The Schuurman Family

Schuurman family

Derek and Carina Schuurman My wife and I met while we were still undergraduate students. She was a student at Redeemer College while I was studying at the University of Waterloo. In those days I travelled frequently between Waterloo and Redeemer in my trusty brown 1981 Dodge Omni.

For many years we lived in Hamilton with our four children, but we have since moved to Grand Rapids to begin teaching at Calvin College. Prior to Calvin, I taught for many years at Redeemer University College and spent a year in Sioux Center as a visiting professor at Dordt College.

The picture on the right shows my family and me standing in the Grote Markt (large market) in front of the Martini Toren in Groningen, the Netherlands. This was the home-town of my paternal grandparents who later immigrated to Canada. My grandfather later became the first employee at the Voortman bakery.

The tower and its church are officially known as the Martini tower and the Martini kerk respectively. It is considered one of the main tourist attractions of Groningen and offers a great view over the city and surrounding area. Its height is 96 meters.

My maternal grandparents originally came from the island of Rozenburg in South Holland. They were among the first wave of post-war Dutch immigrants to Canada in 1947 and eventually started a potato business. Niether of my grandparents had post-secondary education, so instead of a B.A., my grandfather said he had an A.B. (short for Aardappel Boer or "potatoe farmer"). My cousin wrote a song called A Dollar and a Suitcase based loosely on a story that was told about my grandmother and my aunt.