Freo's View

THANK THE LAW MY SISTER DIED WITH DIGNITY

 

Last night our time my oldest sister Marja died in the Netherlands. She was euthanised.

I am not sharing this with you because of narcissism but because the Western Australian government also want to legalise doctor assisted dying and I believe that is a very humane intent. There are community information sessions and community consultation and a very long online survey that took me 20 minutes, but is worth doing.

I am so grateful that my sister died in her own bed in her own home and with dignity and that she had plenty of time to receive family and friends and say goodbye.

The process she had to go through was lengthy and very thorough before an expert committee decided that she was eligible for euthanasia.

Legalising assisted dying is about giving people a choice instead of forcing them to commit suicide in awful and very lonely ways. It should not be politicised or being kidnapped by religious leaders.

There is no threat to religious or cultural values. No one can be forced to be euthanised and neither can doctors be forced to administer it. In my sister’s case her new doctor-the old one had retired-told her it was too early in his young career to feel comfortable assisting her so she was referred to an older colleague.

My sister Marja was assessed on her health and mental health by different practitioners who wrote reports which were considered by an independent panel. There was nothing easy or flippant about that process and not at all what some panel members at last year’s Notre Dame university forum claimed.

Call me an old cynic, but it comes as no surprise to me that the billion dollar age care industry and the billion dollar palliative care industry are against euthanasia, and so are those who believe that only a god can take a life. For those of us who are not religious the promise of heaven, paradise or nirvana is irrelevant, but euthanasia is our pragmatic and humane choice if life is coming to a painful, slow and unstoppable end. We don’t let animals suffer, so why not apply the same compassion to human beings.

It is astounding how unprepared we are for death. It is the elephant in the room that not many people want to talk about. We are not taught how to deal with it, so at the end we try to deal with it the best we can with empathy. I was lucky to be able to Skype with my sister often over the last couple of months and that was good for both of us.

Marja was just three years older than I am and was always there for me. She had inoperable cancer. I am so grateful that she was allowed to die with dignity. All her pain and worries are now over.

Roel Loopers

DUTCHIES EXHIBIT AT ARTSOURCE

Posted in art, artsource, city of fremantle, culture, Uncategorized by freoview on September 21, 2018

 

art 1

 

Two art exhibitions in the stunning Old Customs House Gallery of Fremantle’s Artsource are well worth viewing.

Woven by Straw is the unique art of one of Fremantle’s most favourite Dutch people Theo Koning, while Systematic Intuition is the creation of Gert Handschin.

The gallery is open Thursday to Sunday from 11m to 5pm and will also be open on the long weekend Monday.

The show is on till September 30. The gallery is in Phillimore Street near the Cliff Street intersection.

Roel Loopers

LITTLE DOVE BACK IN FREMANTLE

Posted in city of fremantle, fishing boat harbour, heritage, history, maritime, Uncategorized by freoview on May 1, 2018

 

Duyfken

 

The replica of the historic Dutch sailing ship DUYFEN is back in the Fremantle Fishing Boat Harbour, at the back of Little Creatures.

The Duyfken was the first known European ship to reach Australia, 164 years before Captain Cook and 10 years before Dirk Hartog.

Roel Loopers

THANKS FOR HAVING ME FREO!

Posted in australia, australia day, city of fremantle, immigration, Uncategorized by freoview on March 13, 2018

 

Today March 13 is my personal Australia Day. It is the day I migrated to Australia and arrived in Sydney 36 years ago in 1982.

The promised start at a Sydney newspaper did not eventuate because we happened to arrive when Australia was in a recession, so slogging as kitchenhand, cook and waiter was the start of my Aussie life.

Trying to deal with the culture shock and learning to understand cricket, Aussie Rules and rugby was harder than learning to accept cask wine, blue skies and sunshine.

Looking back it is amazing how much I have achieved in a country where I knew nobody. Coming to Perth in September 1985 and starting my own corporate/industrial photography business without having the support of friends or family, or having the right private school tie, was probably more youthful naivety than sound planning.

But from the very start I felt a real love for this country, even more so in Western Australia and especially Fremantle. When I first drove through the Pilbarra and Kimberley I had a real sense of home coming and that I belonged, and Freo has always been like that for me.

Even in my darkest hours I have never regretted I migrated to Australia and I have always felt a commitment that I need to make a positive contribution to my community and leave Freo an even better place than it is for future generations, when my time is up sooner than later.

I have met so many great people and have made really good friends. I love the Freo passion and that we are all so bloody opinionated, and I love it that most of us don’t take themselves too serious.

Thanks for having me, Freo!

Roel Loopers

AROUND THE WORLD IN AN ELECTRIC CAR

Posted in cars, city of fremantle, electricity, environment, Uncategorized by freoview on February 11, 2018

 

Dutchman Wiebke Wakker will soon be crossing from Indonesia to Australia and will hopefully also visit Fremantle on his epic journey.

