It is a great honour and with tremendous joy that I am able to share with you that our past-president Dr. Adriana Zylmans received a royal decoration from His Majesty The King of the Netherlands. At the residence of our Consul-General Henk Snoeken, Adriana received her well deserved ‘Lintje’ for her years of service to the Dutch community in British Columbia.
Adriana is past-president of Je Maintiendrai, a 56 years old association that changed its name to Dutch Network a few years ago. There is no doubt by anyone that Adrian’s participation to the association has been instrumental in the preservation and growth of Je Maintiendrai – Dutch Network. She was also long-time President and Executive Board member of other Dutch organisations, such as Haro Place and the Dutch Liberation Canadian Society 2020, just to name a few. It was all this work, across many organizations, that made her a successful candidate to be acknowledged by the King of The Netherlands.
Adriana was part of the organized Dutch community her whole life. The Zylmans family settled in Richmond, BC after immigrating from The Netherlands. Her membership with Je Maintiendrai goes back to the early days and she herself became a member of the association more than 25 years ago. Throughout her membership Adriana participated and volunteered. She was well known in the community for her participation during Sinterklaas celebrations. Even today, senior members of the association know Adriana well and always recall all the things she and her family have done for the community during her life.
Meeting Adriana at home is like walking into a Dutch museum. Her house is filled with traditional memorabilia. Delft’s blue, tiles with Dutch phrases, clogs and farming references, brings your emotions back to a traditional farm along the famous Dutch dikes. Her love for our home country is clear for all to see and there is no doubt that The Netherlands holds a special place in her heart. Her love for Holland created the force of energy and drive needed to transform our association and influence our community.
It is without any doubt, by me, our executive board, by our members and by the Dutch community-at-large, that Adriana deserves recognition for representing The Netherlands and its culture. She does it daily with everything in her heart. I encourage you to congratulate Adriana in the coming days.
Adriana, congratulations! We are proud of you. Thank you for everything you have done for us.
John van Rij
President, Dutch Network