"Van Leeuwen" in de familie? / "Van Leeuwen" in the family?

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Leeuwendeel is the name of our family magazine. A magazine should have been released once a year for all descendants of these two ancestors.

Cornelia Maria Meijer (1862-1921)Willebrordus Gerardus van Leeuwen (1857-1936)

Cornelia Maria Meijer(1862-1921) and Willebrordus Gerardus van Leeuwen (1857-1936)


But unfortunately the lack motivation and time to do it every year. Fortunately, there are a few copies appeared.

However, there is the motivation to set up a website. At this website are coming the interesting articles from our small magazines.

Wim van Leeuwen 1913-1973


Willebrordus Cornelis Anthonius Franciscus (Wim) van Leeuwen (1913-1973)

Willebrordus Cornelis Anthonius Franciscus
(Wim) van Leeuwen


On 22 April 1913, at "het Achterom 143" in Delft Willebrordus Cornelis Anthonius Franciscus (Wim) van Leeuwen was born as the first child of Cornelis Johannes Josephus van Leeuwen and Maria Catharina (Marie) Bol.

Wim is named after the father of his father. These after all is also called Willebrordus. His second name (Cornelis) is his father's name, but also that of the father of his father's father (his grandfather). Where the third and fourth name (Anthonius Franciscus) come from, I can not resolve.

In that same year, Queen Wilhelmina opens "het Vredespaleis" in The Hague.


He grew up in a turbulent time. In 1914 the First World War breaks out. Because of his young age he will get little from it.


In 1917, be equated public and private schools. This will be the basis for Wim unconsciously for the hospitality he will have later in life. It doesn't matter to him what religion people have. He sells to anyone.

Wim survived the Spanish flu that 27,000 people in a few months in 1918 takes the life. The last quarter of that year death sometimes entire families. One of the 250 Dutch people is a victim of the flu, which has subsided in the spring of 1919. Whether Wim there has been troubled by himself is not known to me.

Wim by his vader at “Het Achterom” rear

Wim by his vader at “Het Achterom” rear

On 5 July 1922 women in the Netherlands are for the first time votes in the general elections. Something that was already possible in Finland since 1906. Wim, has undoubtedly no opinion yet on it because his young age.


At that time large families are quite common. Wim has two sisters and three brothers. Unfortunately two died very young age. As a young boy Wim sleeps together with his younger brother Gerard in a bedstead.


As soon as Wim can help in the company of his father, he does. His father is a dairy vendor. This is the job he keeps doing all his life. He is so busy with that, he has very little time to follow the news. So don't think about sportsmatches. The business will go before. However, he decides to go to dance class. Here he met his future wife. He is also with the party when there is a celebration nationwide. For example, in celebratory events of the royal family.



Wim marries Ali 

Marriage Wim and Ali in May 1939
On the wedding photo Wim and Ali (May 1939 in Delft). The bridesmaids are
Corrie (left) and Paula (Right) both sisters of the groom.

On 5 May 1939 it is so far. In Delft, he married for the civil status in marriage with Alida Maria (Ali) Gerbrands (born 26 October 1912 in Delft), daughter of Petrus Johannes (Piet) Gerbrands and Catharina Aplonia van der Hoeven.


On May 9, 1939 they married for the Roman Catholic Church. After getting married, Wim and Ali live on Verwersdijk 10 in Delft and have their own dairy shop there.



The second World War

A year later, on 10 May 1940, Germany invade Netherland with codename "Fall Gelb". Thereby Netherland also becomes involved in The second World War.
On 14 May is not yet conquered whole of Rotterdam and the German Governor issues an ultimatum to the city. Rotterdam eventually agreed, but the city will still bombarded through miscommunication. It's such a heavy bombardment that Wim must have heard this in Delft. There are about 800 deaths and 24,000 homes are destroyed. Netherland has not lost the ware and is not planning to surrender, until the Germans threaten also Utrecht, and perhaps other big cities to bomb. Netherlands surrenders and the occupation began. It will be very tough times. Wim has to work for the Germans, but does not appetite it. He is picked up on a very early morning by his father and directions in women's clothes to his father's house, where he absconds. Other family and friends sit there hiding too.

Kees with the mother of Wim,
at "Het Achterom" in Delft.
On the left mother Ali with Tineke on her lap.
front left (half to see) Peter,
front right (3 years) Marijke, Kees
and Wim senior behind it.

