Diploma A for a Merchant Marine Engineer (in Dutch language), registered number M.166, issued to Jan Cornelis Roos by the Head of the Shipping Branch, on behalf of the Governor-General of the Netherlands Indies, at Batavia, 3 January 1940. The diploma has an appended portrait photograph and is accompanied by an English translation from the Secretary, Netherlands Consulate, Melbourne, Australia, 21 May 1951 and the stamp of the Consulate.

Part of a collection relating to Jan Cornelis Roos (1912 - 1973), a Dutch merchant marine engineer who migrated to Australia during the early 1940s. Jan was born in 1912 in a village near Alkmaar in the Netherlands. He qualified as an electrical technician in 1934 but during the Depression work was difficult to secure, but found some employment in workshops and a shipyard as a fitter. He then obtained employment with KPM the Dutch navigation company and trained as a marine engineer. In 1937 he was awarded the National Medal for Charitable Assistance for rescuing a drowning woman. Jan continued to work for KPM on various ships and was based in Batavia (Jakarta) in the then Dutch East Indies and later in Australia during World War II. In 1941 he married Lillian May Furlong, an elocution teacher in Ballarat, had a daughter (and later a son) and finally settled in Elstenwick and then Upwey, having left the merchant navy in 1951. Jan died in 1971.

Physical Description

Single sheet, proforma certificate printed one side in black on stiff white paper, with a coat of arms and an affixed black and white portait photograph of a man in suit and tie, overprinted with a blue-inked circular stamp. Details completed in black ink handwriting. Accompanied by a single sheet of paper with black typed text and occasional red ink underlining, a signature in blue ink and a purple inked rubber stamp with a coat of arms.


Statement of Historical Significance:
This item is part of a collection relating to Jan Cornelis Roos (1912 - 1973), a Dutch merchant marine engineer who migrated to Australia during the early 1940s, having married Ballarat resident Lillian Furlong in 1941. In 1937 he was awarded the highest medal for civilian bravery in the Netherlands. The collection includes the medal along with documents tracing his education and training in the Netherlands, and his employment particularly with KPM (Dutch Royal Packet Navigation Co.) in the Dutch East Indies and then in Australia.This is a rare example of this medal in Australian collection, and the other material provides a comprehensive overview of the training and employment path of a merchant marine engineer from the 1930s to 1950s within one of Europe's largest shipping companies.The collection also makes interesting connections to broader themes such as Dutch colonialism and trade in the Asia-Pacific, Australia's links within this trade route and the resulting permanent migration of some of the merchant marine personnel.

More Information