, Cal Cleveringa, Bill Van Marel, Valerie James, Carl Van Marel, Brian Franklin, Colleen Bomgaars, Nic Phillips, Keith De Jager, Kathy McKinstrey, Rina van der Marel, Mary De Jager, Sharon Haerle and Verna Howe. Not pictured were Shanna Franklin (photographer), Bev Vander Velde and Maureen Petersen.
we joined in with a full-house attendance at the Sunday morning service!
A jail in the church tower!  An unmarried pregnant lady spent some jail time in this place.
The Koninklijke Porceleyne Fles in Delft, established in 17th century.  A Delft-decorated car located outside the front door to the museum.


Watching a Delft painter.
An old decorative vase often used to hold tulips.
The Delft courtyard/garden.
The last coal mine in The NetherlandsNarrow cramped cars used to move minors to and from the mine sites.
In early years, horses were used to haul coal and they stayed underground 24 hours a day for as long as they were able to work.
A community toilet used by the miners.  Chemicals were use to take care of the smell, etc.
A replica of the walled-city of Valkenburg was carved out of marlstone.
Display at entrance of the Netherlands American Cemetery and Memorial near Margraten for soldiers who died in this area during World War II.  There are 8,301 American soldiers buried there and 1722 on the "Wall of Missing."
The beautifully maintained cemetery with the labeled white crosses.
The Mourning Woman at the cemetery.
Twins Jaylynn Jeffers and Jay Van Marel celebrating their 54th birthday.
St. Dionysius Cathedral is the oldest church in Tilburg, dating to 1530.
Nice modern bridge!
Pancake lunch in Lage Vuursche.  Maureen Petersen and Bev Vander Velde enjoying their pancake selection.
Everybody is satisfied with the huge pancakes of all flavors.
Kathy McKinstrey being treated with poffertjes by new Dutch friends!
Keith and Mary De Jager in front of a de Jager home and lodging place in Valkenburg.
Valkenburg church where former Queen Beatrix attends.
Bill Van Marel trying to collect money so he can get released!
Soestkijk Palace near Baarn,  Dates to the 17th century and inhabited by the Royal Family until 2006.
Lots of photographers treasuring memories of the Zuylen Castle!
Zuylen Castle in Zullen, built in about 1520
 
Ladies' bedroom in the castle.
Bruges, Belgium. Bruges market in the city square.
Bruges Christmas Store