6 September 1948 a new queen (Juliana)

6 September 1948 a new queen (Juliana)

In spite of absconding, he gets a son (Kees) on 6 August 1941 in a very small house. The house is so small that the cradle of Kees must be in the bedroom of Wim and Ali.
On 5 May 1943 the family grows with the birth of the second son (Peter).
The German-occupied Netherlands has suffered badly in the winter of 1944 and 1945 under strict conditions. The winter causes 22,000 deaths. In this very tough circumstances the family gets a daughter (Marijke / Ria) on 11 November 1944. Fortunately, none of the family lose their lives in the war and can thus enthusiastically celebrate the liberation on 5 May 1945.
Get retarded Germans haven't a nice time here and the Dutch girls who have a relationship with a German became bald cut. Wrong Dutch and Germans are placed in internment camps, of which there have been more than 200 in operation in the summer of 1945.


The family moves to Rietveld 30b at 10 December 1945. Today this is called street Pluympot.


It's 1 January 1946 will be unveiled the first computer. The computer was developed because there is a need for a machine who could make quick calculations. The machine calculates, within 30 seconds, the trajectory of a projectile. Human takes about 20 hours.

Opening announcement for Friday, November 15, 1946 at 4 o'clock

Opening announcement for Friday, November 15, 1946 at 4 o'clock.


The world is being shaken on July 5, 1946 with a new garment, she was named after the Bikini Islands in the Pacific. The bikini is a very sexy garment that is worn during a beauty contest.


24 November 1946 is born another daughter (Tineke / Tiny).



Back to the Verwersdijk

After about a year at the Rietveld have lived, they move back to the Verwersdijk on fth of December of the year 1946, but this time at number 20. This house is nice for many children from the family and the neighborhood to come to play. It sometimes seems like a playground. Yet they are not wealthy. For 14 guilders a week they can rent the house of the Kouwenhoven family. It just works. The building is so large that rooms can be rented. This does Wim and Ali, so they have an extra money. Partly because of this, they can keep the head above water.


On 4 September 1948, Queen Wilhelmina takes away the throne. Her daughter Juliana will be crowned two days later. From that moment there will be many changes take place in the Netherlands. Indonesia and Suriname will be given independence.


To increase security in Europe, NATO is founded on 4 April 1949.

On June 19, 1949 is again a son born (Wim, jr.). The family will not increase.


Wim regularly goes with the family and with a horse-drawn carriage towards Scheveningen. This is something that Wim always enjoys. On the way, Wim always allows the horse to rest and graze for a while. But one day riders pass by and Wims horse goes after them. Only after a long time the horse is caught.


In 1950 for a liter of milk you pay ƒ0.24 .

In the 1950s he sold milk in Kuyperwijk. He drives around with his milk truck. During a severe winter he gets stuck in the snow. He managed to alert his family after Kees and Peter (possibly some others) excavate the milk truck.

On 2 October 1951 will be first broadcast on television in the Netherlands. There are about 500 televisions in the Netherlands. People thinks great about some magic box, with all of those moving images from a cabinet.


Water disaster

By a raging storm, on February 1, 1953, the water breaks through the dikes of the province of Zeeland and Zuid-Holland. Large parts of Zeeland are under water. After a stormy night with wind speeds of more than 170 kilometers per hour, on Sunday morning, 1 February the dikes in the south of the Netherlands go on different places and flow large parts of Zeeland underwater.

Through the flood (tidal) almost 200,000 hectares of polderland flows under water and more than 300,000 people are at risk. The total number of deaths will end up in 1835, there are more than 47,000 homes damaged or destroyed. Wims home also has damage. But they have recovered quickly.

When Wim's mother dies on 11 January 1955 (the day after her 70th birthday), comes his father every Sunday by bike towards them for eating a warm meal. Other days he goes to another family. Usually he stays no longer than an hour. Later, if he can not ride anymore, Wim will bring the meal to him.

The Kouwenhoven family, who is renting the house, wants to divide an advance on the inheritance, and asks Wim and Ali to buy the house for 14,000 guilders. They really like this, but without money you do not do much. Something that seems impossible does happen. Family Van Velsen donate this amount to Wim and Ali to buy the property.



Doelen Kino (Verwersdijk 44 in Delft) Doelen Kino Hall
Doelen Kino (Verwersdijk 44 in Delft)
Doelen Kino Hall
Links for Marijke next to Els Verpalen (girlfriend of Marijke),
Wim senior, mother Ali. Before that Wim junior.
From left to right. Marijke, Tineke, mother Ali, Wim,
before that Freddy Zweers was a friend of Wim junior
and Wim senior.

