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The Role of the Dutch in the Iroquois Wars
by Peter Lowensteyn

The Post World War Two Period: Community Life

Characteristics of ethnic institutions

Characteristic of the Dutch ethnic institutions is that they do not appear to have as their aim the perpetuation of a Dutch culture or Dutch values beyond the immigrant generation, although this may have been the case in the past. Rather, on the one hand, they concern themselves with the maintenance of religious values (which may, or may not, have a Dutch component) and, on the other hand, they cater to a certain nostalgia which seems to be on the increase with the aging of the population.

Another characteristic is their openness to non-Dutch participants.

In all these respects, institutions reflect accurately the behaviour of individual Dutch immigrants as indicated by their limited use of mother tongue, and their high rate of intermarriage.

Breton (1968) found in his study done in Montreal that the Dutch were among those with a low level of institutional completeness. Many Dutch themselves, as well as outsiders, question whether one can speak of a "community" at all.

For both cultural and economic reasons one would indeed not expect a strongly developed community to exist. As Reitz says: "Cultural similarity means the group has less cultural interest in group formation. It also means that there is less likelihood of discrimination, and this may reduce the economic basis for cohesion" (1980:62).

The Dutch are linguistically, physically, and in many other respects quite similar to those of British stock.

A further characteristic is fragmentation. No one organization can speak for the whole community. This is true for Montreal, for Quebec, and for Canada. The strongest division is still along religious lines, with the orthodox Calvinists almost completely separate from the rest. In this the situation in Canada resembles the one in the Netherlands as exemplified in the phenomenon of "verzuiling" (zuil =pillar). Moberg calls it "vertical pluralism", which he explains as follows: "The nearest English cognates of this are the concepts sub-cultures, pluralism, 'unity in diversity', special interest groups,. pressure groups. Woven into one, adding an ideological and religious twist, one might come near an understanding of the term" (cited in Hofstede, 1964:74- 75).

Understanding this aspect of Dutch society is necessary if one is to make sense of organization and processes in any Dutch ethnic community. An interesting illustration of how the system of "verzuiling" affected emigrants' behaviour before departure is shown in Table XVIII. Emigrants were free to register at one of the private registration offices or at designated government manpower offices. As Table XVIII indicates they were guided by religious convictions, and Calvinists felt more strongly about this than any others, followed by Roman Catholics.

Although some grumbling within the community might have had to do with class or personality differences, it was of a minor nature and completely overshadowed by the religious differences.

There was no evidence of any political division, whether inspired by country of origin or by country of immigration.

It is perhaps surprising that, in spite of the largely negative influences mentioned above, community institutions did and still do exist, with new ones arising and old ones being revived. This suggests that, in spite of doubts prevalent among Dutch and non-Dutch alike, some form of community does exist. Which part of the Dutch collectivity is involved and how this community is organized will be explored.

 Table XVIII

Number of Emigrant Departures (Male Heads of "Units") from the Netherlands to All countries in 1960 and First Half of 1961, Via Various Registration Offices


 K.C.E.D (Cath.)

 C.E.C. (Calvin.)

 A.E.C. (non.denom.)

 R.A.B. (gov't)

 Total =10O% x 1000

 Roman Catholic






 Dutch Reformed


















 No religious denomination






 Source: Hofstede, 1964:

The Netherlands Farm Family Movement

Of the farmers, those in the Eastern Townships were the only ones numerous enough to even think in terms of organizing themselves. Although there may have been the odd non Catholic among them, we have only been able to find reports of group activities by Catholic farmers. They gravitated for their religious sustenance toward Dutch missionaries in Granby and Sherbrooke.

From C.C.A. Blommesteyn, now retired, but formerly with the Catholic Immigrant Services in Montreal, the following information was obtained.

From about l954 on, the Seminaire Apostolique in Granby has been very active in the surrounding area. By 1958 there were three priests who divided their work among about 45 families between them. One Sunday a month, an average of 80 Dutch and Flemish immigrants would gather in the parish church of Standbridge-East for mass, followed by some socializing. The priest would then spend the rest of the day visiting a number of families. Such trips averaged 180 kilometers. The manifest aim of these visits was "to make the church present to the new life of the immigrant in Canada", however, questions on education, farm contracts and employment were discussed and some material assistance was provided as well. The priests were available too in cases of distress or to perform weddings and baptisms.

