Since the establishment of the family foundation, Maarten Vreugdenhil (K XI j) and Aat Vreugdenhil (C X y.2) have been involved in the activities of the foundation. Aat is still part of the board and currently holds the position of treasurer. Maarten participated in the board until 1989 and took care of the Vreugdeschakel until that time.
For this anniversary issue, we asked both gentlemen for their opinions on the past, present, and future of the Vreugdeschakel. Organizing writer Maarten talks about the origin of the Vreugdeschakel, that Koos Verhulst, the avid campaigner for a Vreugdenhil family tree, would receive new addresses monthly. “Many in the Westland area, but also a fair amount from outside it. Koos was more of a detective, I was an organizing writer or a writing organizer. What Koos managed to uncover was fantastic. Therefore, it seemed necessary to me to turn the enormous amount of names/families into an organizational unit, for example, via a newsletter. The first – and later – issue(s) were born on an old typewriter, in a way that could not be simpler. But it worked!
Gradually, something like a sense of identity emerged: We Vreugdenhillen.” Aat adds the facts to the story. “The family tree book that was published in 1985 is the foundation of the Vreugdenhil family foundation. The Vreugdeschakel (formerly: Vreugdeschakel) is its lubricant. The December 1983 issue was also the first tangible one for all the Vreugdenhillen we knew at the time. That edition consisted of three A4 pages typed on both sides, with green as a supporting color. It was distributed by stencil and by copying the typed addresses onto address labels. Since 1984, the addresses have been kept on a computer by Marijke Vreugdenhil-Oosterhoff (O X w). From that moment on, we could print out the addresses by postal code and genealogy code. Since 2000, the addresses have been on the family foundation’s website, and they come out of the printer with the family crest on the label, thanks to Martijn Vreugdenhil (E XI b.1) in Zoetermeer.” Full Color In February 1988, the first printed edition of the Vreugdeschakel was published. From that moment on, three editions per year were published due to the low VAT rate, which reduced the size to two A4 papers printed on both sides. From 1998 to 2004, each edition contained 3 A4 pages. In March 2005, the first full-color edition was published. In the meantime, this magazine has been published 62 times.
After Maarten Vreugdenhil, Jaap Vreugdenhil (K XI k) has been the driving force behind it since 1989. For many years, he worked together with his niece Loes van Dalen-Vreugdenhil (K IX b.3), who was responsible for the layout. Since 2005, the content has been provided by Ria Vreugdenhil (C X u.1).
Both gentlemen have a vision for the future of the Vreugdeschakel. Maarten indicates that the Vreugdeschakel can certainly continue to have a purpose within the activities of the family foundation. “In addition to the family tree book as a reference work, the board of the family foundation that is concerned with the preservation of the ‘club,’ the Vreugdeschakel is the most important binding agent when it comes to our beautiful family name and our shared sense of ‘belonging.’
The Vreugdeschakel is the current news organ. It reports on who among us are top athletes, who got promoted, who bakes the best bread or writes captivating stories. All of these things do a lot of Vreugdenhil hearts good and make us quietly a little proud. That is why the Vreugdeschakel is indispensable.
“In this digital age, the Vreugdeschakel will continue to be sent by mail for the next 25 years,” Aat reports, after which it will be sent digitally. This is related to the fact that some of the pre-war generation does not use computers. For the coming years, in addition to further filling in the family tree concerning the ’emigrated’ Vreugdenhills, we have the following objectives: to make the digital family tree more user-friendly, to investigate the historical background of people or things with the name Vreugdenhil, and to further color in the living Vreugdenhills.
This will keep us busy for the next ten to twenty years. “With Maarten’s words, we conclude this conversation. “The board decides year after year to spend money on our magazine. The editor does his/her best to make it something enjoyable, but inspiration and copy never fall out of the sky. Appoint yourself as a tipster: call something in or write to the editor. This way, you can help keep our valued magazine going. You want that too, don’t you?!”
Maarten Vreugdenhil (K XI j) and Aat Vreugdenhil (C X y.2)