Two royal decorations in Leiderdorp

They decorated in Leiderdorp. (Photos: Maurice Hettfleisch).

On Tuesday morning, two residents of Leiderdorp received the decoration of Mayor Laila Driessen, which belongs to the royal decoration they received the day before King’s Day.

JC Timmermans is now a member of the Orange-Nassau Order
Jaap Timmermans has been involved in the Leiderdorp association since 1972. He devised and organized many activities in various areas. From swimming competitions, multi-camps for the disabled, school parties to the annual Leiderdorp Triathlon and De Nacht van Leiderdorp. Timmermans has meant a lot to sporty Leiderdorp in his life. He has hosted many sporting events. He has arranged winter sports holidays to Austria and cross-country skiing holidays in the Ardennes.

From 1995 to 2011, he compiled two radio programs and presented them to the then local broadcaster Radio Leiderdorp. For years, he delivered a radio program featuring classical music and jazz on Sunday nights.

The Buurt Actief Leiderdorp Foundation was established at the beginning of this century, when a number of residents of Leiderdorp, including Mr Timmermans, were concerned about the planned tunneling of the A4 and the construction of the HSL. A group of residents set up a fund to closely follow developments around this huge project. For the sake of the residents of Kerkwijk and Oranjewijk, the foundation came up with various proposals for changes. Always comes up with solutions, whether it’s big or seemingly small cases.

Because Mr. Timmermans has been selflessly engaged in many areas for residents of Leiderdorp for more than fifty years, His Majesty King Willem-Alexander has been pleased to appoint Mr. Jacob Casper Timmermans a member of the Orange Nassau Order.


Maurice Hettfleisch spoke with the decorated Jaap Timmermans and Harry Horlings.

H. Horlings became an officer in the Orange-Nassau Order
Harry Horling’s life is largely dominated by airplanes. From 1965 to 2003 he served in the Royal Netherlands Air Force. During that time, he was able to pursue a unique education at the United States Air Force Test Pilot School in America. Horlings has devoted his entire career to improving aviation safety. And even after that, the subject could not let go of him. After his career, he founded AvioConsult: an independent consulting firm that is largely voluntarily engaged in investigating air disasters, writing manuals, and providing training.

Sir. Horlings became nationally and internationally known for his involvement in two lawsuits related to the Faro plane crash in 1992. He meticulously reconstructed the last minutes of the flight using data. Thus, he convincingly disproved that downwind was the cause. The research showed that several avoidable and guilty human errors were committed. He made the many hours – more than 2500 hours – with research and preparation of reports voluntarily and without pay.

Sir. Horlings’ report allowed the case to be reopened just before the 2012 statute of limitations to reveal the true facts of the disaster. Sessions were held in 2014 and 2015 where he was heard as an expert. He was the aviation expert who assisted lawyers in the lawsuit against Martinair and the state of the Netherlands. But possibly even more importantly: His research made it clear that training courses lack essential knowledge about safe flight, technical properties, and proper emergency procedures. His efforts have great social value. They do not just focus on finding the truth in random cases. They mainly contribute to the knowledge and skills of future pilots so that future disasters can be prevented.

With his fighting spirit, knowledge and skills, but also the will to fight injustice, Mr Horlings has helped many victims and survivors. To make this commitment and unwavering dedication to make the flight safer, His Majesty King Willem-Alexander has been pleased to appoint Mr. Horlings as an officer in the Orange Nassau Order.

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