--- In loving memory of Peter Lodewikus- 28-10-29 - 14-01-13 ---
Peter and Joahanna Lodewikus both came to Australia from Holland. Peter (the eldest of seven children) moved to Australia by boat and found work not long after arriving. Joahanna arrived with her mum, dad and eleven siblings at a different time, and on different boats. Their paths in life were destined to join and fifty happy years of marriage is true testament of this.
Peter (born October 28th 1929) and Joahanna (born March 6th 1937) both have fond childhood memories
of breaking ice from puddles and sucking on it. The clean purity of the ice was always refreshing. They never worried about cars going past because it was rare to see cars. Bikes were the main form of transport in Holland and even the sister from the Red-Cross used a push bike. “The doctor was the only one with a car” Joahanna recalls.
In Holland Peter and Joahanna had never met. One lived in the North of Holland whilst the other lived in the South. Both Peter and Joahanna also resided in South Australia without knowing each other, despite the fact they lived only 40 kilometres apart. They finally met through Joanna’s mum and a friend of Peter’s mum. Peter says “It was love at first sight, yes” but for Joahanna it was “No, I wasn’t going to marry him because I couldn’t remember his name” she says laughing at the memory.
Growing up Peter attended a Catholic school and Joahanna, a Convent school. Neither had any problems
with boredom as there were always hiding-seek, hopscotch and similar games to play. Larger families
meant there was never the problem of having nobody else to play with.
Moving to Australia Peter says the hardest thing, especially for his younger siblings to get used to, was
the language. When asked what differences really stood out in their minds Peter replied “I found Australia was more open”. He called it Freedom because of the open space, and rules weren’t as stringent as they were in his home-land. Joahanna found it to be a place with “more room and less rules”.
Being a musical couple Joahanna has sang all her life and is still singing for the pensioners and enjoys the visits to Yeppoon singing. She also enjoys knitting and being out in her garden. Joahanna and Peter have both loved the years of camping and enjoying each other’s company. Before coming to Australia, Peter was a Scout Master for many years. He also plays the piano accordion. Peter retired from the workforce in nineteen eighty, due to health reasons, then took up painting. Some of his paintings are displayed with pride in their home.
Peter and Joahanna are community minded family people who have always been involved in the areas where they have lived and have loved their years living in Mount Morgan, the place they call home.
Married on the seventeenth of June nineteen sixty one, Peter and Joahanna have never had an argument.
They don’t always agree but work things out with each other in a friendly way. Joahanna laughingly says “He knows I’m right most of the time”.
With seven grown sons Joahanna says she is proud of them and gets on well with her daughter-in-laws and
grandchildren. She loves them all. When asked what her best memories were of married life, Joahanna said
without hesitation “my children”. Peter agreed and says with pride that he has no regrets even after 50 years of marriage. Their happy and content years together are milestones to certainly be proud of.
The stories shared in this interview were varied and interesting but as always, one article is never enough to fit in a full life of adventure and experiences. So until next time the extracts from this lovely couple’s lives will hopefully pave the way for more in the future.