In the summer, a social event might be organized following mass. An invitation to such a day on June 13, 1958, states the expectation that the gathering will be of value particularly for those who would like to get to know a wider circle of Dutch-speaking young men and girls. A year earlier, the social had drawn an attendance of 90. It was later reported ruefully that "à cause de la défense de danser dans une maison de communauté réligieuse, le but de cette journée n'a pas été atteint." Nevertheless, this opportunity for social contact in the region must have been appreciated. By 1960 attendance had risen to 200 persons.

At some point the summer social was discontinued, probably when it had fulfilled its function of forging enduring relationships among the young, and when families then became occupied with child rearing activities. But after an interval it was revived, this time not by the religious, but by the lay community, and for a nostalgic rather than romantic purpose (C.C.A. Blommesteyn, personal communications, 19851.

The following information is gleaned from interviews with respondent R (J. Lowensteyn [cassette recordings] 1985.

At the 25th anniversary of the priest who had married R, R and some friends decided to organize a party in appreciation of all his hard work, especially on behalf of immigrants. They got 150 people together. At popular request they kept the event going for many years. In 1982, there were 160 persons present. In 1983 attendance was up to 200 (attended by author) R could not understand why Dutch or Flemish people who live close by, and who still have language problems (they immigrated only three or four years ago) do not attend while old timers come from 160 kilometers or more away (R, Tape I, side 2, 41:40).

Although organized by a self-appointed committee, these events have a somewhat formal structure, with mass in Pike River, followed by a luncheon and dance at the Club Belge in Sabrevoix.

On the other hand, R's family does not maintain informal traditions such as celebrating birthdays or St. Nicholas in the Dutch way (Tape I, side 2, 31:lO).

Interviewee X told of a quite strong informal contact among a group of farmers and horticulturalists living just south of Montreal. They maintain certain Dutch customs in a informal manner. Birthdays and anniversaries (the author attended a 25th wedding anniversary at which some 70 persons, mostly from the area, were present) are celebrated in the Dutch tradition with a get-together of as many as 30 family members and friends. In addition, they attend the occasional mass organized by a Dutch immigrant priest from Montreal. But "grown children are no longer interested in that." (X, Tape I, side 2, 28:0). This may be as much a by-product of growing secularization as it is of any lack of interest in ethnicity.

The informal, but quite frequent and intense, contact of this group contrasts strongly with the infrequent, but more formal, activities of the Eastern Townships farmers. Propinquity may play a role here, as well as the greater homogeneity of the Southshore group. X had brought many of these people over, and they tended to hail from the same region of the Netherlands (the "Westland").

The Large influx

Although small numbers of farmers continued to come in over a period of years, the bulk of Dutch immigration to Quebec was of an urban nature and concentrated in the Montreal area.

A priest in Quebec City made reference to about 100 Dutch people living there with whom he had had some interesting get-togethers (C.C.A. Blommesteyn, personal communication, 1985). On the whole, however, any organized community life took place in Montreal.

The earliest formal private support to Dutch immigrants in Canada was supplied by the "fieldmen" of the Christian Reformed Church (C.R.C.).

The C.R.C. was the first to actively support the emigration movement. Theirs was a missionary effort. They wished to establish new congregations and separate schools in Canada. To this end they strived to concentrate Dutch immigrants in certain areas, particularly in southwestern Ontario, southern Manitoba, southern Alberta, and the West Coast where the C. R. C. already had a foothold from before World War II. The Canadian government was against this policy of concentration as it thought it would delay integration (Canada, 195l:5l). With the support of the Home Missions Committee of the C.R.C. in the U.S.A., they established an Immigration Committee with the presidency in Alberta and the secretariat in Trenton, Ont. Fieldmen were appointed to assist with the placement of immigrants and supply aftercare.

Except where noted, the source of the following history of the C.R.C. in Montreal is the First Christian Reformed Church 25th Anniversary Album  published by the C.R.C. in 1979.

