Here I would love to share with you our travels and adventures as international mushroom consultants. MEMOIRS about husband Pieter Vedder, who was a SCIENTIFIC PIONEER in Mushroom Cultivation Education. His practical handbook is in 9 languages and is called the MUSHROOM BIBLE: https://mariettesbacktobasics.blogspot.com/2020/08/modern-mushroom-growing-2020-harvesting.html
At the age of twelve, he began his gymnastic studies on September 27, 1915 in the mission house Saint Willibrord in Uden. Just two months after he'd lost his Dad who passed away at age 47...
On September 8, 1923, he was dressed as a novice in the mission house Saint Lambertus in Helvoirt. There he also took his first Vows on September 8, 1925. After the novitiate and philosophy, he left for Teteringen in 1926, to the mission house Saint Francis Xavier for the four years of theology. He took the Eternal Vows on September 8, 1928. He was ordained priest by Monsignor Petrus Hopmans, bishop of Breda on February 3, 1929.
On October 12 of that year he left for Rome for higher studies at the Gregoriana and obtained the doctorate in canon law in two years. Back in Teteringen on July 29, 1931, he began teaching morality and law. Overworked, he had to give up his teaching post after four years. He goes to seek peace in Soesterberg, first as an assistant in the parish of Hamersveld. Later he was able to teach Greek.
Father Jan Nelissen on his horse in Timor, Indonesia
(NVC March 23) In the Limburg Illustration of 1929 there was this photo of neomist Nelissen with his family. To the left of mother Nelissen is Dean Creemers. To the right of Father Nelissen (with white choir shirt) chaplain Leesens can still be seen.
Limburger Koerier, April 4, 1929 (Limburger Courier)
Horst,—First Mass. On Easter Day, March 31, the First Mass was celebrated here in the parish Church of St. Lambertus by your Reverence Father J. Nelissen. Preceded by the harmony (orchestration), which for the first time helped to grace such a feast, the newly ordained priest was picked up at the presbytery by brides, shepherds and the clergy of the parish, including Mgr. Hoogers, Ap. Prefect in China, who is currently staying here. The fest ceremony was held by Father v.d. Laar from the Mission House in Uden. After the solemn high mass, the youthful priest was led with the same procession to the parental home, where an appropriate verse was said by one of the brides, after which the neomist addressed a word of thanks to all and gave his first priestly blessing.
Heeroom with family on March 31, 1929 when he did his first Holy Mass in his home town of Horst.
Second row from top his older brother Handrie is seen next to him and his Mother, widow since Heeroom was 12 (my Dad's maternal Grandmother wears a lace toer or poffer), and another Priest. Dad's eldest sister (as a bride) and Dad's Mom, sister from Heeroom. Dad's first cousin Piet Poels to the right with his wooden leg.
Heeroom is holding his hands on the shoulder of Dad's younger sister Nel (as a bride) and the little one next to her is Dien, another of Dad's first cousin I guess.
Seated left to right is Dad's younger brother Jeu and first cousin Jan Poels, Hermans, my Dad with his folded hands, Dad's younger brother Jack and first cousin Nel Poels.
Standing in back is Aunt Anna & Uncle Lei Nelissen, Aunt Ciska (wife of Uncle Handrie), Aunt Bertha (Nelissen), Aunt Anna (Nelissen), Uncle Louis, Dad's Father, Uncle Leonards & Aunt Marie (Nelissen).
September 20, 1938 departure to Timor, Indonesia as a missionary
In memory of my departure to the Mission of Timor
P. Jan Nelissen S.V.D. (Society of the Divine Word).
Farewell of all Steyler Missionaries Autumn 1938 as they're sent off into their Mission
Heeroom is 2nd row from bottom, 14th
All names being mentioned here from bottom up and from left to right.
Mooi Limburg 24 September, 1938
Beautiful Limburg published it on September 24, 1938:
Two Missionaries from Horst left this month for their Mission station on the small Sunda Islands. Above the Reverend Father Vostermans S.V.D.; below the Reverend Father Dr. J. Nelissen S.V.D. left for Timor (Indonesia) on September 20.
Yes, on September 20, 1938 it was departure from Antwerp, Belgium on the 'Coburg' a freight ship, for Timor, Indonesia.
He ended up in the station of Lahoeroes.
After the invasion of the Japanese, all Dutch missionaries from Timor were interned on May 24, 1942 inAtambua and transferred to a camp at Makassar on Sulawesi in early September.
