On Friday 3 November I was proud to officially open the new gymnasium at Rembrandt living in Oaklands Park.
Rembrandt Living's residential facility, Rembrandt Court in Oaklands Park opened its doors to its first residents in 1993.
Rembrandt came about as a result of a lack of culturally appropriate services for the founder, Tinie Nieuwenhoven's ageing Dutch mother. Following significant European migration after the end of world war II there were many people who found themselves in the same position.
Tinie (and a willing group of helpers) set about establishing a service that would allow people to live together in a community designed for their physical and cultural needs. The Dutch (and other northern European) languages, festive days, food and other customs would be made accessible in a community atmosphere improving the well being of all.
It was a pleasure to be at the opening of Rembrandt's latest addition to their facilities - the new gymnasium.
We were joined by many local residents whom I had the opportunity to meet, over a delicious morning tea.
I’m told the number one guiding principle at Rembrandt Living is, and excuse my translation, Gezelligheid (GHUH-SELL-UGH-HEITE). This is one of those words which is untranslatable. Wikipedia tells me it means a convivial, nice, fun and cosy atmosphere. My staff member’s Oma says it also means the act of welcoming someone and being friendly, and the warm feeling that happens when you feel you belong.
From what I get, gezelligheid applies perfectly to Rembrandt!