Born on the outskirts of Rotterdam, the second largest city in the Netherlands. Henk grew up in a three-story house where his Father died when he was only eight years old, his family became poor people in a wealthy part of the city. Henk developed handyman skills in painting and carpentry to keep the house up to scratch.
Henk’s parents were staunch Dutch Reformed (a Christian denomination). He noticed how most people went to church during the war years, but people don’t seem to need God the same during good times. Sunday was the big day of the week with church from 9-11am then home for lunch where they had their biggest and only meat meal of the week. Then it was off to Sunday school after lunch.
The war years left a big impression on Henk with not much to eat it was almost criminal to waste food. To this day he can’t bear to waste food. He walked ¾ hour to school with his three brothers and home again for lunch for a sandwich then back to school, it was hardly worth it – 3 hours walking a day...