In Montreal, Mr. Albert de Jonge initiated C.R.C. church services in 1952, first at a Presbyterian church on Cote Ste. Catherine Road, later at the YMCA on Park Avenue. At the end of that year there were enough families to warrant the arrival of a home missionary, the Reverend G. Andre. In 1954, the church was organized. And in 1956, the congregation of about 40 families, called a minister, the Reverend John Vriend. The church was incorporated that year and moved to premises of the Livingstone Presbyterian Church on de l'Epee and Jean Talon Streets.

In these years various young people societies and a discussion group for adults came to fruition. The question arose also, how quickly the old language (Dutch) should be abandoned in favour of English (French was never seriously considered), and a class in English Church Language was given.

In 1960, Reverend Dr. N. Knoppers arrived from Edmonton, to minister to some 75 families with, as he remembers, an average earning power of about $75 per week, not a great deal, even then. It was, therefore, most ambitious of him to make plans to build a church. Reverend Knoppers counted on the drawing power of the new church to concentrate his scattered flock in one area, thereby facilitating the development of a strong church community. When the new church was built in the newly developing community of Dollard-des-Ormeaux, many, if not most, reportedly moved to that municipality and to neighbouring Pierrefonds, where reasonably priced housing could be had (J. Lowensteyn [cassette recordings3 1985, T, Tape I, side 1, 23:00, 35:45).

The fundraising campaign for the building, for which the congregation as an exception was allowed to solicit from all C.R.C. congregations, under the slogan "Romanist Montreal needs a Calvinist Witness", was apparently effective and the stylish, modern building was inaugurated on January 17, 1964.

Other activities related to the C.R.C. were the church choir, the "Back to God Hour" radio broadcasts, and various missionary "outreach" programmes in the area around the church and among the seamen visiting Montreal. One of the student interns from Calvin Seminary (Grand Rapids, MI. ) eventually became harbour chaplain of Montreal. A musical group was formed in 1964 to bring the gospel to ships, old folk homes, hospitals, and youth rallies.

During EXPO 67, Queen Juliana and Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands were among the visiting dignitaries. Although the Queen and Prince belong to the Dutch Reformed Church (Canadian equivalent : Reformed Church of America, or R.C.A.), which already existed in Montreal at the time, they attended Sunday service at the C.R.C. Perhaps this is not surprising as both in Montreal and in Canada the C.R.C. is a larger and more influential body than the R.C.A. The opposite is true in the United States, as well as in the Netherlands (Canada, 1951:50-51).

Reverend Knoppers and other C.R.C. members were al so deeply involved with EXPO 67, both with the Dutch Pavilion and the Sermons from Science Pavilion.

When Reverend Knoppers left in 1968, the church was virtually leaderless for the next two years except for a brief period when a temporary minister came. From August 1970, under the Reverend Dirk Hart, there was renewed enthusiasm. The congregation grew till the church overflowed, largely due to an influx of members from other parts of Canada. New Bible study groups were started. The groundwork was also laid for Emmanuel High School. Elsewhere in Canada, so-called Christian Schools abound, but here, the Christian Reformed community was too small to support a school by itself. Together with likeminded churches on the West Island it could, however, be done, and the school was officially opened in Dorval in 1975.

On the other hand, of the three choirs in existence in 1969, one discontinued in 1970, and another in 1975, due to lack of interest among the young people. Still, a great many church related organizations remained healthy, such as Sunday school, cubs, scouts, Calvinettes, OinC's (One in Christ), and the Young People's Society.

Outsiders have been brought into the church, apparently mostly as a result of intermarriage. Although the majority of the members is still of Dutch origin, about 16 other national origins are represented as well. And so are other denominations, including the Coptic Church, the Tiv Church of Nigeria, Roman Catholic, Anglican, Lutheran, and many other faiths.

The rate of intermarriage among C.R.C. adherents appears to be still well below the general rate for the Dutch in Montreal (see Table XIX), indicating the retardent effect in this respect of a close knit church community.

