Rotary Holland

The digitalisation of archives continues, so it pays off to check for new information every once in a while. I found out that the periodical of the Dutch Rotary Club has found its way to an online archive. Farwerck is mentioned frequently, so let us have a look if this monthly magazine / newsletter has new information.

Rotary started in the Netherlands in 1927 in Hilversum and Amsterdam and Farwerck was involved. No wonder that the first “Rotary Holland” (as the name of the magazine goes) is from that year and that Farwerck is mentioned. This is not very interesting though, it is only mentioned that he was present at a meeting on 1 November 1927. Somewhat interesting, also present was Cochius.

The next mention is that he was present on 2 February 1928. Also present then was Van Duyl who would later ask him to join the N.S.B. In that time he is mostly listed as present, but on 19 April 1928 Farwerck spoke about his carpet factory, Interestingly enough, the short report opens with a quote of Inayat Khan that not Farwerck, but another member (Rozenbeek) presented. The meeting after Farwercks talk, the idea arises to start a museum in Hilversum. It would take several more years for this to become true.

Later in 1928 Farwerck became treasurer of the Hilversum club.
Also perhaps noteworthy, on 12 June 1928 Farwerck is listed a a visitor at the Apeldoorn club which is then headed by a man named Kerdijk.
Another noteworthy point, in August 1928 a committee for ‘social and youth work’ was started, chaired by Farwerck.
Later the same year it is mentioned that Farwerck visited a Rotary Club in Copenhagen, Denmark and Göteborg, Sweden. I’m sure that in Sweden he will have visited some of the rock carvings that he so often spoke and wrote about!

1929 Appears to be have the theme of the defective child. Farwerck even lectures about it on 24 January and again on 21 March.
There is an interesting remark on 4 July 1929: “Next Farwerck gives his biography.” If only that would have been written out like the subjects of other nights…
29 August Farwerck is once more the speaker and it is about unfair competition.
A postponed lecture from Farwerck and “Gorter” about Rotary and Freemasonry is given on 18 November. Not much is written about that unfortunately.

In 1931 (22 January) Farwerck shows his fellow Rotarians his carpet factory. More interestingly, on 23 July he speaks about Esperanto and we also learn that Farwerck has been in Stockton, UK. On 20 August Farwerck again speaks about Esperanto. It could help to take town the language barriers at international Rotary meetings. Obviously, English didn’t yet have the position it has today.

A more business subject is Farwercks at 4 August 1932.

Early 1933 Farwerck is part of a group who will investigate the history of the Rotary Club and in February he unexpectedly and by heart gave a lecture about the history of “Het Gooi”, the area where he lived and he once more raised the desire of the club to start a museum, just as five years before.
On 2 March a quite political discussion between Farwerck and the speaker (Groote, chairman of the club at the time) unfolds which appears to have been quite heated. But yet, a week later the two start to work together to prepare for a local museum.

Then on 15 June 1933 Farwerck gives a lecture about National Socialism. In the short summery it seems that Farwerck stressed the spiritual rather than the political side of the moment and he presented it as non-anti-semitic. Apparently he ran short in time, because on 22 June, he continued his lecture. He presents about the same naivety as he did in the internal periodical of the Dutch mixed gender Masonic organisation that he headed at the time. He got some opposition, but Farwercks counter-arguments get more space in Rotary Holland than those of the people defending Liberalism.
29 Juni 1933 the subject continues. In spite of opposition, most people seem to back up Farwerck and his opinion. I can imagine that this subject weighted heavy on the Hilversum Rotary Club.
On 3 August Farwerck mentions a letter of madam Kerdijk. This is interesting. If this is Bo Kerdijk, she knew Farwerck not only from their Masonic memberships, but was she also involved somehow in the Rotary. In that case, she may have heard (of) Farwercks lectures about National Socialism and that could have sparked her idea that he better no longer be a member of Le Droit Humain. On the other hand, it is more likely that this is the wife of Rotary member Kerdijk who was mentioned in 1928.

On 25 January 1935 the Jewish question” is subject of the lunch lecture. The question of this lecture is if the Rotary shouldn’t help the Jews in difficult situations. Farwerck is mentioned asking if a Jew born in the Netherlands would see the Netherlands or Palestine as their fatherland.

Somewhere around this time, the periodical became more of a newsletter and the name “Rotary Holland” is sometimes changed to “Rotary”, sometimes there is no title at all.

Farwerck expressed how much he liked the Rotary, especially the contact with like-minded people, on 14 February 1935. In June of the same year, he is mentioned as vice-chairman.
In August Farwerck presents (apparently as chairman) the report of a committee that investigated a conflict in Italy. Cochius proves to be unamused by the light approach of the committee and quite a discussion arose.
In November 1935 the “Gooisch Museum” appears to be a fact and Farwerck and Jaarsma are asked to write something about the Rotary in the museum newsletter. In the first issue of the newsletter in 1936 a full page article about the museum is presented.

On 30 April 1936 Farwerck says a few things about the problems of Glass Factory Leerdam (of Cochius).
In december of the same year, things seem to get serious about the membership of some club members of the National Socialist Movement. Some members (including Cochius) think that National Socialists should leave the club, Farwerck, of course, disagrees. As the current chairman of the club was a member too, no actions seem to have been taken.

It is not all politics in these days. On 21 January 1937 Farwerck speaks of the oldest inhabitants of the Netherlands. A week later the discussion about this lecture continued.

Farwerck gives another lecture on 28 April 1938 about “Culture in Northern Europe before the common era”. The report closes with the remark that: “Farwerck succeeded through his interesting lecture in removing all false notions about the Germans that may have haunted our heads.” Apparently in his club, Farwerck still had people leaning towards his stance in 1938.
He also sends the regards of Cochius who is in bad health and has moved to Switzerland to recover. The mention sounds like him and Farwerck knowing each other very well.
Other mentions in the 1938 issues are about Farwerck being active in the discussions which are about a variety of subjects by the way, from history to commerce.

On 19 January 1939 Farwerck spoke about art in antiquity with “projected illustrations” which appears to be worth mentioning. From very ancient times Farwerck works towards the bronze-age and … the Germans.
A bit later in the same year, Farwerck has a letter published in the periodical in which he reacts to a writing of a member that left. Farwerck feels the ex-member refers to an incident in Hilversum a few years earlier and feels addressed.
The subjects slowly move more and more towards the war situation. At one time Farwerck suggests the Rotary to help businessmen who suffer from the war and on 9 November 1939 he and two others give lectures about business problems during the German occupation. Also later evenings have this subject.

The June 1940 issue announced the departure of several members, including Farwerck. Quite out of the blue.

And so we have a rough overview of Farwercks ‘Rotary career’. Obviously his club talked about a wide variety of subjects and Farwerck was an active member. A couple of times he is mentioned visiting other clubs, also abroad. Farwerck himself spoke about different subjects, was active in discussions and appears to have been an appreciated member who appreciated his membership. The date of his departure suggests that his problems within the National Socialist Party also had consequences for other parts of his life.

There is not a whole lot of new information, but we did again get to know Farwerck as a person a little better and some dates could be interesting in another context.

Earlier I wrote about Farwerck the Rotarian based on other sources.

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