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John Meurs

John Meurs was born in Nijmegen in the Netherlands in 1935. After primary and secondary school Meirs attended the State College of Tropical Agriculture in Deventer (Holland): Why "tropical"? Because his parents had spent a long time in the Dutch East Indies, what is now called Indonesia, and had planted a desire to go and live in the tropics.

Instead of becoming a planter on one of the big plantations in Indonesia Meurs went, after having finished his studies, to Cameroun in West-Africa to work for a Dutch international trading house with subsidiaries all over the African west coast. There he had all the things he could not get at that time in Holland: a large apartment, an interesting job, and quite a bit of money in his pocket. He witnessed the transition of the French colony Cameroun into the independent République du Cameroun: a very interesting period.

After four years in Cameroun Meurs spent another five years in Zaire, also in West-Africa and also in the importing-exporting business. Then he left Africa and to settle again in Europe. There he joined the giant electronic company Philips in 1967 and worked at their headquarters in Eindhoven (Holland). He had some trouble, after his wild African years, adapting himself to the regular life in Holland.

In 1968 Meurs met his future wife Carien, who had grown up about ten miles from his hometown. She's the sister of one of his Dutch colleagues in Zaire.

Early 1970 Meurs joined the American GTE and worked in the export department of their European HQ in Geneva (Switzerland). He and Carien married on May 5, 1970. Few Dutchmen did so on that date. (May 5 is Liberation Day and in Holland all offices are closed.) They loved Geneva, a very international city.

In 1979 the Meurs left Geneva and moved to Rüti, a small town in the German speaking part of the country where they live today.  Both John and Carien are now retired.

Note:  Meurs uses both terms Holland and Netherlands in his book. This is because the country is officially called the Kingdom of the Netherlands of which the provinces of North and South Holland are only a small part, but as they were historically very important. Foreigners (and almost all the Dutch) call the whole country: Holland.

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