Political change in Quebec has touched the C.R.C. too. The outreach programme in a neiqhbouring community, where Sunday services had been held in a school since 1975, fell by the wayside when, 18 months later, the bulk of worshippers left the province as part of the exodus that took place when the Partie Quebecois came into power.

The Church worries about its future. It can only expect declining membership due to decrease in birthrate, departure of members to other provinces, and little influx from English Canada (where the majority of C.R.C. members live) to this increasingly French environment. The suggestion was tentatively put forward (in 1979) that services, now held entirely in English, might eventually be conducted in French to further the church mission, "whether or not Quebec will ever become an independent country is for us, ultimately, quite irrelevant." (Rev. M.D. Geleynse in C.R.C. 25th Anniversary Album, 1981:62).

 Table XIX

Dutch Intermarriage Statistics Canada, Selected Provinces, and Montreal, 1971







Dutch husbands married to

Number of families

Number of families

Number of families

Number of families

Number of families

Wives of Dutch origin












Wives of non-Dutch origin












 Source: Statistics Canada, Special Report No.6OOl-213-1971


 Table XX
Religious Affiliation of Dutch-Canadians, Montreal, 1961

 Religious affiliation

 % of population

 Roman Catholic


 United Church












 Source: Royal Commission on Bilingualism and Bculturalism,
Book IV: The Cultural  Contribution of the Other Ethnic Groups, p. 320.

Another Church of Dutch origin which, for a time, was a presence in the Dutch community, was the Reformed Church in America (R.C.A.). It should be remembered, however, that even in the 1960's when these ethnic churches had their heyday, their importance in the community must not be exaggerated as most Dutch belonged to Canadian denominations (see Table XX). The R.C.A. is the North American equivalent of the liberal Calvinist Dutch Reformed Church in the Netherlands, where it is one of the largest denominations. It had not been as active in the immigration movement as the more orthodox Calvinist Christian Reformed Church. Initially, the R.C.A. took little interest in immigration affairs. In a report prepared in 1951 by the Citizenship Branch of the Department of Citizenship and Immigration, it was suggested that it was the zeal with which the C.R.C. recruited immigrants and members that made the Reformed Church rethink its laid-back attitude around 1949. It is likely that Dutch Reformed immigrants, seeing the efficient welcoming service of the C.R.C. fieldmen began asking for similar support. Also, the R.C.A. lost a number of its members to the C.R.C. In any case, help was on the way, and local Canadian churches began to be established while a field service similar to that of the C.R.C. was being set up (Canada, 1951:30).

It took until 1962 before church services were being offered in Montreal. The R.C.A. in Montreal was officially organized in November 1963, and on October 12, 1966, the former St. Barnabas Anglican Church in Roxboro was officially dedicated as the Maranatha Reformed Church (De Ruijte, 1971:33).

During an interview the author conducted in the summer of 1980 with the Reverend F. Guinta, then pastor of the R.C.A. in Montreal, he told how in the early years 40 to 50 families were members of the church and religious services were held in a school in St. Laurent. By the early 1970's, people began leaving Quebec for political and economic reasons. The pastor was then called to Ontario and eight years of part-time ministry began. When Reverend Guinta arrived in 1978 there were 20 families left. This included only four families of Dutch origin, with the rest being of Egyptian, West-Indian, Austrian, English, and French origin. Within two years this had increased to 27 families, but a new formula had to be found to maintain and increase the small congregation which was heavily dependent on financial support from the Classis of Cambridge (Ont.) and the denomination in the United States.

The solution found was to change the R. C. A. into a Community Church . The church building was already being shared with a Greek Orthodox congregation. The new role would be emphasized by changing the name from Maranatha Church to Roxboro Community Church. The Ladies' Guild and Junior and Senior Young People's groups had a community orientation anda Senior Citizens group was in the making. The Sunday School was taught by an Anglican (Rev. F. Guinta, personal communication, July 7, 1983).

However, the difficulties proved too great to be overcome. A few years later the building was sold and the R.C.A. in Montreal ceased to exist.

The R.C.A. in general has a close and cooperative connection with the United Church, but relations with the C.R.C., always of a competive nature, are called "rather strained" (Canada, 1951:53).

