I am probably like you and no doubt think like you and one of the large middle group referred to as the average bloke and I am sure that you will identify with me as you read along. Having said that I have always felt being a special person, that little bit different because of my life experiences and having done a bit more and thought a bit more.

I haven't made an extraordinary contribution to this world yet we are all unique and motivated by similar things in different ways, that is, if we are and stay motivated. Race, heredity, the era born in, the environment, parents, family, friends and the community all put their stamp on all of us.

The focus of this biography is on me as a youngster in Holland in the Second World War, then an emigrant just after the war to New Zealand emigrating again to Australia and as a person experiencing life.

It saw the birth of home TV, the Biro, the video recorder, the electronic chip and stereo radios and in later years the Sputniks, the space probes and space stations, Personal computers, the Internet, compact disk recorders and mobile phones.

This book spans a time period of over 66 years starting with me as a 10 year old, commencing in the second world war, life after the war in Holland for a short while, a New Zealand immigrant (becoming a naturalized New Zealander in 1959) and moving to Australia in 1988 becoming a naturalized Australian in 1994.

It may give you an interesting insight looking through the eyes of an immigrant, particularly if you are one yourself; you may well see yourself in many ways. A turbulent life in many ways, difficult to live but never unbearable hard or unable to cope although coming near that point on more than one occasion. It is a true story honestly told without embezzlements and little license taken.

One's recollection falters now and then but it did improve in writing this. I have always deliberately put yesterday and the past behind me; seldom dwelling on the past yet writing this forced me to do so. It straitened out some things, clarified the odd few things but even applying the benefit of hindsight did not really change anything and I came to the conclusion that in the main I did mainly the best thing the best I could at the time over the years.

The era covered is very interesting indeed, particularly looked at a-far, a period from war to no war, Oh well, many smaller ones, global peace now, just like the nineteen thirties in many ways, just as desperate economy wise as then. I am not talking as an economist about the whole picture but as it applies to you and me directly now, did yesterday and will do tomorrow.

In addition to the plethora of electronic marvels, the information age, I have seen the rise and fall of the hippies, recreational drugs, Vietnam, the greenies, the arrival of aids, genetic engineering, cloning and its manipulation and ask myself will the next 66 years see as much change?

Who am I you will ask,a very good question indeed I am still coming to grips with, as one is apt to do throughout life. A laconic Dutchman, one of the tall and silent ones, probably would have been more suited as a Forrester as my grand father was.

One who sees clearly black and white finding it difficult to see the grey? In some ways an odd product life produced, affected by the war years at an impressionable age, a short period in the Dutch Army, emigrating to the other side of the world at the age of 20 on my own, the traumatic death of my first wife as a result of a brain tumor, the divorce of my second wife and the demanding career as a chief executive for many years at a very young age all setting a stamp on my personality.

Don't be depressed by this tale, I met my new mate 30 years ago and we are enjoying life together to the full, never did I image it could be to this level, and I must hasten to add this is applying to the both of us.

Hennie van Dyk

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