Otto Bruno Joan van Voorthuijsen

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Otto Bruno Joan van Voorthuijsen

Birthplace: Batavia, Dutch East Indies
Death: February 28, 1953 (66)
Bandoeng, Dutch East Indies
Immediate Family:

Son of Bruno Otto Adriaan Johan Thomas Joan van Voorthuijsen and Antje Cesarine Toeteman (Oma Bogor)
Husband of Oma Dora
Father of Willem Marinus van Voorthuijsen; Bé Jolly; Paula Margaretha Hadders; Ernst Theodoor van Voorthuijsen and Private
Brother of John Thomas Adriaan van Voorthuijsen; Private; Eddy van Voorthuijsen; "Zus" van Hogezand; Johannes Christiaan van Voorthuijsen and 1 other

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About Otto Bruno Joan van Voorthuijsen

Called Otto by some Bruno by others, OBJ was by all evidence a very conservative Victorian gentleman. There is a story that he disagreed with some of the social practices on a plantation he worked at as a young man and found it necessary to flee the place in the middle of the night on horseback to escape. This was related to the family by Oma Dora, his wife. OBJ engaged in numerous occupations during his life, from managing a thriving import-export bisiness to civil service and the law, which he studied both in the Indies and at Leiden University in the Netherlands.

He met Oma Dora at the house of Willem and Marie Arendsen de Wolf. Marie was the eldest sister of Otto Bruno's wife, Dora Hommes, to whom she was very close. Willem Arendsen de Wolf owned a chain of theatres in Java, which he offered OBJ to manage and eventually take over, for they were childless, and OBJ and Dora had named their first born Willem Marinus, after Willem and Marie Arendsen de Wolf--but OBJ's strict Calvinist principles precluded him from enaging in anything having to do with the theatre business.The offer instead was taken up by certain Mr. Busé, who made out very well. OBJ also once was was given a lottery ticket, but that too was against his principles, so he let another person have it. That person won 100,000 guilders on the ticket, a huge some at the time, perhaps more like $1,000,000 today. He also had a Victorian phobia against swimming--considering it a dirty practice because of the ovious things fish do in the water. OBJ's conservatism took on a slightly more ominous turn when he joined the NSB, the National Socialist Movement, for a short while. Fortunately he resigned from that party long before its associations became truly noxious with the sudden rise to power of Hitler in Germany.

After that epsode OBJ stuck with the more traditional (Calvinist) Anti-Revolutionary Party,

which had actually been in the very forefront of the union movement in the Netherlands. OBJ was very involved in the Christian Labor movement and was instrumental in writing a handbook of colonial regulations while he worked for the governement. he assisted many people of Dutch descent in the East Indies collect the paperwork required to prove their Dutch nationality and repatriate to the Netherlands.

As a true Victorian, OBJ also was against swimming--whether in private or public swimming pools or in rivers, lakes or the sea--for he felt that you could never be sure what other people and animals might have done in the water to make this practice unsanitary...

Here is an excerpt out of the correspondence from Willem M. v.V. to John M. v.V.--written in a kind of "Yankee Dutch" where the two languages simply meld into each other:

"Oma Dora's jongste zuster Dolly married a Piet van den Berg and Peggy and Norma were their (twin) daughters. Piet had a twin brother, Jan.

Opa Otto -- only the Hommeses called him Bruno) -- had a kid sister Dorothea (my Tante Zus) who married Jaap van Hogezand. They never had children. The only other van Hogezand I knew was Uncle Jaap's younger brother Marinus, a doctor.

BTW, I was not named after him, but after Oma Dora's eldest sister Marie as well as after her husband Willem Arendsen de Wolf. But that's material for another family story."

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Otto Bruno Joan van Voorthuijsen's Timeline

June 1, 1886
Batavia, Dutch East Indies
May 9, 1918
Buitenzorg, Dutch East Indies
July 11, 1919
Buitenzorg, Dutch East Indies
July 18, 1927
Batavia, Dutch East Indies
February 28, 1953
Age 66
Bandoeng, Dutch East Indies