On this subject, however, the Reverend Guinta claimed in the interview that relations were cordial. He was even scheduled to preach at the C.R.C. one Sunday. On the other hand, he thought that things had gone sour in the past, particularly during EXPO 67. He mentioned an invitation to Queen Juliana to visit the R.C.A. during her visit to Montreal that allegedly had gone astray at the Consulate. He had also heard that the R.C.A. minister at the time had not been invited to the service. Unfortunately, no documentation could be found to back up these claims. However, the content of the message is not as important as the perception of competition, with the R.C.A. seeing itself as the weaker party. Facts appear to support this perception at least in Montreal where the R.C.A. went under, while the C.R.C. is still holding its own.

Aside from churches and church related organizations, there were, and are, a number of voluntary associations and other institutions catering to the Dutch of Quebec. Those that could be traced are described below.

Information about such institutions in existence in the early years after World War II is rather scant. Documents in possession of the Netherlands Consulate in Montreal mention a Holland Canada Society in operation during and immediately after World War II. Correspondence dated February 1949 shows this society had then lost its vitality and attempts were made to establish a new organization. The Consulate also has minutes of a meeting he1d on May 5, 1949, by the Dutch club "Je Maintiendrai" (Consulate General, personal communication, May 31, 19831.)

One report makes mention of the "Netherlands Club of Montreal, a social club which has been established for some years" (Canada, 1951:&O), This appears to be l'Association neerlandaise de Montreal "Je Maintiendrai" 3which obtained its letters patent on October 29, 1958 and which was dissolved on June 14, 1963. Two other, informal clubs, the Luncheon Club and the Soccer Club Hercules  disappeared around the same time (De Ruijte, 1971:33).

Nederlandse Studiekring  (Netherlands Study Circle) dated January 17, 1948, was found among consular documents. The Circle's purpose was to maintain a consciousness of Dutch culture in the Dutch community. By the summer of 1949 the Netherlands Envoy in Ottawa received word that the Study Circle had ceased to exist due to the departure of its most active members, including three who had a doctorate (Consulate General, personal communication, May 31, 1983).

One of these "most active members" was interviewee P who then held an executive position with Canada Car & Foundry. He related that the study group was based on common interest. It was for men only ("women provided cookies"), but they "never excluded anybody". The men discussed their own field of business, and the atmosphere was informal. "After nine o'clock the whiskey came out." (J. Lowensteyn [cassette recording] 1985, P, Tape I, side 1, 20:15).

The Consulate mentioned seven names of persons who belonged to the Studiekring. There may have been a few more members, but it seems that the Dutch intellectual and business elite at that time was still very small.

Interviewee K remembered all sorts of detail about a Dutch Chamber of Commerce which was located in the same building as the Consulate. It had a staff of two, but when one left, he was not replaced. "The Secretary was paid by [some agency in] Holland." She thought the Chamber had no members. It organized regular luncheons. Eventually, the Chamber folded due to financial difficulties, and its Secretary then became Commercial Consul. Interviewee referred to the "slump of those days before the gas was found in Holland. She had to take a ten percent salary cut herself in the late 1950's " (K, Tape II, side 1, 37:lO).

The Department of Citizenship and Immigration (Canada, 1951) reported that the Netherlands-Canada Society in Montreal had been instrumental in establishing a Dutch Chamber of Commerce. No date was given. This Society was a branch of the Netherland-Canada Society  (Vereniging NederlandCanada) in The Hague, the Netherlands, which was formed to provide potential emigrants with information about Canada. The Chamber of Commerce was there to supply information on trade between the two countries to interested persons (p. 60).

Around 1960, an informal group calling itself the Borrel-en Bitterballenclub  (borrel=alcoholic beverage; bitterbal=Dutch appetizer), came into being to provide businessmen a bimonthly opportunity to get together over a drink (De Ruijte, 1971:33). This informal club still exists, its name simplified to Borrelclub. The get-togethers now take place about once a month at someone's home, and they are open exclusively to men (businessmen, professionals, artists), except on special occasions when wives are invited also.

