The news of Norbert Hendrikse’s passing was extremely distressing. Norbert and I had been friends since the days, in the early 1950s, when we were both attending Radulphus College. His family lived in Witteweg and mine, not too far away, in Belvederestraat. We were good friends; we played basketball and baseball and went to the movies in West-End, Cinelandia and Roxy. After we graduated in 1956 we both went to study in the Netherlands. From then on our paths diverged. I eventually went to the U.S. and he studied and worked as a journalist in Noord-Brabant. When I worked in the 1960s for Shell, Norbert was not on the island. And when he returned to Curaçao I had gone back to the U.S. So we didn’t see each other for more than 50 years.

Fast-forward to about two years ago. Having read his immensely enjoyable ‘Een wandeling in oud Otrobanda’ I wrote him from Charleston and we began to reminisce. We were in fact voormalige wandelaars in oud Otrobanda. From then on till his recent sickness, Norbert and I corresponded daily, sometimes twice or three times a day. He made sure that I kept abreast of developments in Curaçao.

I will leave to others to describe Norbert’s distinguished career as hoofdredacteur of the Amigoe and also directeur of the Antilliaanse Televisie Maatschappij (TeleCuraçao and then also TeleAruba). Suffice it to say that mi bon amigu Norbert was a great guy.

My heartfelt condolences go out to Norbert’s wife Solange and his children and their families in Boston and California, all of whom I came to know through Norbert’s letters.

God has called Norbert home. We will miss him immensely.

Janchi Beaujon