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School days

MULO Klokkenberg, third grade, 1931

MULO Klokkenberg, third grade, 1931

The prompt for the next edition of Smile for the Camera is School days:

It is September, historically the month when a new school year begins. We all have images of the days spent in school. The barefoot children gathered together with their teacher in front of the rural school your ancestors attended. Children at their desks, children at play in the school yard, and those obligatory school photographs – one for every year. Show us your family memories of school days. Admission is free with every photograph!

The photo I selected is badly damaged, but it is the only school photo from the era in my collection that lists the names of the pupils on the photo.

On the photo is a group of third grade MULO (high school) pupils from the Klokkenberg MULO in Nijmegen. The photo is taken in 1931, and the pupils are about 16 years old. According to the caption it was taken a week after the written exam, and five weeks before the oral exam. Note the dress of the pupils: No school uniforms, but apparently a quite formal dress code.

Standing at the back on the photo are (left to right): Jenneke Thiele, Pauline van [surname unreadable], Alie Niemeyer, Fiep van Niekerken, Mr. Tap (the teacher), Erika Bollmann, Catrien Hornis, Jo Verhoef, and Koba Hiddink. The pupils sitting on the middle row are Chris van Kesteren, Adriaan Visser, Theo Pardoen, Jan de Graas, en Jan Kok. Lying down in front are Jan van ‘t Hof and Cor Nieuwenhuizen.

Theo Pardoen (1914-1978) was my grandfather. He lived in Groesbeek until some time in 1931, a villiage that probably did not have a MULO, so my grandfather went to school in neighbouring city Nijmegen. His father passed away the year before, and later that year my grandfather would move to Utrecht with his mother and sister, where his career would start.

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