On August 24, 1962, a new group, the Catholic Dutch Canadian Association (C.D.C.A.) received its provincial charter. Its purpose was to assist Dutch Catholics with settling in Canada and to maintain contact among them, mainly through religious and recreational activities, as well as to give financial and other support to the Dutch Mission in Montreal. They organized a Sinterklaas party for children on or around December 5th which became soon very popular well beyond the Catholic community.

Except where noted, this and the following information about the C.D.C.A. (later the D.C.A.) was derived from the files of the Association, which were kindly made available for research purposes ( D.C.A. files, 1962-19801.

In the first few years the Association stayed close to its Catholic roots with meetings on church premises, discussion evenings with a Dutch priest, a church choir, etc., in addition to social activities like bowling, bridge, and dances. Its newsletter De Nieuwe Weg  (The New Road) is still being published today (Note: at the time this thesis was written. It has since folded [P.L.]). An official of the Catholic Immigrant Services was the C.D.C.A.`s first president. This was the period that transatlantic and charter flight regulations demanded that passengers be members of a legitimate non-profit organization, and the C.D.C.A. filled this requirement. In 1962, a group flight was attempted but failed. However, in the following three years they managed to get groups together of around forty passengers, almost all Dutch. Then came three years with little success in this regard and no passengers at all during 1967 (EXPO year). In the fall of 1968, a new committee member was elected who appeared to be very active. A winter flight met with little success, but the number of passengers that travelled on summer flights the next few years more than doubled. Non Dutch names began to make inroads on the passenger lists: about 10% in 1969, 25% in 1970 (no information available for the following years). It is not known if this perhaps reflected a changing membership (outside members or non-Dutch spouses).

For all the work involved with registering passengers, voluntary associations were allowed (according to airline regulations) to claim some expenses and/or charge a small administration fee. This was advantageous for the organizations most of which operated under severe financial restraint. Moreover, the travel agents who were allowed to book these charters or groups often wished to express their gratitude by splitting commission with the association or its representative, or by making some contribution in kind, e.g. free trips. All of this would have been illegal, of course. The books of the C.D.C.A. show no evidence of such practices.

For the passengers the charters offered most attractive rates and the association membership and/or administration fee was a small price to pay. As a result, many membership lists gave a false impression of associations' vitality in those years, with most members being completely inactive. For example, an Annual General or a Special meeting might have attracted no more than one or two dozen members. This was indeed the case with the C.D.C.A.

In 1968 church authorities insisted that the C.D.C.A. come under direct control of the Church. At the Annual General Meeting of Sep. 14, 1968, those who felt they should be free to determine the Association's activities won out handily over those prepared to follow Church directives. The Association then changed its name to Dutch Canadians Association and secularized its aims and purposes as laid down in the constitution. It also meant that the Association was no longer acting as a support structure for the Dutch almoner who from then on limited his role to that of spiritual leader and was no longer involved in the social aspects of the community.

On December 4, 1968, a similar, although non- denominational association, the Netherlands Society of Montreal (N.S.), or La Société néerlandaise de Montréal  was founded. (At this point the C.D.C.A. had not yet changed its name or constitution). Its publication "van Weerskanten" (From Both Sides) did not survive. By then the Dutch population of Montreal had grown to about 8000 as numerous as it ever would be, mostly made up of growing families and the majority of them non-Catholic (see Table XIII). There was likely room in the community for a non-Catholic, non Christian Reformed body. To what extent the possibility of organizing charter flights played a role in the formation of this society is not recorded. It is a distinct possibility since the two associations were later seen to be sparring over this issue and it may also have played a role in their attempts to amalgamate.

The secularization of the C.D.C.A., now the D.C.A., opened the door to negotiations regarding amalgamation with the Netherlands Society (N.S.). A lot of wrangling followed, with the N.S. objecting to having a member of a religious order on the proposed joint executive committee, and the D.C.A. accusing the N.S. of an undemocratic attitude since the member in question had been duly elected.

Under these circumstances it is no wonder that the amalgamation never took place. However, to this day the two associations, while cooperating in many ways, have not been able to come to an agreement, although the priest has left long ago.

