DALE – The Christian Orange Association Hou en Trouw in Dale has been in existence for 75 years this year and it is being celebrated in style. There will be a reception for members and invited guests on Thursday 18 August. Visitors are requested to show up at the gala and arrive with appropriate transportation, including a driver. This promises to produce Schaersvoorde-like scenes, but for adults.
By Jos Wessels
The Orangefest itself starts on Friday afternoon, August 19, with children’s games on the festival grounds behind ‘t Romienendal. There is also an assault course and a balloon artist. In the evening there is traditional theatre. This year, a farce is performed by own members entitled The Legacy of Aunt Bella. Entrance for non-members 8 euros, members pay 4 euros and children 2 euros. The play starts at 19:30. There will be a raffle during the break.
On Saturday 20 August, the parade goes at noon to Nicole Klein Nijenhuis and Niels Jentink, the old kings. Back at the party grounds, the royal shooting begins. And then it will stay fun for a long time, because in the evening the live cover band Prezz will perform. Then the same entrance as Friday applies.
Much has changed in 75 years, but things have also remained the same. I am speaking with Vice-President Martin van Eerden and Theo Stronks, who has been President for ten years. Both men are rooted in Dale and can tell beautiful stories. First of all, how it started. We are writing 1945. Liberation parties are held everywhere. Almost all villages and hamlets have their own Orange Association, but Dale does not. Dale also deserves such an association, the residents believe. In February 1947, the Orange Association was founded. She is given the beautiful name Hou en Trouw. Clings to the ideals of country and faith and loyalty to the House of Orange. Jan Stronks is chairman and focal point of the association. Because of his work, he is nicknamed ‘Meal-Jan’. He has held the hammer for 25 years.
The party is celebrated initially on the Eppink property on Romienendiek, then another dirt road. The parade goes from Sunday School to Eppink. The school is located on the site where ‘t Romienendal will be built in 1991. Host and hostess at Eppink are Bernhard and Drika Prinsen. Prince Bernhard is quickly nicknamed Prince Bernhard. The party takes place in the open, including the stage. All around, there are hase mats against snookers. There is a sandbox for the little ones.
Hou en Trouw is a Christian association. You must be a Protestant to become a member. The evenings of the Oranjefeest are filled with drama, usually performed by its own members. There is an edifying word from the pastor beforehand. A raffle will be held during the break. There is also a musical performance by Advento from Lintelo or Excelsior from Barlo. The prices are purchased from wholesalers. Homemade salads are also served. About fifteen ladies are busy all evening beforehand peeling potatoes, cooking, mashing, adding soup meat and acid and then letting them cool. Initially, this takes place at Mael-Jan’s home. Son Theo still remembers all the chatty ladies. There is also a candy stall with all known candy brands. There are lists of who can be in the booth at what time. But on Saturday evening at noon it is Schluss: the police are at the door because the Sunday rest has begun.
‘Romans’ and others
Much has changed over the years. Soon the ‘roomsen’ and others could also become members. In 1966, the royal shooting was held for the first time, in fact already such a Roman custom. For many years there was a drop-off, all in a blacked-out truck and then dropped off in a remote area. Who will find their way home first in the dark? Orientation tours for cars, motorcycles and mopeds were also held. Later there was the guinea pig course, known from Avros Wie-kent-Kwis. A guinea pig named after a famous Dutchman came through one of the gates with different amounts of money. Until the day when it was more than 30 degrees and the Daalse guinea pig refused to move a paw!
The children’s games, the scene with the raffle and also the sandbox for the little ones have remained. A large management board of thirteen people keeps everything running. The stage performance in particular requires a lot of effort: looking for a beautiful play in the winter, reading test in the spring. When the Gussinklo family has brought the cows out to ‘t Villeken, the dead balls are gathered at the ‘dealer’, and the real tests can begin. Likewise this year. Farce Aunt Bella’s legacy is repeated on October 15.