Graddy’s story

Graddy is my schoonmoeder (my mother in law). At 93 she has the most amazing memory.

Born in 1929, she was raised in Holland during the global depression and experienced Nazi occupied Holland during WW two then allied liberation as a teenager.

As the eldest daughter living in the household, cultural traditions required her to take on the roll of the housekeeper, coping with the demands of her siblings, a mother who was ill and a stepfather with little compassion.

Graddy’s family 1950

At 19 she met Peter the love of her life whom she married when she was 21. Against family wishes two weeks later they emigrated to Australia thinking they would never see Holland again.

The resilience of Australia as a country is built on stories like Graddy and Peter’s who by pure determination built their lives, families and businesses by overcoming the challenges thrown at them.

Peter and Graddy raised ten children built a successful business and contributed much to the country they proudly call home. Graddy’s immediate family now totals 72 including 23 grandchildren and 13 great grandchildren, and yes returned to Holland five times.

Graddy’s 90th Birthday

There are 11 episodes in total, they were recorded in January 2023 in Graddy’s dining room by my wife Judy (her eldest daughter) and me. Occasionally throughout the recordings Graddy will refer to “you” that should be taken as Judy.

On that note Dutch vocal pronunciations have some inconsistencies when translated to english “J” being one, as an example Graddy may pronounce Judy as Yudy, you will notice this with other words and sounds throughout.

Leave a comment it will make Graddy’s day and ask as many questions as you want.

Episode 1

1929 t0 1941
L to R Ann, Dora, Rein, Wim, Graddy

Episode 2

Life under Nazi occupation and liberation

Episode 3

The House keeper

Episode 4

Meeting the love of her life

Episode 5

Engagement and wedding

Episode 6

Holland to Australia
The honeymoon aboard Johan van Oldenbarnevelt

Episode 7

Welcome to Australia
Their first home

Episode 8

Building their home and Family
Robert, Frank and Greg

Episode 9

Building their business

Episode 10

Aireys Inlet

Episode 11

Words of wisdom
60th wedding anniversary

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