Doelen Kino
20 September 1956, 20 minutes after midnight, a man walks past the cinema Doelen-Kino (Verwersdijk 44 in Delft). To his great terror he sees flames coming out there. He looks around how he to alarm quick. The 112 phone number does not exist at that time and about a mobile phone, the people never been heard about it. He sees a police car approaching and he runs towards it to reports this. Shortly later, the Delft fire department extends with large equipment. It appears that the cinema of the Doelen-Kino is on fire. For a couple of months before this hall had a new ceiling. Employees who are still there are trying to wake up the owner and his wife. They live above the cinema. Inside, they can enter the hall, but they can not get up the stairs. From the outside, one can wake up the owner by wiping a tobacco box. They leave the building in nightwear through the kitchen and the hallway on one side of the grand hall. It is so close to our Wim's house, that Wim wakes up from the noise and rumor. Like many other people, he goes out of his bed to see what exactly is going on. That night, Wim will probably never forget. He supplies the firefighters interestless of milk, cheese and sausage.

The house and surrounding buildings only suffer from heat damage, but the Doelen-Kino will have to be completely rebuilt. The probable cause of the fire is short circuit.


Meijendel in Wassenaar

The left photo was made in Wassenaar in Meijendel. It is March 1958. At that time it is customary to go on a road trip.

When the family goes to the beach, they make piles of sandwiches in the morning and take a lot of drinks with them. Wim senior is always sleeping on the beach, he is often tired. He does it for the family. No drinks are bought on the beach, there is no money for that and that is not the custom either. Sometimes the children get an ice cream at the end of the day. They often blow hard and put on a windshield, which is always a hassle. But they always had a lot of fun.


Military service of Kees
At that time, but also many years later until the Cold War, men in their 18th year must fulfill their military service.There are several reasons for employing later, or not, but by far most men fulfill their duty of service.

So Kees have to fulfill his military service in 1959. Kees has no problem here, but rather has something to do. It's sad that it soon turns out that he's indispensable at home. The servant who is employed is too expensive and not reliable. Kees arrives at the weekend. He can, as far as possible, help to get back on track.

From the moment Kees is in military service, the family has to pay more than revenue. The tax inspector has also seen that this is not true and meets the family. Ali has to pay the tax on a regular basis. Therefore she has to cross the Markt square to the Molslaan. But now she can also reclaim them regularly. Therefore she has back and forth with a lot of money. Because Kees's indispensability is demonstrable, he can return early from the military service. In total, he spent six months in military service. That has been far too long.



One liter of milk costs in 1960 ƒ0,40.



st.Hippolytuskerk at 10 juni 1970, from Verwersdijk 20 in Delft
st.Hippolytuskerk at 10 juni 1970,
from Verwersdijk 20 in Delft
Deze foto is genomen op het 25 jarig huwelijk van Wim en Ali in 1964. Van links naar rechts: Peter, Tineke, Kees, Ali (moeder van het gezin), Wim (vader van het gezin), Wim en Marijke.
This picture was taken at the 25th wedding of Wim and Ali
in 1964. From left to right: Peter, Tineke, Kees,
Ali (mother of the family), Wim (father of the family),
Wim and Marijke

The church

Wim is always busy a lot with the church. From 1960, the St.Hippolytusk church is restored. He is always giving money to restore the church and to save for demolition. Also, of the small amount of money there is, because the Milky Way does not raise much money, he gives. The love for this church goes so far that Wim even buys shares of the church. With other actions he also supports the church. At Christmas, the church always loves to give families who do not have the money to give Christmas packages. Wim also participates, he supplies Christmas packages to the church. These are then delivered by parishes to the people at home. In the month of May, he ensures that the chapel is always decorated with lilacs. Flowers, which bloom in this month in a tree in the garden. He then goes to church early on Saturday evening or Sunday morning, so the chapel looks festive on Sunday.

A sheet of note pad.
A sheet of note pad.


On 28 November 1962, Princess Wilhelmina died. (Born 31 August 1880) She was Queen of the Netherlands from 1898 to 1948. She gets a solemn burial in the family tomb in the Nieuwe Kerk in Delft.


From 1934, sales tax is levied in the Netherlands. In 1969, converted by order of the European Community that sales tax in the tax known to us. (Value Added Tax) The big difference is that tax is no longer being charged on sales but about the product being sold. The introduction of this law is accompanied by many protests. Especially retail expects a lot of administrative red tape. Furthermore, it is expected that life is expensive, because the consumer is the last link. Wim also has to adjust his prices.


