Play Honors Dutch Immigrant Legacy

On January 13, Ancaster (Ontario) Christian Reformed Church hosted a production of “FLOOD,” a play that pays tribute to those who lived in Holland through the hardships of war, the flood of 1953, and immigration to a new country.

Wes Wikkerink, a teacher at Woodland Christian High School in Breslau, Ontario, wrote the play to honor his family’s history and to revive many other Dutch immigrants’ stories. “I realized that I could, in my own way, be a ‘witness’ to the next generation about the previous generation and how they endured many trials and persevered in their faith in order to start again,” said Wikkerink.

Attendee Anton Plas, who immigrated to Canada at age 5, thought the play was very well done, commenting on how many of the stories resonated with his family’s experiences. Plas was also impressed with the enthusiasm displayed by the young cast, made up of students from Woodland.

“FLOOD” music director and stage manager Rebecca Bokma of Community CRC in Kitchener, Ontario, enjoyed being part of the production and learning some of the many stories that are part of her heritage.

Despite travel difficulties and casting changes, Wikkerink said the touring production was one of the greatest highs of his teaching career. “[It was] a privilege to work with a stellar team of students who were willing to work, learn, laugh, stretch . . . and most importantly, they saw God answer prayer,” said Wikkerink. “We felt the prayers of many protecting us in difficult road conditions. God helped us ‘redeem the time’ when it seemed impossible to be able to get that last show ready on time, and he helped us to make many very real connections and also to hear incredible stories of faith and perseverance.”

A Nazi soldier takes food from young Ina’s family while Ina’s brother is disguised as a girl. Main character Ina, played by Jocelyn VanDyke, receives a letter from her fiancé, Rein. Rein (Solomon Bussey) and Ina (Jocelyn VanDyke) are reunited in Canada. Rein gives Ina a tulip at their reunion.

About the Author

Krista Dam-Vandekuyt is the Banner’s regional news correspondent for classis Hamilton.