CULTURALLY CONNECTED: Tweed Dutch residents Thea Shepherd, Ellen Reid, Mieke Scoccimarro, Alida Craig, Mary Badcock, Loes Bogaerts, Theo Bogaerts, Maria Bashford and Florence Van Bossum preparing for Sinterklaas dinner.
CULTURALLY CONNECTED: Tweed Dutch residents Thea Shepherd, Ellen Reid, Mieke Scoccimarro, Alida Craig, Mary Badcock, Loes Bogaerts, Theo Bogaerts, Maria Bashford and Florence Van Bossum preparing for Sinterklaas dinner. Scott Powick

Traditional dinner a nod to Dutch heritage

DUTCH descendants from around the Tweed will gather tonight to celebrate the traditional Sinterklaas dinner.

Sinterklaas is celebrated by the Dutch on December5 each year, the evening before Saint Nicholas Day.

For Tweed residents with roots in The Netherlands, it’s an opportunity to reconnect with their childhood and culture.

Organiser Maria Bashford said while many of the attendees had been Australian citizens for decades, traditions like Sinterklaas remained important today.

“We’ve all been here about 50-odd years, but we just enjoy it,” Ms Bashford said

“We want to remember the big events.”

Tonight’s celebration at Murwillumbah Ex-Services Club will feature traditional Dutch delicacies and songs.

While they might not boast extravagant feasts, the celebration will take each resident back to their tiny homeland.

“It’s lovely and it’s what we remember from when we were children,” Ms Bashford said. “We’ve got a good heritage, so we want to show it off.”

Ms Bashford said she hoped continued celebrations of events like Sinterklaas would encourage their children and grandchildren to maintain links to their increasingly distant Dutch heritage.

“I think it is important because it’s something to be proud of,” she said.

At last year’s Sinterklaas dinner, local men Peter Van Lieshout and Tom Van Bakel were reunited for the first time in decades.

They became friends on the boat to Australia 54 years earlier, but had grown apart as they settled into their new country.

Tonight’s dinner will begin at 6.30pm.



Revealed: The stars who became business giants

Premium Content Revealed: The stars who became business giants

Find out how these Gold Coasters became business heavyweights

Man threatens to kill brother for forgetting to buy bananas

Premium Content Man threatens to kill brother for forgetting to buy bananas

He threatened to kill two people and wreaked havoc on their property

FOMO alert: Bluesfest 80% sold out and new artists confirmed

Premium Content FOMO alert: Bluesfest 80% sold out and new artists confirmed

Peter Noble: “Pinch me, my dream is coming true"