In the 60s, Wim used a notepad, which shows a sheet here. When you take look at the phone number (2 67 55), this is the number that Ali still uses until very high age. The number is in the course of time a comprehensive up to 015 21 2 67 55.


On Sunday 20 July 1969, the whole world listen and watch radio and television, because that day, the Apollo 11 capsule (the Eagle) landed on the moon, following the Russian spacecraft Luna 2 (1959). Something that seems to be almost impossible until then has been accomplished.
Neil Armstrong, known to everyone as the first man on the moon, walked at four to eleven in the evening, the first man on the moon surface. The legendary words "It's one small step for men," goes into history. Armstrong and the other crew members stay on the moon for about 21 hours.



The "Melk-Unie"

Meanwhile the "Melk Unie" (means: Milk Union) has taken over the business. Initially, Wim refuses to work for this society, and goes to another company to do some carrying jobs. After a while, he decided to work at the "Melk-Unie". He will have his own district in The Hague. He is also at ambassadors across the floor at that time. After being there for the first time, he says at home: "Ambassadors are also ordinary people."
By working at the "Melk-Unie", he gets better paid than ever before. He can even return some money to the Van Velsen family, but this is not in proportion to the amount they had received.
The irony is that this family goes bankrupt by a stupid mistake. One more time Wim is asked to pay an amount, but by Mrs Van Velsen, otherwise the bailiff would have taken it. After that, it's not needed to Wim and Ali to pay back anymore.


Late 60s begins the discussion that two churches in the center of Delft is too much, because the number of Catholics go to church less and less. Wim regularly attends meetings to see how the church can stay open.


In 1970, one liter of milk costs ƒ0,59.

Wim with his grandchildren Frans and Diederik and a Zambian dairy man.
Wim with his grandchildren Frans and Diederik and
a Zambian dairy man.
Wim in gevecht met een Pelikaan.
Wim in gevecht met een Pelikaan.
One of the Victoria Waterfalls.
One of the Victoria Waterfalls.


In May 1970 Wim en Ali goos to Zambia, where Tineke lives with her family for already two year. It is a gift from Tineke for the 30th marriage of Wim and Ali. It means a lot for them. For the first time in an airplane and then to an English speaking country. The country of the Africans. They have the thoughts: "Only the missionaries go to it. Now we go too." For all that pictures, slides and letters (Tineke writes home every week), it is very difficult to have a view of how Tineke and the family live in Zambia. There is a supermarket and a tarmac street, that's for Wim hard to imagine. He's totally surprised that Tineke has an ordinary house with a garden in an ordinary street. The people are really really black.
It is verry speciall to Wim that the dairy man comes at home here too. Only the milk is packed in triangle cartons. The milk is delivered here with a handkerchief, such as Wim who had the war. It's back in time for many years.
The family makes a 10 day trip. By car they go to a bird sanctuary, the Game Reserves and the Victoria Falls.
The first park is about 400 kilometers further. And we Dutch people think driving distance from Delft to Brabant is far away. Now such a trip, few cars on the road and very primitive nights. It is a kind of abandoned farm. The bath or shower water is located in a vessel on a scaffold, under which a fire is heated to heat the water. Only in this farm has electricity, generated by a generator, from 17:00 to 22:00 and further candle light.
On the areas in the park are ostriches, eagles, many deer, zebras and other wild life, where you can go after them by feet or by car.
Another 200 kilometers further are the Victoria Waterfalls. On the border with North Rhodesia, (later this will be called Zimbabwe) far from home, they sleep in rondavels. These are round huts with thatched roofs, though with running water and electricity. Nearly the Africans live in such houses as well. Only those are not so beautiful.


The waterfalls are beautiful. Wim can easily sit on a stone and just wonder how that water mass continues to fall. With the setting sun he finds it scary with all those strange noises. Monkeys are already untrusted during the day, but in the evening you should definitely stay away from them. So they return to their huts very soon. These cabins are located right on the water of the Zambesi River. In the river there are crocodiles, and they can sometimes wanting to eat a human race. With that thought, Wim does not feel at ease.

Wim and Alie with their grandchildren Frans and Diederik.
Wim and Alie with their grandchildren Frans and Diederik.

They enter the Game park twice, where they drive around with their own car. They see there elephants, lions, zebras, hyenas, wild boar, snakes and go on. As long as they are in the car, everything goes well. Wim is not quiet. He has to think of what will happen if the car goes out. There is hardly anyone in the wildlife park (without fence). At one of the lodges they have lunch. They sit there with delicious coffee. Just like Wim's cigar rises, he gets a visit of a pelican, who tries to take off his cigar. Wim waves something to keep his cigar. He decides to walk away and that animal just walks behind him. He doesn't like it. The Gamekeeper comes to help. Wim does not drink his coffee anymore. A little later, they drive with open windows to take pictures of the zebras that are very close. Before they know, the head of a zebra is almost in the car. They can just close the window in time. Wim likes it, but actually he wants to go back. The rest want to see a little more.