In 1971, both associations were said to have "social services of all kinds and organize cultural and recreational events... Each of them organizes, or cooperates in, a dance at least once annually. These dances are open to the entire Dutch-Canadian community of the area. Both are also involved in social services to help people in need, in various ways. Both organize moderately priced group and charter flights to Amsterdam. Sports events, picnics, car rallies, etc. have al so taken place.," (De Ruijte, 1971:32).

In practice, however, the (Dutch) Queen's Birthday dance was organized by the N.S., the Sinterklaas parties for children and adults, as well as the Carnival dance were more the domain of the D.C.A., even though on paper it might have looked differently. (There was, for example, the Sinterklaas Commitee Reg'd  which planned the Sinterklaas party together with any organization that wished to do so.)

Little evidence was found of any social work on the part of the N.S., whereas the D.C.A. had a social service committee, and also used its monthly publication to ask for donations of furniture, clothing, and jobs.

From December 1969, the D.C.A. operated an Encounter Centre on premises leased from a service club on Dorchester Boulevard. Film and social evenings were held once every two weeks and a collection of several hundred Dutch language books were stored there by the Dutch Library of Montreal.

On Jan. 14, 1973 the D.C.A. requested a Local Initiatives Programme (L.I.P.) grant from the Department of Manpower and Immigration for the project "Dutch Canadian Research and Promotion". Appended to the request was the following statement:

Too many ethnic associations are interested in folklore only: national dances, singing, accordeon playing etc. We rather stress the New Canadians' impact in all spheres of Canadian life, i.e. their participation in Canadian economics, politics, education, arts, etc. and hereby using their own resources, added to those they find in Canada. We feel that this is a more important way to contribute to Canada.

The project was never realized probably as a result of the departure of its main proponent.

Unlike in Ontario, where the Dutch have established credit unions (mostly to aid farmers) a cooperative Medical and Hospital Society, and Christian Homes for Senior Citizens, no such services are found in Quebec, although both D.C.A. and N.S. have attempted to establish a credit union. More recently, the community was polled by persons who are or used to be involved with some of the above mentioned organizations, to see if there would be interest in building a Senior Citizens Home. The response was encouraging and a Foundation which will prepare requests for government assistance is in the process if being established.

No umbrella organization has ever been formed at the local level, unlike in Toronto where more than thirty local organizations are united under the umbrella of the Dutch Canadian Association of Greater Toronto (VanderMey, 1983:491).

From the late 1970's on, a number of other organizations have been founded: the Canada-Netherlands Chamber of Commerce (1978), Neerland Art Quebec (1980), and a Montreal chapter of the Canadian Association for the Advancement of Netherlandic Studies (CAANS) (1980).

The Canada-Netherlands Chamber of Commerce (Quebec Chapter) was formed on the initiative of three businessmen. One was a former executive member of "Je Maintiendrai", one a recent immigrant from the Netherlands, and one the General Manager for Canada of K.L.M., himself not even of Dutch origin. Partially funded by the Dutch government, the Chamber organized luncheons and published a quarterly Bulletin. Only in the last few years is it beginning to realize its aim to promote trade between the Netherlands and Canada more fully by organizing incoming trade missions and doing Canadian market research for Dutch business firms, in addition to its socio-educational activities. The Chamber operates with a part-time staff of three. The only Dutch Chamber in Canada, it has about 90 members, a majority of whom are from the Montreal region and of Dutch origin.

Neerland Art Quebec was established for the express purpose of organizing exhibitions of Quebec Artists of Dutch origin. It has succesfully organized several of such exhibitions in Montreal, sometimes embellishing it with an ambitious cultural programme of concerts and films. Between exhibitions, "rijsttafels" (the elaborate Indonesian meal adopted by the Dutch) are offered to the Dutch community-at-large. About 100 persons take part in each meal. Of the main organizers, one is connected with the N.S. and with the planned Foundation for a Senior Citizens Home, one with the D.C.A. and its publication De Nieuwe Weg, and one with the Chamber of Commerce and the Borrelclub. Between them they have also made the first serious effort to prepare a comprehensive mailing list of Dutch Canadians in the Montreal region. At last count they had located about fifty percent of them (assuming three persons per family). It appears that Neerland Art Quebec is either the catalyst of or the expression of increasing cohesiveness in the Dutch community of Montreal.

