Chesterville savours Dutch Heritage Night

'Bitterballen' hors d’oeuvres were served up in Dutch style at the 2018 Dutch Heritage Dinner. Zandbergen photo, Nation Valley News

CHESTERVILLE — The hearty meal at the 13th annual Dutch Heritage Day Dinner/Dance was certainly worthy of an Eet smakelijk! — something like Bon Appetite! as spoken in the language of The Netherlands.

Over 140 people turned out for what was, again, a gezellig time — to use the Dutch word that sounds like a sneeze and defies precise translation into English but alludes to an occasion with nice ambience and a cozy atmosphere.

The event at the Chesterville Legion again served as a fundraiser for Ryan’s Well Foundation — traditionally topped up with a contribution from the village’s Rotary Club each year to ensure a $1,000 tally.

It was local Rotarian Kaireen Cotnam who originally came up with the idea of an annual party celebrating the impact of the post Second World War Dutch immigrant influx on the area and its agricultural sector and beyond, as recounted by that evening’s emcee, Vince Zandbelt, member of the organizing committee. The Club embraced Cotnam’s motion 13 years ago, under then-President Ruth Gilroy, who also continues to serve on the independent committee that isn’t limited to Rotarians.

Before DJ Jamie Shadbolt spun the evening’s dance tunes, dinner-goers  enjoyed a traditional meal of potatoes, chicken, pork and gravy — along with colourful vegetables like red beets and carrots. Bitterballen, the savoury Dutch treat, made their return as appetizers before the meal, quaffed down with beer.

Below, the Rotary Club of Chesterville & District and an organizing committee again staged another successful Dutch Heritage Dinner/Dance at the Chesterville Legion. The Saturday night (April 14) event drew a full house celebrating the positive impact of the Dutch immigrant community on the region after World War II. In keeping with tradition, proceeds are slated to go to Ryan’s Well Foundation.
The clip begins with the singing of the Dutch national anthem (O Canada was sung first). Also included is footage of that evening’s top doorprize — a locally made lamp funded by Lise Buma, who shows off the piece while Vince Zandbelt reads out the winning ticket.



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