From the heat and the stress, Wim gets very thick feet. The doctor's advice is to return. That seems good advice because they are not home or his feet are normal again. One advantage is that home, even if it is Africa, is in the inhabited world.

Frans and Diederik really enjoyed 4 weeks of their grandfather and grandmother. (And vice versa of course too) When Wim goes back to the Netherlands, he has a whole different view on Africa. He can now tell the church community what is really needed in Africa.
When Wim and Ali return home, they are brought by Tinekes family to the stairs of the plane. They fly with two other Dutch couples. Wim tells later that he really likes seeing Africa. That part of the continent has given him a different meaning. He has seen that the people are poor but certainly not unhappy. That will never forget him.

After many discussions, a letter from the bishop of Rotterdam is read on a Sunday in the church with the announcement that the St.Hippolytus church will be closed and demolished. The Jozef church on the Burgwal will now be the church building for both parishes. That church is not restored yet, but is explained in better structural condition than St.Hippolytuskerk, which largely have been restored by the parishioners in the years 1960-1970. During the last mist, January 3, 1971, the church is bombarded. Everybody wants to be there. Of course, Wim and Ali are there. Their son Peter takes place on the pulpit to take pictures. Their son Wim is the leader of the worshipers and is on the altar. After church service, many people walk around the church, no one wants to go outside. The priests are afraid that the church is occupied. Later it appears that police officers in the citizen are present in the church to stop any action.
Some parishioners not accept that their church should close. They start an action committee. Wim is one of the fierce warriors to keep the church. Some others are: Mr. V.d.Valk, who later became very ill due to the tensions of the closure. Mr v. Geenen, who also had to buy his health and Mr Rigters. However, it is a lost case. The church is closed in January 1971. Many parishes refuse to go to the Josef church because they find that the choice for the church has been unfair.
A few sundays are dedicated on the church square in the winter cold. People are wearing thick coats on the church square, even people in wheelchairs are there. Son Wim is a misdemeanor at the sacred misses on the church square.

  A sacred miss on the church square. The demolition of the church.
A church service outside in front of St.Hippolytus church. Wim is standing in the crowd against the wall on the right.
His son Wim is altar boy to the right of the priest.
The demolition of the church.


Later the committee managed to arrange it so that in the Stads Doelen, where Wim always brings milk and milk products, Holy Masses can be dedicated in the auditorium.


Plans are being made to crack the church. Many discussions are held about how the church can be opened again. The idea is that the church is boarded up too well from the inside, making breaking open difficult.


One time son Wim goes to church with another altar boy because he knows which hatch is not closed properly. Walking into the church, they meet the last pastor who sends them outside.

After that the action committee rents the vacant chapel on the corner of Nieuwstraat / Oude Delft. This is being refurbished and the St.Hippolytus Chapel Foundation starts here. Wim and Ali go to church here every week. Mr. Rigters plays an important role for a long time in the further development of the St. Hippolytus Chapel.


Verwersdijk 20 (many years later)

 March 1972 Wim and Ali move to Van der Heimstraat 9. Like all previous houses, this one is also in Delft. The previous house, which is much larger, is sold at a considerable profit to a transmission belt factory. From that moment on, things are going very well financially. Unfortunately, Wim was not able to enjoy this for long, because he becomes seriously ill.


He will experience the first car-free Sunday, which takes place in the Netherlands on November 4, 1973. This was previously determined by the Dutch government headed by Prime Minister Den Uyl.

The need for the Car Free Sunday is caused by the oil producing countries of the Middle East, no oil to supply include Netherlands. These countries provide a large part of the oil reserves in the Netherlands. The boycott is brought about by the Dutch position on Israel.
As a result of this boycott, a kind of distribution system is being set up whereby every car owner can get petrol coupons. The only vehicles that are allowed to enter the road are the cars of special working groups such as ambulances and police. 6 more of these days will follow. Despite the great inconvenience during these days, the days are absolutely not experienced as difficult by the Dutch population.

Wim van Leeuwen 1913 - 1973

Wim bestows on his sickbed undoubtedly little attention to it.


After being ill for about six months, Wim died on November 5, 1973. Wim is buried from the St. Hippolytus Chapel.

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