The Dutch on Kythira in the 1960’s


After a request from late bishop Meletios Galanopoulos in 1956 to the World Council of Churches (WCC) in Geneva  to improve living conditions in his diocese, mr George Koksma and his wife Anna arrived in 1960 on Kythira. This website gives an overview of all their projects until 1971.

Two fragments from Jean Bingen’s diary:

Sunday 28th of January 1962

Departure from the train station in Arnhem, the Netherlands, around 10:15AM. We* are travelling to Kythira, an island in Greece, where we as students of civil engineering from the HTS (High Technical College) in Arnhem are doing a half year internship at a Dutch development team of the World Council of Churches. After a long and careful selection procedure, we were selected from among many candidates. Wearing shorts was not allowed, free contact with girls forbidden; the island would be dry, barren and remote. Public transport was not there, so bringing in my motor scooter was very desirable.”

Dutch on Kythira
Departure station Arnhem, the Netherlands. January 1962.

Thursday 1th of February 1962

We arrive by ferry boat in Kapsali around 1:30AM. There is no landing stage. But there are a lot of waves. We move in small rowing boats and we end on top of the luggage. Taxi’s take us to Chora**, where the office and team house is located. We share with the four of us a house behind the church Agia Anna, from the balcony we have a fantastic view of two the bays of Kapsali.

*Erik Boekaar, Wessel Breunisse, Martin Klerkx and Jean Bingen

**Chora is the capital of Kythira island

Dutch on Kythira
Kapsali 1962

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