Wakker, which means awake, has been on the road for 687 days in an electric car, visited 31 countries and has driven 60,000 kilometres without having to fill up at a petrol station.

His Plug Me In project gets him to ask people to allow him to recharge the car batteries and he has been welcomed everywhere. See more on http://www.plugmeinproject.com

The always innovative and change embracing Dutch have a target of 200,000 electric vehicles on the road in the Netherlands by 2020. That’s a whole lot more than the meagre few hundred on Australian roads.

Roel Loopers

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HELP THE DUYFKEN SAIL AGAIN!

Posted in city of fremantle, history, Uncategorized by freoview on November 15, 2017

 

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THE SAD STORY OF ANNE FRANK

Posted in city of fremantle, fascism, Uncategorized, war by freoview on September 16, 2017

 

 

The moving Anne Frank exhibition officially opened last night in the Fremantle Woolstores Shopping Centre and I highly recommend it for all, especially school students.

The sad story of WorldWar II and the occupation of the Netherlands was made so much worse with the persecution of Jewish people by the fascist Hitler regime.

Anne Frank and her family had to hide in a secret annexe in a house in Amsterdam, but sadly they were discovered after two years in hiding and transported to concentration camps.

From the family of eight only father Otto Frank survived the war.

Anne Frank’s diary was published and became very famous.

 

Roel Loopers

VOTE ROEL FOR CITY WARD!

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ANNE FRANK EXHIBITION IN FREMANTLE

Posted in city of fremantle, racism, Uncategorized, war by freoview on September 13, 2017

 

Anne Frank Sept 13

 

The moving ANNE FRANK Let Me Be Myself touring exhibition starts today in Fremantle at the Woolstores Shopping Centre and should not be missed.

Anne Frank’s story is a very sad one about a young Jewish girl who had to hide with her family in a secret annex of a house in Amsterdam during Hitler’s nazi regime and German occupation of the Netherlands during Worldwar II.

While they were hiding Anne wrote a beautiful diary, but sadly after two years she and her family were discovered and deported to concentration camps. From the eight people only father Otto Frank survived.

Intolerance to other people’s religion, culture and race should never be accepted.

The exhibition is on till October 31 and open from 10 am to 5 pm.

 

Roel Loopers

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WET, WILD, WINDY FREMANTLE

Posted in city of fremantle, indian ocean, Uncategorized, weather by freoview on August 14, 2017

 

storm 1

storm 2

 

As a teenage boy in the Netherlands I would ride my bike from The Hague to Scheveningen to watch the wildness and incredible power of the North Sea during storms, and I do the same here in Fremantle and drive onto the South Mole every day to watch the mighty Indian Ocean.

It is very wet, wild and windy out there today, so pretty gorgeous really, so here two photos I took around 11am this morning.

 

Roel Loopers

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GENIUS MOVE TO FREMANTLE

Posted in culture, fremantle, immigration, lifestyle by freoview on March 13, 2017

Today is my personal Australia Day! Thirty-five years ago today on March 13, 1982 I landed in Australia with my then partner Brigitte to start our new life on the other side of the world, and what a journey it has been.

The decision to migrate to Australia was seen by many friends and colleagues in Germany as foolhardy and naïve, but how wrong they were.

There is no doubt that my Australian years have been the most challenging and often very difficult years of my life. I went through all the highs and all the lows, from a highly successful photography business to a financial disaster triggered by severe depressions, from beautiful houses to awful granny flats, and from great love affairs to a badly broken heart, but as the French say c’est la vie. Shit happens.

But overall it has been a wonderful adventure where I learned so much about myself and life, and at the end I came through it wiser, tougher, more considerate and more tolerant, so these are good gains and lessons.

Moving from Sydney to Perth in September 1985 was stroke of genius, and moving to Fremantle in the early 1990s was pure brilliance as I love living in our beautiful little port city.

Fremantle taught me so much about community engagement and passion and yesterday’s huge Labor election win shows that the enormous Roe 8 people power movement made a big difference and that politicians who ignore the people will be punished. There is an important message for the elected members of the City of Fremantle in that as well.

The good thing about integration in a new culture is that it does not come at the cost of losing one’s identity and culture and while I became an Australian citizen in 1985 much of me will always remain Dutch as the education I received and the values instilled in me in the Netherlands will be with me forever.

Respecting people and being compassionate was something my parents showed me daily, and that being generous and honest and standing up for people less fortunate are good things. They are beautiful values to have.

I love people and the Fremantle community is my family. They are the people I want to look after and support and while I have failed dismally on a few occasions I have always tried my best.

Fremantle has given me a deep sense of belonging and a purpose that is much more than just surviving and earning money. It has taught me that looking after the community one lives in and supporting positive change can make a real difference and that doing that is very rewarding.

I don’t have all that many years left in life but as long as I can do it I will try to help make Fremantle and even better place to live and love in.

Thank you to everyone who has been part of my Aussie life so far. It has been a mind-blowing journey!

Roel Loopers

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