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Posted Dec 17, 2015

Annual Banquet - 2015

On Tuesday November 17, members and friends descended upon The Union Club in New York to celebrate our Annual Banquet. Despite a smaller attendance than usual, the evening was a very merry one and a most successful affair! 

Banquet Chairman Steven Wyckoff, Pia de Jong, Dr. Robbert Dijkgraaf,
President Dr. Robert Schenck and Consul General Rob de Vos

Guests started arriving at an early hour for the reception, eager to start a delightful evening with the open bar proving to be a popular destination to meet. The dinner and dancing started at 7 PM with a welcoming reception line starting with Banquet Chairman, Steven Wyckoff and Lori Wyckoff, Medalist Dr. Robbert Dijkgraaf and his wife Pia de Jong, Consul General Rob de Vos and Maria de Vos and President Dr. Robert Schenck and Marcia Whitney-Schenck.  
Entering the ball room the orchestra of Lester Lanin played the foxtrot and the tables looked splendid with beautiful centerpieces. A special welcome was given to the delegation of the Third of October Society, headed by their Secretary, Dr. Jurgen van der Velden. The lively and glamorous delegation from the Netherlands ensured the Dutch national anthem was sung with gusto this year. The dance floor did not remain empty for long under the guidance of our President. 

Stephen (‘00) and David Nostrand (‘76) carrying the Beaver

After warm welcoming words from Steven Wyckoff and President Dr. Robert Schenck, Consul General Rob de Vos had a most impressive speech and introduction for Medalist Dr. Robbert Dijkgraaf.  Our medalist this year is particularly famous for his ability to make anyone believe they can understand the quantum physics of space, and he did not disappoint! 

Delegation of the Third of October Society with President Dr. Robert Schenck

The wine poured freely and the food was excellent, the tournedos of beef with a blue cheese gratin and the apple tarte tatin were instant favorites. The dancing glamorous couples brightened the evening and reluctant farewells were said after the last song was played. All in all a very nice evening.

Past President Bill Van Winkle (‘53), Pia de Jong and Editor of de Halve Maen
Dr. David Voorhees (‘80).


Posted Dec 17, 2015

Holland Society Visit to the Netherlands - 2015

Nineteen Members and Friends of the Holland Society of New York and their spouses arrived in Amsterdam on Saturday, September 26, for a very special visit to the Netherlands. The weather was beautiful the entire week, which is quite a feat in the rainy Low Countries, especially in the fall season.

On the first day the group assembled to visit the Van Gogh Museum under the enthusiastic expert guidance of art historian Anneke Krijgsman. The museum, housing the world’s largest collection of works by Vincent van Gogh, presents all stages of the artist’s creative life from the dark paintings of his early period in the Netherlands to the chaotic and bright paintings of his last days in France. Following the tour the group enjoyed a sunny boat ride through Amsterdam’s canals accompanied by typical Dutch sandwiches [broodjes] consisting of warm meatballs with mustard. 

The tasting of the herring, the President of the Third of October Association
Michiel Zonnevylle, the President of the Holland Society, Dr. Robert Schenck,
Mayor of Katwijk Jos Wienen and the Mayor of Leiden Henri Lenferink 

The next morning the group visited the masterpieces at the honorary gallery of the Rijksmuseum, which included Vermeer’s works and Rembrandt’s famous “Night Watch.” Following lunch, the group visited a gentleman’s canal house from the Van Loon family, which still shows the splendor of the Golden Age and has remained largely intact. “Restaurant de Nissen,” a former seventeenth-century warehouse on the Rokin, served traditional Dutch fare to cap the day.

One of the highlights of the trip came on Tuesday with a visit to the Half Moon replica ship, currently at the Westfries Museum in the city of Hoorn. Westfries Museum director Ad Geerdink personally welcomed the group and treated them to a fabulous lunch and a trip back in time to seventeenth-century Hoorn with an Oculus Rift 3D experience. An added honor was to have the ship’s owner, Dr. Andrew Hendricks, with us on this visit.

Group picture on de Halve Maen, left to right: Jim Hotaling, Gerrit Lydecker,
Brenda Lydecker, Michele Polhemus, Dr. Robert Schenck, Henry Hudson, John Nevius,
Dr. Andrew Hendricks, Billie Wegler, John Lansing, Phillip keirstead, Sally Polhemus, Mary Hotaling, Nicholas Veeder, Rick Barrett. In the back: the two brothers Polhemus, Richard
and James, Chay Veeder and Marcia Whitney-Schenck.

On Wednesday the group moved to the charming Carlton Ambassador Hotel in The Hague. The day began with a tour of the recently renovated Mauritshouse Museum, which has an astonishing number of select masterpieces for a relatively small museum, from Vermeer’s “Girl with the Pearl Earring,” Fabritius’s “The Goldfinch,” and, especially interesting for the doctors in the group, Rembrandt’s “The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp.” An elaborate luncheon consisted of authentic Dutch cuisine, including fresh croquettes (kroketten), soup, and famous chocolate sprinkles. After touring the Binnenhof [Inner Court] of The Hague, the center of Dutch democracy, and catching a glimpse of Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte entering the building under heavy security, the group explored the center of The Hague. The big surprise of the day was an afternoon visit to the Panorama Mesdag Museum, a 30 foot high cylindrical painting showing the seaside scenery of Scheveningen. The group was able to go behind the scenes and learn about the optical illusions behind this painting. 

The next day the group visited the Prinsenhof, former residence and the place of the murder of William the Silent in Delft and the New Church of Delft. In the afternoon they received a demonstration at the Candelaer Delft Blue factory and enjoyed the bustling market. That evening the group experienced a traditional Indonesian rice table of enjoyable flavors.

