Visitors Centre Opening: The Recap
‘Such a great party’, ‘We’re over the moon’; ‘Fantastic’; Simply superb’. We were dealing with a true avalanche of compliments after the highly successful visit by Her Royal Highness Princess Beatrix. And for reasons of pure awesomeness, we’ve made this little recap for you.
As 81-year-old Klazina Stam from Kinderdijk told reporters from AD newspaper, tonight was the best night of her life. She had a seat on the stand right behind the princess. ‘I’ve been living in Kinderdijk for fifty years now, but I’d never expected to experience something like this in my lifetime – her visiting our village is just so unique.’ Stam was present by invitation of the Kinderdijk World Heritage Foundation (SWEK). It all started when her daughter sent SWEK an email, officially requesting whether her profoundly royalist mother could witness the opening from up close. Obviously, we were happy to oblige and make a special exception.
The report in AD De Dordtenaar by correspondent Roos van Bijnen was but one of a storm of publications covering the grand opening. We hosted well over twenty reporters and photographers for this special occasion. The video item used in this recap was shot by ANP video maker Sem van der Wal. “It was a fine evening. This was a culmination of years of hard work by volunteers and foundation staff.”, reminisces SWEK director Cees van der Vlist. “It was wonderful to see the Princess so actively engaged in her chats with our volunteers. My compliments to everyone involved in organising this evening, and in making it a resounding success.”
In the run-up to September 7, 125,000 households in four neighbouring regions received a copy of a special one-off edition of the Kinderdijk Courier to mark the occasion. Our volunteer Cees Put was joined by Kinderdijk resident Cees van der Wal to act as official in-house photographers for this special night. They got the opportunity to capture Beatrix’ entire visit in a first-hand account. Many of the shots in the overview below were taken by this duo.