They were first able to return to Timor on November 18, 1945—3.5 years later...
No. 5: Cemetery under the mango (Kali Bodjo January 1945).
After the dysentery epidemic.
Found in a blog post, written by Father Jan Van Zeeland SVD this:
Father Jan Nelissen SVD writes on October 30, 1945: "In the cemetery of Kali Bodjo, under a mango tree, are buried fathers Jacob de Bruin, Henk Greuter, Antoon Hinke, Willem Martens, Leo van Well and brother Crispinus de Wilde".
No. 6: Entrance in our barack of block IV in Kali Bodjo: a bamboo construction, with lines of laundry inside:museon omniversum ←click link
No. 10: 2 Baracks in Kali Bodjo. Little street between block 5 and 6. February 1945: museon omniversum ←click link
Father Jan Nelissen to the right in 1947 in Lahoeroes, Timor/Indonesia
Jan Nelissen arrives on leave in The Netherlands on March 24, 1948 and leaves for Timor on April 27, 1949 from Rotterdam with the passenger ship m.s. 'Sibajak'.
Meanwhile he did marry my Parents on Saturday, February 26, 1949.
Second departure to Timor on April 21, 1949
Jan Nelissen did not only work in ordinary soul care. He participated in the administration of the region and from 1957 was spiritual leader of the minor seminary of Lalian.
It is currently impossible to determine which mission stations he had due to a lack of data. In any case, he was pastor in Kupang from 1962 to 1966. Together with Father Cor Kooy, also from Timor, Jan Nelissen lands at Schiphol on November 30, 1962.
That is when he wrote Life Message for me in my poetry album on March 14, 1963.
'If some time I were to tell you to kill the Catholic priest would you do it?³
³ Interview with Eleanor Toma, Buraen, 21 June 2009. This could refer to the then 65 year old SVD priest Johann Nelissen.
The above is quite shocking to read!
July 27, 1969 in Manila, Philippines
Father Dr. Sjang Nelissen SVD
Petrus Johannes Hubertus Nelissen was born in Horst 11 June 1903. After studying in Uden, Helvoirt and Teteringen, he was ordained a priest on 3 February 1929. Study in canon law in Rome complemented his education. As a professor in Teteringen he trained missionaries, but he asked too much of his strength and was only able to fulfill that function for four years. In 1938 he left for Indonesia and was a missionary in Timor until his death; in all kinds of positions — pastor, spiritual director at the minor seminary, leader in the Timor region, advisor to several bishops — he gave his best efforts. The last work that called him to Manila was also for the mission, which he served with all his strength, meticulousness, devotion to duty, and priestly devotion.
We pray that the Lord may lead this quiet worker, who did not allow himself rest, to find peace in His Kingdom.
And then suddenly this working life comes to an end.
At the request of the General Chapter, Jan left for the Philippines as a member of the Legal Committee to prepare a new mission statute. He arrived in Tagatay, 60 km from Manila, on July 12. He did not look well and complained about pain in the kidney area. He was taken to Lourdes Hospital in Manila, a hospital of our Blue Sisters (SSpS). It was not possible to remove a large stone by natural means.
Surgery was necessary: a kidney did not work or hardly worked because of stones. On Saturday, July 27, 1969, the day he was to be operated on, he died suddenly. "Because his kidneys were no longer working properly, the whole body was gradually poisoned and his heart, which was already not strong, could no longer process it" (Father Wim Vergoossen S.V.D, SVD-niews nr. 235, p. 9).
"I was standing next to his bed in the last moments and he could only shout twice: "Oh, my God" and then a little later: "Pray for me".
He died at ten o'clock in the morning.
Later we heard that Father Nelissen had died of pulmonary embolism (Letter from Father Jos Diaz Viera S.V.D.).
Because it was Saturday, he was being buried the same day on the cemetery of our Mission House in Manila. On Sunday there were 8 Masses in that Church!
In the Seminary chapel with the sisters from the island of Flores/Indonesia, priest and Dutch Ambassador family
Dad showed me these photos in 2019 with text on back, explaining.
Coffin still open and Florinese sisters, Father and Family of Dutch Ambassador gave him the last salute...
On the way to the cemetery and the celebrant was me... (wish he'd filled his name!).
At the cemetery Christ the King, Manila
Before the tomb was closed.
A family of the Dutch Ambassador in Manila was there.
