Speech 2004 Gerrit Staal commemmoration

Ladies and gentleman,

A very warm welcome to anybody here in the Airborne Museum Hartenstein.

I am very thankful for the hospatility of the Airborne Museum.

The presentation of Airborne Beer has made me very glad and happy and maybe a one is supposing “He is intoxicated”. But please do not worry about that. My intoxication is not caused by drinking the beer, but it is the result of the success of the project, which is crowned today by the presence of two important guests: Mr. Newhouse, British veteran of the 10th Battalion, The Parachute Regiment, and M. Kamminga, Commissionar of the Queen in Gelderland.

I invited you both to accomplish a central role in presenting the jubilee edition of the Airborne Beer on the occation of the 60th commemoration of The battle of Arnhem as a part of the Market Garden Operation in 1944.

With my age of 40 years I haven’t been in touch with these dark days, traditions of my relations, who were evacuated from the village Heelsum to Friesland were very impressive. Alse the yearly commemorations and the different places with monuments, which reminds us to the Second World War, made me very impressed.

During the years, I grew up in Heelsum also a wish was grown to organize something special for the veterans and the annual commemorations.
In 1999, when I already lived in Friesland, I started this charitable project after consulting an acquintance of me, who is owner of a Frisian brewery and the husband of my cousin, who is designer. It was my first experience in this project that good contacts do have an eminent importance. From this place thanks to the brewer, Aart van der Linde, and the designer, Arie Visser.

Five years ago also a presentation was held in this former headquarters of Major-general Urquhart. A characteristic question I remember, in the speech of mayor Verlinden was how to commemorate in the future with new generations.

After a succesful start during the 55th commemoration I decided to continue my initiative. The Lest we forget Foundation arranged 3.000 guilders in that year. Besides this benefit I was well motivated by the nice compliments of the Arnhem veterans, the generation who has been through these dreadful occurrences as nobody else.

The support of the Arnhem veterans for the Airborne Beer project is underlined again bu the presence of Mr. Newhouse, honorary Treasurer of the Arnhem 1944 Veterans Club. At this moment the beer sales has reached 7.700 bottles and has brought in 3.500 euro for Lest we forget.
I hope that this happening, with all other activities will make a contribution towards a bridge to the future and a bridge to the next generations.

I will now finish my introduction and my proposal is to give all opportunity to Mr. Newhouse to make his speech and to present the Royal Commissionars Brew, which is in the basket, to Mr. Kamminga.
I hope that Mr. Kamminga will also make a speech and then I will close the formal part of this meeting so that we can start with the reception.

Thanks for your attention. The word is with you Mr. Newhouse.