Glace Bay, Nova Scotia
Klomp, Klomp with every step!
Lewis G. Billard was born in Glace Bay, Nova Scotia in
1923. He joined the R.C.A.F. in 1943 and worked on the
Rolls-Royce Merlin engines in Lancaster bombers in England
and in Mosquito Nightfighters in Europe. After the war
Billard returned to Nova Scotia, studied science at
Kings/Dalhousie, and after graduation taught science and
math until his
retirement in 1988. To: Effie Belle Billard [Mother] From:
Lewis. Date: June 17, 1945, Twente, Holland. June 17,
1945. Dear Mom, This is the second part of the letter.
I'll be waiting to receive the snaps of Aunt Edythe's baby.
I've been to Enschede again and visited the Park, which is
very nice. Many of the lawns have vegetables growing in
them, since food is not that plentiful here in Holland.
Everywhere you go there are little children, all cleanly
dressed. I bought a little pair of Klompen in town. A Klomp
is a shoe, and two are Klompen. And that's just what they
do: Klomp, Klomp with every step!
They're the real thing- for a two year old child, and very
cute. They are painted with the Dutch Flag and with the
Royal colour of orange, as well as the words Enschede and
Holland, so they have been decorated as souveniers. While I
was in town I met a young fellow and he invited me to his
home, and now we have become good friends. His family name
is Niezink, and he lives at 101 Steenwegstraat. The family
is made up of the mother, father, two sons, one 14 and the
other 16 and a little girl, who is about 3 years
old. I've given them gum and chocolates, and also some of
the hot chocolate that you had sent to me in a parcel, as
well as some cigarettes. They hardly know how to thank me.
They seemed to think that they had to pay for everything, so
I had quite a job to convince them that they were all gifts.
But I suppose that you can expect that, for under the Nazis,
giving was not in their rotten blood. Maybe if I'm here in
Holland long enough I'll get to know them well.
Courtesy of ‘The canadian letters and images project’
Malaspina University College
– Dr Stephen Davies.