Yep, after working VERY hard for several days to have home and garden looking perfect for the arrival of my youngest brother Jan and his wife Wilma—Pieter plays on his organ "In The Mood" by Glenn Miller.
Memorial Day is on May 29 so it is again important for the young(er) generations to hear first hand stories from people that were deprived from ANY FREEDOM:
If you view this on YouTube you will find clickable links below video from the segments where Pieter is mentioned with photos and where he speaks. Also don't forget to click on 'CC' for seeing English caption...
Of course this year I could not lend my soprano voice for this performance but proudly share it here.
My Pieter managed to go and he sure enjoyed it—even more so after all we've been through and still are going.
Sorry, when I finally wanted to view this myself, as I was able to, it had been changed to private by one brilliant person because of issues with the cross and flames—and that 21 days AFTER performance!
Sunday, May 21, 2023
Well, it seems back but with very weak sound...
Pieter J.C. Vedder is seen under fern, below flag...
First off, a few words since my final posting shortly before 8:00 PM on my Pieter's 94th Birthday.
By 10:15 PM while brushing my teeth, I got the most excruciating pain in my lest chest, mainly from the back area and also front.
Barely could breath.
Pieter got up and brought me to he local ER.
They did a Stress Test on Monday around 11:00 AM and 24 hrs later got the results as being negative and no blockages.
Got discharged on Tuesday afternoon.
Called 911 at 6:00 AM on Thursday and by ambulance (same lady that took me to ER on February 21) to the local hospital.
Got a very active and alert doctor and after a CT Scan in the Spine area he ordered the Air Evac Lifeteam to transfer me to Savannah Memorial University Hosptial.
We got 3 x start problems warning — so off I came from this helicopter and another, bigger one got ordered in.
Enough time for having a CT Scan with contrast done to get more insight in the tear in my Aorta (in the back as it crosses from the chest into back and then down to our legs to supply them with blood.
But it took me till Friday afternoon to press for the results of this final CT Scan—it did not transfer to Savannah.
But finally they had insight and the Vascular surgeon decided on Saturday afternoon to do a Stent Graft in my Aorta through my groin area both sides.
Surgery went well and I have been for 6 nights in ICU and then got sent to another room.
My Pieter came with a driver on Friday, still being in lots of pain and in the unknown...
A 3–hour drive one–way.
Rough on all of us and I felt constantly so exhausted.
Yesterday my Big Sis did come to pick me up!
Such LOVE is a good life elixer and makes you feel ready to fight.
My first quiet night home in a comfy bed was pure bliss.
Had to take my pain meds, strong ones... but they've helped me.
Typing this after breakfast on my lap—quite an accomplishment!
Sorry for no visiting nor commenting or replying....
Need to REST
Thanks for your LOVE and PRAYERS!
Mama Thelma, the biological Mother of our adopted daughter Liz was a most pleasant lady.
Since we found her after Pieter's lecture at the 12th NAMC in Vancouver.
Just one of her special cards
One of her special writings
2002 May 14
Hi Mariet Pieter & Spooky
I want to thank you for those two wonderful home video tapes of your beautiful home and the gardens. I watched it twice... Once by myself, and once with my kid sister (youngest) Ginny, we both enjoyed it, so much.
You have quite a spread.
I watch the before and after tapes! And you have done a fantastic job on your land.
It's just marvelous, beyond words, what else can I say...
Your house inside is gorgeous I might say, you do have a lot of precious, costly things...
Did you buy them at different places that you have worked at, and on holidays?
It's just spectacular the whole house.
It's always nice to have good friends like yours too...
It always helps when you're feeling down and out, (Don't you think so).
My son James and I are going to the Inland for the long holiday to visit my oldest sister Dorothy, maybe spend a couple of days with her. Get away from Vancouver for a while. Besides there is nothing really exciting going on around this old town.
Today, you won't believe it, the sun has come out to smile at us, but it's too cold to run around in shorts... usually every other day it rains and rains.
Well, my dears I really don't have any exciting news for you, except that my health has improved a little and that makes me happy, and now I'll have to close with all my regards and love, hugs and kisses to all including your beautiful Spooky.
May God bless you all.
Mama Thelma wrote the above, the day following Mother's Day.
Previous years I even got Mother's Day cards from her—meaning a lot to both of us!
She thanked us for taking care of her daughter and for giving her a Royal Academy education.
Yes, we both lived quite frugal in order to manage that, but feeling proud for having done so.
