I am I

Do not condemn me

Nor put me down

Accept me for what I am

No,..... you need not agree with me

But accept me

For I am total in being

I have my faults

I have my gilts

But that is who I am

Perfect I will never be

Allow me to be uninhibited

Do not pressure me into feeling

What I do not feel

Accept me when I'm flying high

As I've accepted you when

you were flying high

Do not put me down... nor make

me feel unhappy about me

I am I

And I like being who I am....ME!




G'day, my name is Bill Nijhuis (Nyhouse).

I was born in April 1949 in Almelo in The Netherlands. At the age of three my parents decided to leave Europe & begin a new Australia, so naturally I tagged along.

Seemed a good idea at the time!! My two sisters came along as well, for the ride.

We left Amsterdam on board the 'm.s Johan van Oldenbarnevelt' (JVO for short) under Captain H. A. Broere, and after a five week voyage sailing by way of the Suez Canal (21st November),

Aden (24th November), & Fremantle (7th December),  we arrived in Melbourne on Saturday the 13th of December. I have absolutely no recollection (probably due to my age) of the voyage

so you're probably wondering how I managed to get hold of the itinerary. Well I have to thank my fellow countryman Reuben Goossens on that score. He was kind enough to dig up the info

for me.

By the way you must visit his site (Maritime World), it's great. See my links    


In the following years we moved around here, there & everywhere. Naturally, as was the done thing in those days, we started off in a migrant hostel up near the NSW border at Bonegilla. As

soon as was possible we moved back to Melbourne and in 1960 we finally settled down in Mooroolbark.

After primary school at St. Anthony's School in Oakleigh & St. Edmunds in Croydon, I continued my education at Aquinas College in Ringwood and later on at Mooroolbark Technical School. I

was a brilliant scholar (!) so it seemed logical that I start my career in banking. Went to work for the ANZ Bank in January of 1967, at the Ringwood branch. Had a lot of fun there, met tons

of great Aussies (for the insiders - Big Bah). In 1968 after working in quite a few branches around Melbourne, I ended up in head office, in the Nominees Department.

Seeing as this wasn't really my kettle of fish, I decided it was time for a change. Thought Europe might be fun for a while.


So in November of 1968, I boarded the 't.v. Castel Felice' at Port Melbourne, bound for Southampton. Once again my youngest sister Angela decided to come along for the ride. After a six

week voyage, of which I have little recollection (due to an overdose of alcohol), we arrived in Southampton on the 4th of January. After saying our goodbyes to shipboard friends, we

travelled on to  London by way of train. Seeing as our following train to Harwich was due to depart in the evening we spent the day in London. Just as well to seeing as my sis was pretty

crook & ended up in hospital for the day. Luckily she was fit enough to travel on to Harwich. We caught the night ferry to Hoek of Holland, near Rotterdam, arriving there in the early hours of

the morning of January 6th. The beginning of my new life!!!


We (Angela & I) had bed & breakfast lined up in Borne with my uncle & auntie, so no worries there. The idea being to stay there for a while & then head on out into Europe. We had jobs

lined up in London at the ANZ, head office.


But, as usual, things don't always turn out the way you plan.................

Angela returned to the wonderful Land of Oz. She went back in 1971 & picked up her life again there. I was left here on my ownsome…………!


Meanwhile...................50 years down the road, I'm married, have two fantastic sons and am the proud grandfather of 4 grandchildren;


I live in Almelo, The Netherlands & am now happily retired (since 2009).


But...................................I Still Call Australia Home!!



I've visited my beloved Australia 7 times over the past 50 years.

My first visit back home was in 1979 which I can remember as a revelation after 10 years in Europe. The wife & my boys were with me on that occassion.

 My next visit was in 1991, but this time I had to go on my own, couldn't afford to bring the whole family. Even though I was alone I had a great time looking up old acquaintances etc.

 I must admit though that 6 weeks is a long time to go without seeing ones loved ones.


My next visit was in 1994. This was not one of the most fun journeys home seeing as my mother was critically ill. I had come home to say goodbye! Won't go into details, although I am

glad I went to see her for the last time. I think it made things easier for me when she passed away in February of the following year.


My next visit was in 2001. This was a fantastic, relaxing vacation. Naturally he wife was with me. We had a great time, visiting the family, traveling around Victoria, South Australia. NSW



My next visit was in 2005. This time all six of us went, the missus, my boys & their wives. Needless to say we had an absolute ball. We spent Christmas with the family. The first time in

nearly 38 years that the whole family was together - unbelievable!


My next trip was in January 2013. After a long 7 years I was once again home in Mooroolbark. This trip was again fantastic, especially seeing that we stayed for three months. The last

month our best friends also came over & joined us. I was glad that at long last I could finally give them some idea as to how life in Australia is like. We took them on a trip to Kangaroo

Island via The Great Ocean Road & back to Melbourne via The Grampians & Ballarat. They thoroughly enjoyed themselves!!


My next trip was in November 2018. It had already been too long again since our last visit, so it was great to be able to spend Christmas & New Year's with the family. We really enjoyed

ourselves, but this time didn't spend to much time travelling around, was just great to be with the family.

Can't wait for the next trip, but till then I'll just have to make do again with phone calls & emails, Skype etc. ........................…


Last but not least, a beautiful poem by Max Ehrmann published in 1927:-





Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,

And remember what peace there may be in silence

As far as possible, without surrender,

be on good terms with all persons.

Speak your truth quietly and clearly;

and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant;

they too have their story.


Avoid loud, aggressive persons,

they are vexations to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others,

you may become vain and bitter,

for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.


Keep interested in your career, however humble;

it is a real possession in the changing of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs;

for the world is full of trickery.

But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;

many persons strive for high ideals;

and everywhere life is full of heroism.


Be yourself.

Especially, do not feign affection.

Neither be cynical about love;

for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,

it is as perennial as the grass.


Take kindly the counsel of the years,

gracefully surrendering the things of youth.

Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.

But do not distress yourself with imaginings,

Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline,

be gentle with yourself


You are a child of the universe,

no less than the trees and the stars;

you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you,

no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.


Therefore be at peace with God,

whatever you conceive Him to be,

and whatever your labors and aspirations,

in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace with your soul.


With all its' sham, drudgery and broken dreams,

it is still a beautiful world.

Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.