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There was nowhere to go after the ‘Pictures' (movies), so when Chez Eelco opened at the top of Trafalgar Street in 1961, up to 500 people would be waiting to get in late on Friday nights. It was quite amazing from the beginning because it was a new thing in society.
I said I'd like to go to New Zealand because before the war I'd been given some New Zealand stamps with a Maori motif and they were my favourite stamps.He was so anti-German but he survived because of being a doctor and he was always helping other people.He lived only half a year after returning from Dachau - he died of heart failure." By mid-1944, the war was beginning to turn.I'd never had coffee in Holland but now, I would be happy to drive around with a bag of fresh ground coffee in the car just for the smell," he smiles.In 1960, he hitched a ride from Auckland to Nelson with a Dutch friend. He knew some people and I stayed doing various jobs.Halfway through the war, the Boswijk family were kicked out of their hospital house and his father was imprisoned in Dachau Concentration Camp in Germany.
"My mother had to drag five children to another part of the village. The Nazis were terrible." "My father spent two years in Dachau.
Bart Jan's pelvis was fractured and while Eelco was uninjured, he had to leave his brother in the hostile desert and retrace their path on foot across the landmine-spiked land to find help.
After 53 hours, Eelco's brother was located and rescued by a group of French travellers, who found another landmine just three metres from where he lay.
The European- style café at the top of Trafalgar Street, with its Bohemian décor, hosted theatre, film and classical and jazz evenings - and there was always a warm welcome for artists.
Works by Toss Wollaston, Jane Evans and Sally Burton, as well as many others were hung in the exhibition space. I enjoyed artistic people- they got an idea and had the energy.
The middle child of five, Eelco was born after one of the coldest winters on record: " My mother used to thank me for keeping her warm!