CAANS-Montreal tries to organize activities of a more academic nature, which, of necessity, appeals to a much smaller crowd. In addition to many lectures, the Chapter organized several conferences and a War Art exhibition on the occasion of the 40th anniversary of the liberation of Low Countries by Canadian troops. A number of articles by Montreal Chapter members appeared in the Canadian Journal of Netherlandic Studies, published by the national office of CAANS.

Two other CAANS-Montreal activities have an impact well beyond the Dutch or Flemish communities: a Dutch language course for adults, and (primarily) Dutch language television programmes on Cable TV. A few of the programmes are documentaries in English but even the others are visually interesting enough to appeal to a wider public. Films and tapes are provided by agencies in the Netherlands and Belgium. The language courses are attended by spouses or grown up children of Dutch-speaking Canadians, or young people who wish to study in Belgium or the Netherlands. Usually no more than a dozen students are enrolled but there is a continual demand for the course.

At the national level, an interesting development took place in 1970, when a national federation of Dutch-Canadian organizations was founded under the name Dutch-Canadian Committee, of which the D.C.A. was a member. This grew out of "Operation Thank You Canada" in which Dutch community organizations from across the nation got together to present Canada with a gift (a Flentrop organ for the National Arts Centre in Ottawa) on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands by Canadian troops who formed an important part of the Allied forces. The intense emotions felt at the time of liberation is something that most Dutch immigrants, who were old enough at the time, still remember, and it is probably the only thing capable of cutting across religious and social divisions. Alas, the Dutch- Canadian Committee fizzled out after having held only a few meetings (D.C.A. files 1962-1980).

Insofar as the printed media are concerned, no Dutch newspapers and periodicals are now published in Quebec, with the exception of De Nieuwe Weg, the mimeographed quarterly of the D.C.A., and the Bulletin, the quarterly publication of the Canada-Netherlands Chamber of Commerce. Both of them have an essentially local circulation.

For a number of years during the 1950's, Montreal had its own newspaper, the Nederlandse Post, but now many Dutch Quebeckers read Dutch language papers published in Ontario or B.C. Exact circulation figures by province are not available but an educated guess would put it at about 400 for the combined papers, which include De Hollandse Krant (B.C.), De Nederlandse Courant (Ont.), Hollandia Nieuws  with its English language companion The Windmill Herald (B.C. and Ont.), Calvinist Contact (Ont.), and The Pioneer (Ont.). The last two papers are organs of the Christian Reformed Church and the Reformed Church in America repectively.

The circulation figure of 400 should not be underestimated because the Dutch customarily pass on or exchange reading matter. As many as five families may share a paper (J. Lowensteyn, 1981/82:27).

Only De Hollandse Krant  addresses itself to those who have long complained of the heavy emphasis placed in Dutch Canadian communities on church related matters. It appears that this monthly is doing very well indeed, offering a counterbalance to the strongly organized protestant sector of the Dutch-Canadian community. It is half and half filled with news from the Netherlands and nostalgic articles and letters produced in Canada.

In the 1950's there was a weekly half hour long Dutch radio programme on a multilingual station. It faded away after some years and was only revived in 1970's by a person already active in the Borrelclub, the Chamber of Commerce and Neerland Art. This time the programme alternates weekly with its Flemish counterpart. It is supported by advertising.

Dutch stores have, over the years.. included bakeries, a butcher, and a delicatessen. Most of them have been sold to non-Dutch or closed. Dutch specialty foods, housewares, and souvenirs are still sold at The Dutch Mill, a delicatessen store. It was once estimated that perhaps a third of all Dutch in Montreal patronize the store at one time or another.

1A good overview can be obtained from the personal accounts given in Chapter 9, "New Homes" in Albert Van der Hey,To All Our Children, Paieda Press Ltd., Jordan Station, Ont. (1983)

2 Cf also with level of intermarriage in Ontario, a province where the C.R.C. is strongly represented.

3 " Je Maintiendrai" is the motto in the Netherlands' coat-of-arms.