‘Togetherness, a drink and a piece of sausage’
RODEN – For years they were volunteers, performing many manual and auxiliary services for the construction team at Jaarbeurs. It was a lot of fun, they all agree. Still, the gentlemen gave the pipe to Maarten. Johan Traa, Harrie Kruims and Joop van Liere look back fondly on a time together, a drink and a piece of sausage.
Once Johan Traa When he stopped working, he was asked by Barkhof, he was leading the team of volunteers at the time, to join the construction group. ‘I had a few hours to spare, and in the early days I mainly used the roller for the sauce work,’ begins Traa. But after that he jumped everywhere, starting with emptying the warehouse and hauling it to the fairgrounds. Traa liked being active after her working life and became a full-time volunteer. In addition to his work for the construction crew, he and his wife provided snacks and drinks at the Alzheimer Café, helped out at church and joined the Food Bank. Although the 80-year-old is still healthy, he was forced to stop working with the construction crew. Getting up before dawn and going out all day for a few weeks is no longer an option now that he is a caregiver for his wife. But Traa thoroughly enjoyed it. ‘Because you bet once you’re there you don’t want to leave.’ According to Traa, it was mainly the fun and the pranks. “Even though I didn’t always understand everything, it was nice to be around people.” But above all, he will emphasize gratitude and good care. ‘Drinking coffee together and having a drink with a piece of dry sausage both at noon and at five o’clock, it was magnificent.’ Traa says that she will miss the coziness and togetherness during the construction, but also at the opening of the fair. ‘Then we would also be there with the whole club.’ But also in the following days they met often and the chairs were put together again. “Of course the coins had to be used up, right?” He continues his work for the Food Bank for a while. In addition, Traa enjoys the e-reader, but he also likes to be outside. He has just chopped up a large stock of wooden pallets and now the apple tree is also waiting for action. ‘The fruit must soon be stored in the freezer,’ says Traa.
Harry Kruims we find it at a table full of technical Lego. He had chests full of them, but eventually passed them on to his grandchildren. Still, it started to itch again and soon a real crane is back in operation. Kruims worked at Suikerunien’s technical service. ‘So yes, the technical thing is in me.’ When he was 56 years old, he was able to come out with a deal. He says that he wanted something to do, and he ended up with the group of volunteers by other means. It seemed funny to him and he said it was definitely true. ‘We had a group of three, were serious about building the bars, but we certainly weren’t averse to playing tricks on each other.’ But they also enjoyed the ‘old’ Barkhof, the man who had set everything up there. This plug could give everyone the necessary madness. ‘But you couldn’t get better anywhere than at the Jaarbeurs! How they treat you there, it’s amazing,” he says. Kruims also praises the appreciation, the drink, the cheese and sausage pieces and the big bowls of fish. Sitting at the special table for volunteers at the opening, he could look around and think: ‘We did that nicely together again.’ After two TIAs and a stroke, Kruims didn’t get better. He noticed that the last time was difficult. When he came home in the evening, he was a complete wreck. ‘I mainly had myself with it. The lack of energy gave the only option, which was to stop”. He thinks it’s a shame and will miss the great stories. ‘But especially the feeling of being together, we know each other.’ Fortunately, Kruims is fully enjoying the grandchildren, the birds in his aviary and the koi carp in the large pond behind the house. ‘And of course tinkering with technical Lego,’ laughs Kruims.
Joop van Liere considered himself still fresh and young when he joined the group of volunteers at the age of 60. He had retired early and still had plenty to do at home, but that didn’t bother Van der Meulen, who was then in charge of the volunteers. ‘The garden, but especially the horses and the land, demanded my full attention.’ Van der Meulen coaxed him with, ‘Oh, it’s nice with all those guys,’ and then he tumbled in. ‘And it was funny. We always had a lot of fun together as guys.’ He says there was quite a bit of exchange between them, but he doesn’t want to share details about it. “What happened on the exhibition grounds stayed and will stay there”, laughs Van Liere. It was always a period when you got up extra early. And getting out of bed early, Van Liere always did because of the horses: “So it got up even earlier.” Together they started building cash registers, a stage for the fashion show and a wardrobe. Van Liere is also full of praise for the always first-class pampering. “All those goodies made sure he didn’t want to eat at home anymore,” whispers his wife. Van Liere, now 85 years old but still very fit, thought it was time to stop. ‘I don’t climb a ladder at home to clean the windows, so I don’t do that anymore at Jaarbeurs either.’ Van Liere, who was also on the VOR bus until he was 75, is still not bored at home. Every morning he is busy removing the manure from the ground and feeding the horses. And in the winter, the barn must also be mopped out every morning and evening. “I will miss it, no more chatting,” Van Liere concludes. “Maybe I’ll check around the corner every now and then.”