Monday, 23 May 2016

The legendary Tante Occa

Yesterday I travelled to Cuijk, a small town in the east of the Netherlands, to visit my great aunt Octavie (known to all as Tante Occa). Tante Occa is a legend in mum's family not just for her longevity - she turns 96 later this year - but also for her adventurous life, progressive views and generosity. She told me some stories about her years in Tanzania where she was sent as a social worker in the early 1960s to help improve the lot of local women. There she befriended the wife of the country's first president and became a godmother to her daughter, now also a politician in Tanzania. The photo shows Tante Occa with a portrait of her as a young woman, painted by her father (and my great-grandfather) Jan Gall around 1940.

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