People are curious and the family members of the Hurgronje Fund are no exception. Who are all these relatives? Where do they live? And with whom? What drives them? What do they do in their daily lives?
To answer these and other questions, we decided to interview family members. We take a virtual look behind the scenes, as it were. Titia Bosch van Rosenthal, the acting administrator, takes the lead.
How old are you, where do you live and with whom?
I’m 61 years old and I live with my husband Arie and our two dachshunds in Oostkapelle. Arie and I have been married for 18 years and we undertake a lot together. Arie has two grown-up children with whom I get on well. And for the grandchildren I am just as much grandma as he is grandpa. Once in a while we go and pick them up in The Hague. Then they stay with us for three nights (party!) before we bring them back. That’s quite a heave, but also very wonderful.
How long have you been a member of the Family Fund?
I became a member when I was 21. The family on my mother’s side always attended all the meetings.
How long have you been active in the Family Fund, and in what positions?
I have lived abroad from the age of 17 until the age of 41, so I could not be active during that time. However, I did receive regular support from the fund for health reasons. In 2008, I became a member of the Preparation Committee, and in 2011 I became an administrator.
What motivates you to be active for the Family Fund?
First of all, because the Fund was there for me when I needed it. When I returned to the Netherlands, I decided that if the opportunity arose, I would like to do something in return.
Secondly, the uniqueness of the fund, the good causes, and meeting all kinds of people. It gives me energy, even though it is quite time-consuming.
What memorable moments stand out for you from your time with the Family Fund so far?
First of all, the family meeting in the Town Hall of Middelburg on the occasion of the inauguration of Arjen van Dixhoorn as Hurgronje Professor; he set up the Hurgronje Chair on behalf of the Fund.
And, of course, the 250th anniversary of our Fund at the Twistvliet Estate, where young and old met. Since the lustrum festivities, we see more and more young people attending the meeting. There is a regular core of family members who always come, but there are also new people every time.
What do you see in the future for the Family Fund?
After 250 years, changes are not likely to take place. We are a conservative organisation. Nevertheless, there must be room in the future to adapt to current events. I hope we will keep up with the times. I see that as crucial to making the younger generation enthusiastic to take over later on. But I am 100% convinced that the fund will continue to be around for a very long time.
What is your profession?
I trained as a hospitality manager at Hilton International. After that I ran a hotel-restaurant in England and worked for 5 years as an information manager at a college in Taunton (UK). Back in the Netherlands, I started working part-time in my sister’s interior design company in Amersfoort. The last 5 or 6 years I have been working part-time for various institutions. Since Arie retired, I have been working less and less.
I like interacting with people, and the work for the Family Fund fits in with that. I am also the secretary of the family association of my father’s family. For this, I organise a meeting in the Achterhoek region every year (4 generations). In the meantime, I keep everyone informed of what is happening on that side of the family.
What are your hobbies/interests?
Gardening, cycling, golf, taking care of nature inventories at the golf club (with various specialists). Arie and I are enthusiastic swimmers. From April to October we go for a swim in the sea on a daily basis. We like to go on excursions. We spend one month a year on the Spanish coast with our dogs. That way winter doesn’t last as long for us.
In your opinion, what is your best quality, and what is your worst?
I think my best quality is my empathy. I don’t rely on what I see at first glance, but make the effort to get to know the person. If I see that someone is struggling, I do my best to help. I have a lot of patience in this respect.
My worst quality is definitely the fact that I find it very difficult to feel when I need to take a break. How much energy can I put into something before it is too much?
Since childhood, I have been struggling with a very nasty virus. If I’m really enthusiastic about something, I keep going until exhaustion hits. And then that virus rears its head again. As a result, for example, I have been partially paralysed in my face for the past five years.
What does your ultimate day of self-care look like?
In the morning, a lovely walk in the countryside with Arie. Then a nice lunch somewhere with a beautiful view, and then walking back by the light of the setting sun.
Is there anything else you would like to say?
Administrator is a job that takes a lot of time. I am currently the only administrator who lives in Zeeland, so Arie and I are often on the road to attend openings, concerts and so on of organisations that are supported by the Fund. Fortunately, we both really enjoy doing this. It’s really special to be able to see all those projects up close.