The Daily Herald – Oral history of Saint Martin preserved in new book ‘Ole Tales, Sweet Memories’

The cover of “Ole Tales, Sweet Memories – My Father and his unique stories from St. Maarten” by Maria Plantz and Charles Irving Plantz.

THE HAGUE – When Maria Plantz learned seven years ago from Jos de Roo, doctoral researcher and former journalist at Radio Nederland Wereldomroep (Radio Netherlands), that he had found a series of stories that her father Charles Irving Plantz had written for Radio Netherlands, she decided she wanted to do something with these unique historical documents that once described Saint-Martin.

Years later, Maria Plantz is proud to present the book Ole Tales, Sweet Memories – My Father and His Unique Stories from Saint Martin, a publication that she actually produced with her late father, as it contains 18 remarkable stories that Charles Irving Plantz (1924-1987) wrote and recorded at Radio Netherlands while studying law in the Netherlands.

The 200-page book, which went on sale in the Netherlands on Friday August 6 and will soon arrive in St. Martin, contains a unique collection of stories in the tradition of St. Martin’s oral literature, the island where Charles Irving Plantz was born. The stories he wrote were written phonetically in English “Sin Matin” and broadcast in the English speaking islands of the Netherlands Antilles between 1949 and 1952.

Special discovery

Jos De Roo found the stories in the archives of Radio Netherlands while researching for her doctoral thesis and contacted Maria Plantz about this very special discovery of which she was unaware. “I didn’t know that my father wrote and recorded these stories, and that they were broadcast on the islands. He never told me about it. I remember a photo of him sitting behind a microphone, but I didn’t know the details, ”she said. The herald of the day and Amigoe newspapers in an exclusive interview.

The first thing that Maria Plantz, who lives in the Netherlands and is a member of the State Council of the Kingdom appointed to St. Martin, was to digitize and save the 18 documents written by her father. This was necessary as it was not clear whether these would be saved in the archives of Radio Netherlands which was dissolved in 2012.

Plantz decided to write a biography and other background for the book so that the reader can learn more about the author of these wonderful old tales with titles like “The Three Little Pigs”, “Ole Johannes and the Thieves cotton “,” Capin Johnson and the Lil Red Snapper “,” Sharks in Lamejo “,” Rumrunners “Plight”, “Damfool and Sensible” and “Smugglin Trick”.

The biography includes the history of the Plantz and Beauperthuy families with a family tree, old documents and historical photos.

In the biography, Maria Plantz writes about her father’s roots from her father’s side, Maria’s great-grandmother Sarah Macbene Donckrin, great-grandfather William Adolphus Plantz and grandfather William Rufus Plantz .

She also describes her father’s roots from her mother’s side: the great-grandmother of Maria Mélanie Constance Gumbs, the great-grandfather Charles Daniel Esprit “Monsieur Dan” Beauperthuy and her grandmother Amélia Valentine Beauperthuy .

Boarding school

The book describes Charles Irving Plantz who grew up in Saint-Martin, Bonaire, Aruba and Curaçao from 1924 to 1938, the move to secondary school in the Netherlands in 1938, the impact of the Rolduc boarding school in Kerkrade, the years of war and the period after the war. By recounting his ancestors and the long road he had to travel in life, the reader, through the intermediary of his daughter Maria, becomes acquainted with the author of the remarkable stories of the book.

At the age of 14, Charles Irving Plantz was sent to a boarding school in the Netherlands as World War II was about to break out. After graduating in 1944, he went into hiding to avoid being sent to a German labor camp.

In Beverwijk he hid in a large haystack, along with Hyacinth Connor, who later became lieutenant-governor of Saint-Martin. Plantz and Connor aided the resistance with English translations. It was in Beverwijk that Plantz met Maria’s mother, Elly, because her father owned the haystack where Plantz and Connor were hiding. In 1952 they married and in 1955 Maria was born.

While studying law at the University of Amsterdam, Irving Plantz between 1948 and 1952 wrote the stories of Tales of Ole, sweet memories, enjoying his sweet memories and his love for his island Saint-Martin.

He was in good company. According to Jos De Roo’s thesis “Praatjes voor de West” (Stories for the West) (2014), several other Dutch Caribbean students who subsequently became famous, such as Boelie van Leeuwen, René Römer, Jules de Palm , Hubert Dennert and Frank Martinus Arion, contributed stories to the Radio Netherlands show. The stories of these writers and others ran until 1962.

Humble man

With Ole Tales, Sweet Memories – My Father and His Unique Stories from Saint Martin, Maria Plantz took up the challenge of publishing the stories to contribute to the culture and history of Saint Martin, to describe the great roots of Saint Martin, the French Quarter tribe and the life of her father, a man humble.

“I hope this is a great contribution for Saint-Martin and Saint-Martin 2021, giving a piece of oral history back to Saint-Martin,” said Maria Plantz, who plans to visit Saint-Martin. and in several other Netherlands. Caribbean Islands in October this year to personally present the book. The official book launch in the Netherlands takes place at the American Book Center in early September.

Tales of Ole, sweet memories, the background and the extraordinary collection of short stories in “Sin Matin English”, is published by Boekscout Publishers in the Netherlands on August 6

(www.boekscout.nl) and is available through its online store. The editors of the book are The herald of the day Executive Director Mary Hellmund-Snow and American Book Center owner Lynn Kaplanian Buller.

As for Charles Irving Plantz: after his law studies, he went to Curaçao in 1952, but returned to the Netherlands in 1954 to study at the Tax Academy. He then returned to Curaçao where he worked in the central government’s finance department and later became head of the island government’s finance department until his retirement from public service. For several years he worked as a tax advisor in Curaçao and Saint-Martin and was president of the General Chamber of Accounts of the Netherlands Antilles.

A strong advocate of investing in “us, the community,” he has used his knowledge of the law to help unions in Curaçao for free. He was involved in the Kiwanis service club and was the president of Mgr. Institut Verriet for people with disabilities for a long time. He died in 1987 in Curaçao where he was initially buried, and was then re-buried in Saint-Martin to rest with his deceased son Erik Plantz.

About Norma Wade

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