Loyalty has a deep meaning for both of us.
An entire box, filled with letters and cards from Mama Thelma, we passed on to Liz and therefore I no longer have them... only this one I had left.
Did not have a scanner yet, at the time we passed those letters on to Liz...
Yep, Team Vedder as—VEDDERS CONSULTANTS—got all kind of requests.
Our # 10 Consulting trip brought us to North Dakota where we were going to work for a mushroom farm facing bankruptcy.
On Saturday, January 9, we both left by 1:30 PM for the Atlanta Airport (a good 2 hour drive).
Our flight went via Minneapolis/St. Paul to Grand Forks in North Dakota where we arrived by 8:50 PM.
On one of the Campbell Soup Seminars that Pieter did in October 1992—the owner had begged Pieter to come to his small mushroom farm in North Dakota—he was desperate!
They made their own compost, had 1 tunnel and 5 growing rooms of 400 m² built by the Dutch company Huub Aerts.
More than likely the son of a Pennsylvanian mushroom grower that liked to leave his Dad's old farm—sorry for his Dad—will come to manage the farm.
Don Dusek came to pick us up and together with him, another hour driving the 60 mi (96.5 km) to our Motel in Park River, North Dakota.
We both slept well and on Sunday, January 10, Don Dusek came to our motel and had breakfast with us. We went to Church with him in Pisek, together with his son and daughter—all Catholic Czechs.
Next we had lunch and went to the mushroom farm till 3:30 PM.
There was a lot of snow and it was –25°F or about –32°C with a daytime temperature of –5°F or –20.5°C.
By 5:00 PM we went together for supper to Ron (3rd generation Norwegian) & Renae, together with Steve.
We got an old car from Don and we both returned to our motel.
Monday, January 11, the day started with an empty battery! Someone from the farm came over.
After our breakfast at the Guest House we head to the farm to work.
Very busy day with the 9 harvesters.
Pieter does some training in the afternoon after first going over the farm.
We had supper at the guest house.
Tuesday, picked with the harvesters and visited them individually training and correcting—they opened up and start to follow my training and it goes well!
For lunch we got stuck in the snow with that old car—due to having gotten off road!
No telling where the road ends—with such a layer of snow... We don't live there.
After work we have supper at the restaurant of our motel: Don, Ron & Renae, Steve and both of us.
Wednesday January 13, Steve departed this morning, back to Pennsylvania.
Both of us continue with our training. Very busy and working over time in room 4...
We both have supper at the motel at Alice's.
Thursday, January 14. Don's old car broke down and he came to pick us up in his pickup.
Don was quite a figure! He actually has a gravel business!
He went on to tell us a nice story. They were at the gravel extraction site, stone breaking when suddenly bones and skulls appeared...
They stopped and called the police as they first thought about a possible murder case.
As a result they halted the entire enterprise for days and eventually the investigation led to ancient Indians—no murder case and it all had cost him some US $ 40,000.
So he gave his people the instruction: Whatever you see, keep grinding!
Another routine work day and we picked off room 4 entirely and cleaned the beds by removing any stumps and debris. Good feeling!
Friday, January 15, we packed and had our breakfast with Don and he drove us around for seeing a potato grading company, to which Ron was connected. That was quite impressive!
In water through concrete canals under the road they transported them into large sheds where they got sorted and bagged—heavy work!
Too bad we had forgotten to bring our camera for this trip...
It was so huge that for every American they had 2 kilos or 4.4 pounds in stock—so impressive!
By 10:30 we did a slide presentation for the harvesters.
Farewell to a satisfied group.
My ONLY paycheck were red roses with ferns and baby's breath + card!
You went all out...
The results were outstanding!
Training by Pieter for the men till past 7:00 PM.
Then we had dinner with them, including Sherry their daughter.
Saturday, January 16, we briefly went to the farm and Duane is now also caught up.
At 11:00 AM take off from Grand Forks and via Minneapolis/St. Paul to Atlanta.
Home by 7:00 PM and reading our mail with the fireplace on.
Just received one more letter from Ron Monson, dated January 23, 1995...
That was our North Dakota adventure!
It was quite a surprise that on Facebook one of our mushroom friends reacted to this photo from April 23, 1983 when Campbell Soup flew both of us from Camden, New Jersey to Dublin, Georgia in their corporate Learjet—40 years ago!
Still grateful for being able to read such feedback about our training after 40 years.