Letter from Sheba Ltd. Ship Yards and Dredging Works, Schoorldam, Netherlands, providing an employment reference for Jan Roos, dated 14 December 1931. The letter is in Dutch language and has an English translation from the Netherlands Consulate, Victoria, dated 22 May 1951.
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.
Two sheets of quarto paper stapled together at the top. One, lined paper with a black printed letterhead incorporating illustrations of ships and a dredge, with handwritten text. The other sheet, trypewriiten text in black with some red underlining, a signature and a purple round stamp containing a crest.
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.
Donation from Pam Roos, Ian Roos, 13 Nov 2014
First page: 'TRANSLATION / SCHEBA LTD. (double underlined) /... (extended text) ... (stamp) (signature) / J.ZWALF, / Secretary.' Second page: '(letterhead) ... (extended text).'
Type of item
215 mm (Width), 275 mm (Height)