EAST GELRE – Are you buying a house or farm in East Gelre and would you like to know more about the former residents? Do you have a question about your family tree? Are you having a reunion and looking for old photos? Want to know where to go with your old family archives? Then you can go to an Archaeological Association.
By Barbara Pavinati
East Gelre has four: Association for Archeology Lichtenvoorde (VOL), Archaeological Association Groenlo (OVG), Archaeological Association Zuwent (OVZ) and Archaeological Association Harvelt (OVH). For this article, we also spoke with Oudvragender (OV), a two-man formation that has created a digital photo archive. These associations have a somewhat boring image, they realize that themselves. It is not necessary at all, because the story is alive. Just look at the success of the book ‘With dry feet’ in 2018 and the recent success of the sticker book ‘Historisch Lichtenvoorde’ with pictures from the past, both published by Jumbo Bennink in Lichtenvoorde in collaboration with VOL. A similar book published a few years ago by OVG in collaboration with Albert Heijn in Groenlo also caused enthusiastic reactions.
Often his parents
can’t have any
question about it
the family then
come on people
out with us’
The associations are engaged in all sorts of socially relevant topics, some of which will be discussed in this article. Three associations want young recruits. OVG is proud of its young board members and is therefore the exception. “However, interest in history often comes at an older age,” say Miranda Krabbenborg and Esther Krabbenborg from OVH, “then people become nostalgic and yearn for the past. Often their parents have passed away and they can no longer ask questions about that time in the family. Then answers are sought elsewhere, and they end up with us.”
The associations aim to preserve and describe the history and cultural heritage of their locality. They are also keen to improve knowledge, interest others and involve the young. There is a lot of wisdom and knowledge in and with the residents of Østgelre. It would be a shame if it were lost with the death of these living sources. Therefore, it is important to collect and archive as many memories and information as possible. Either with pictures and documents, or with interviews. Many historical books are being written. This can be ordered by, for example, the football association, but also larger in connection with, for example, 75 years of liberation. The book ‘Reconstruction in Østgelre’, which was presented in the summer of 2022, is about the reconstruction 1940-1965. It was created in a collaboration between VOL, OVG and OVZ, the municipality of Oost Gelre and Gelders Genootschap. Roger Crols from the Gelders Genootschap is the author of this joint publication. VOL is particularly proud of the anniversary book that it published in 2021 on the occasion of its 50th anniversary. On 4 and 5 May, the associations, with the exception of the OVG, were sometimes called upon to commemorate the Second World War and celebrate the liberation.
East Gelre municipality
The municipality knows where to find VOL and OVZ if there are questions about, for example, soil research. VOL has an archaeological working group and OVZ sometimes takes on cases in this area itself. Due to the Treaty of Malta in 1992, the local working groups are no longer allowed to dig themselves. This can only be done by archaeological agencies. These agencies want to make use of local knowledge. This knowledge is used when digging is to be done for, for example, new construction, and there is a suspicion of historical material in the ground. When thinking about new road names, it is customary to get help from the associations. OVZ, for example, came up with the name ‘Op den Bond’ for the new residential area near the old rural association. OVH helped with the street names for the sand paths between Lichtenvoorde and Harreveld and between Lichtenvoorde and Zieuwent. For example, OVG came up with the name Willem Neerveldtstraat, the founder of Grolsch beer, for the street where the Grolsch factory was once located. Monuments are also placed through the efforts of these associations. Think of the hidden church that used to be located on the farm Katershorst in Zieuwent. In addition, OVG, VOL and OVZ each have a representative on the monument committee in Oost Gelre municipality.
The associations work with people who are locally interested in history. Some also with the schools. For example, VOL made the former Jumbo book with old photos and stories about the past available digitally to all elementary schools for the compulsory local history subject and OVH was asked to organize an exhibition about school history in the Canisius school’s centenary. In Zieuwent, there is a WWII tour once every two years for the students in grades 7 and 8 at Jozefskolen to reflect on the important places and local events. They also organize Open Monument Classendag on the Friday before Monumentendag. As a result, the youth are involved in the past. History only really comes to life when it is close and you experience it yourself.
Lectures and excursions
Lectures are organized by all associations a few times a year. Of VOL, for example in De Koppelpaarden. The last lecture ‘Image presentation ‘Vrogger”’ in November attracted so many people that not everyone could join the room. Therefore, a second treatment has even been organised. In Zieuwent, there has been a midwinter horn walk on the first Sunday in Advent for nine years. In addition, they organize the Hear project every year in collaboration with the Achterhoekse Vlasspinners. Lichtenvoorde and Zieuwent go on an excursion with their members every year. OVG regularly organizes paleography workshops and has a stall full of books and periodicals at the market on Vestedagen. OVG also works closely with Heimatverein Vreden when there is a reason for it and they have been on an excursion together on Heritage Day many times. OV is regularly asked by associations from the Questionnaire to give presentations about the past. Recently at KBO’s 70th anniversary.
OVH’s and OVG’s and OV’s websites are interactive and contain a lot of information about, for example, houses or important events on site. Visitors can add to this information or search for answers to questions they have about the past. OVZ is busy renewing the website, with image bank. Digitization of old sources is truly something of our time. These days, you no longer need to rummage through dusty archives for information. It also makes the story attractive to young people.
The associations are all looking for new members. Growth has grown following the successful picture books in collaboration with Jumbo and Albert Heijn. The TV series ‘Verhaal van Nederland’ and ‘Het disasterjaar 1672’ have also resulted in a growing interest in history. OVG is proud that they have young people on the board, including one in his early twenties. They are always actively recruiting members. They are also eagerly looking for people who know and want to write beautiful stories about Groenlo’s history. They would like to help with this, so that they can be placed in their journal Grols Past or published in book form. If you are interested, you are welcome to contact the various associations.
Facts about antiquarian associations in East Gelderland
The largest antiquarian association is OVG with 795 members, followed by VOL with 282, OVZ with 180, OVH with 43 and the men in OV are the smallest with 2 men.
The associations were founded in: 1971 (Lichtenvoorde), 1976 (Groenlo), 1983 (Zieuwent), 2005 (Vragender), 2015 (Harreveld).
Three associations have a room where they store their archives. VOL in the old Bolderkaore, OVZ in ‘t Kevelder, OVH in Landsbyhuset. VOL and OVH have walk-in consultation hours (OVZ works by appointment), where people can sign in with questions about, among other things, old photos on the site or where they can bring their family archive because someone has passed away. OVG is still looking for a room to accommodate themselves. The men from OV meet every week at each other’s homes.
Lichtenvoorde publishes its journal ‘de Lichte voorde’ twice a year, Zieuwent has the magazine ‘Het Hoenderboom’, published three times a year, Groenlo presents ‘Grols Verleden’. Groenlo’s magazine is published once a year and is their great pride. It is a glossy magazine with high-level articles.
Lichtenvoorde, Groenlo and Zieuwent often work together. Harreveld participates occasionally. Asker is not an antiquarian association and goes its own way.