Holland Society Members in front of the Westfries Museum in Hoorn, from left to right:
John Nevius, Phillip Keirstead, Dr. Andrew Hendricks, Dr. Robert Schenck,
Gerrit Lydecker, Nicholas Veeder, James Polhemus, John Lansing , Richard Polhemus
and Jim Hotaling

The next two days were a once-in-a-lifetime experience as the group members were the honorary guests of Leiden’s Third of October Society’s festivities in Leiden to celebrate the liberation of that city from the Spanish siege in 1574. The first day included an impressive opening of the celebration with youngsters performing all kinds of complicated acrobatics and concluded with the eating of the traditional hutspot (stew)—legend has it the Spanish retreated from the city so quickly that they abandoned a kettle of brewing stew.  The next day began with a church service in the Pieterskerk, best known today as the church of the Pilgrim Fathers. A full orchestra and chorus included several American hymns to honor the Holland Society gathering and the royal domine referred to the Holland Society in his welcoming words. After a hearty hutspot lunch the group was treated to honory balcony seats with champagne to watch the yearly parade. The main highlight was the participation of Holland Society President Dr. Robert Schenck and his wife Marcia Whitney-Schenck, Treasurer John Nevius, and Trustee Dr. Andrew Hendrick riding in one of the two golden coaches in the Netherlands, pulled by two teams of horses. The only other gold coach is presently used by the King and Queen (the royal gold carriage is the only one allowed to be pulled by a team of 3 horses in Holland), in very good company indeed. The welcome the group received from the Third of October Society was very special and went beyond expectations, to top of the Leiden festivities, the Third of October Society announced that each President of the Holland Society would become an Honorary Member and be welcome to participate in the yearly festivities. 

The golden carriage with Dr. Robert Schenck, Marcia Whitney-Schenck,
Dr. Andrew Hendricks and John Nevius

On this high note the 2015 Holland Society visit to the Netherlands concluded. It was a huge success; the enthusiasm of art historian Anneke Krijgsman made each museum come alive with her expertise, open arms welcomed the group everywhere, the food was excellent, the hotels comfortable, and, above all, rain stayed away the entire week.

The group included Dr. Robert R. Schenck and Marcia Whitney-Schenck, Richard and Sally Polhemus, Phillip and S-K Keirstead, Jim and Mary Hotaling, James and Michele Polhemus, John Lansing and Wilma (“Billie”) Jean Wegler, Nicholas and Chay Veeder, Gerrit and Brenda Lydecker, Andrew Hendricks, John Nevius and Frederick (“Rick”) C. Barrett, Jr.



Fifty-nine members and guests enjoyed an evening of fellowship on April 9th at the Cornell Club, NYC. Several past presidents were present, amidst eleven groupings of fathers, sons and brothers. President Schenck led our singing of the national anthems of the United States and the Netherlands. Toasts were made to the President of the United States, to the Dutch King Willem Alexander, to the Holland Society, to the late Frank H. Vedder and James E. Quackenbush, hosts in absentia, and even to the Dutch beggars! More on the latter in the next newsletter of Adrian Bogart, Jr.

LTC Adrian Bogart III was presented with his well-deserved Distinguished Achievement Medal to a Holland Society Member for Service to Country and to the Holland Society. He then enthralled us with his Power Point presentation, Return to the Unknown, as he recounted one of his ancestors in 1637 going into Mohican and Oneida native Indian territories in the dead of winter to revive the stalled beaver fur trade with Niew Netherland. Much depended on the success of the trip. The fur trade ensured the maintenance of Fort Orange, now Albany, NY. In turn, this fort secured the Hudson River Valley from the potential threat of French forces. But the supreme accomplishment of the Colonel is his dedication to protecting us through our military during his missions in Afghanistan. On April 13th, he set off on yet another mission in Europe. We can be proud of the Bogarts’ courage both in 1637 and in 2015. Three cheers for LTC Adrian Bogart III.

What is difficult to communicate is the joy we all shared together. The Dutch cheese and beer at the end of the meeting were almost gone by the time I worked my way back to the rear of the room. People had such a good time they seemed reluctant to leave this special evening! Thanks are due for the hard work of Ms. Tessa Krijgsman, our new Executive Director, in making all the arrangements, as well as to volunteers for the evening Beth Wyckoff and Dominique Sigger. We can hardly wait for the next gala occasion—our Fall Banquet which will be on Tuesday, November 17 at the Union Club. Our Distinguished Achievement Medal will be awarded to Robbert Dijkgraaf, not only for his discoveries in space but for his acclaimed connections of science to the arts and to society. He has received the Spinoza prize, Netherlands highest scientific award and been knighted in the Order of the Netherlands Lion. Reserve November 17th on your calendar now!

Phebe Banta, George Banta Jr., Danielle Banta & George Banta Sr.

LTC Adrian T. Bogart III and President Robert Schenck

Derek Vanderwarker, Eric Delamarter & Dean Vanderwarker

Tim Mabee and John Van Der Veer

Picture top left: Phebe Banta, George Banta Jr., Danielle Banta & George Banta Sr.
Picture top right: LTC Adrian T. Bogart III and President Robert Schenck
Picture bottom left: Hayden S. Baker, Eric Delamarter & Dean Vanderwarker
Picture bottom right: Tim Mabee and John Van Der Veer




The Distinguished Achievement Medal is awarded by the trustees to recognize achievement by those who are not members of the Society, but who have made an outstanding contribution in some field of human endeavor.

Medalists of The Holland Society (Click Here)

The Holland Society of New York
20 West 44th Street, 5th Floor    New York, NY 10036
Tel: (212) 758-1675    Fax: (212) 758-2232