Visit of Indonesian diplomat spouses to Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding

18 May 2016

Friendship in a Shipyard – by Tutuk Marentek


After three angklung performances by the Indonesian Ladies Association of the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in Stoephout, Zomerland and the Messiaskerk in Wassenaar in 2015 and 2016, Ibu Joty ter Kulve and Ibu Anja van Rijs came to an idea that the Netherlands and the Indonesian ladies should have an informal outing in order to give some more dimension to our friendship.

A visit to Damen Schelde Naval Shipbuilding in Vlissingen, became the choice. The date was set, May 18, 2016 and the list of participants that consists of 15 ladies was finalised and sent to Ibu Anja.

We were honoured to be welcomed by the CEO, Mr. J.H.N. Van Ameijden and staff. A short film about Damen and its products and activities, zooming in on information on the cooperation between Damen and PT Pal was presented and our visit was continued with the tour to the engineering section. A very delicious Indonesian lunch, that really made us feel at home, concluded our visit to Damen, but the outing was not ended yet!

Ibu Anja and Ibu Joty showed us the seaside of Vlissingen, the polders and they explained about how the Dutch struggled with the sea.

The historic city of Veere become our last destination. The serenity and beauty of the city, delicious coffee and cakes accompanied our chitchat about many things, from the late Mr. Herman van Roijen [former minister and signatory of the Roem-Van Roijen agreement that preceded the Independence of the Republik of Indonesia] to our activities in The Hague, from the achievements of Indonesian women nowadays to the fascinating 89 year-old Ibu Joty, who really inspires us with her desire to discuss about current issues and her never-ending passion to learn. If it was not for the time, we felt like we want to continue our conversation quite longer.

We learned a lot from our visit to Damen shipyards, the seaside of Vlissingen and Veere. It surely gave us a new experience, but there is something else. For us, who are far away from home and family, and sometimes tied with duties, having such passionate and helpful friends, who really know Indonesia maybe more than most Indonesians do and always encourage us to know more about the Netherlands, its people and its history, is really something. Our friends Ibu Joty and Ibu Anja make our life here more colourful.


There are big ships and small ships.

But the best ship of all is friendship