A postponed centenary 

Every anniversary is a milestone and often a reason to celebrate. For our predecessors, this was done with everyone involved: not only dinners for management and the commissioners, but also with parties for all staff. The centenary of De Nederlanden van 1845 was one such special occasion. Due to the second world war and the renovation of the head office, celebrations were postponed for nine years.

On Saturday, 24 April, a massive party was held for the more than 3,000 staff members all over the country, as well as their spouses or betrothed partners. From 10:00 in the morning until midnight, they enjoyed a festive day. For many, this day started with travelling to The Hague, a guided tour through the renovated building and a city sightseeing trip. The afternoon and evening programme was held at the Houtrusthallen, with coffee and a football match played between staff members of the head office and the branch offices. The afternoon ended with musical entertainment and a drink, followed by dinner and a ball.

Many volunteers were involved. There were special officials and assistants who were responsible for order. With loud speakers, the guests were directed to the different locations. Can you imagine what the cloakroom and table arrangements for more than 3,000 people must have looked like? The chefs had quite the task to prepare the dinner – with four courses – on location. Transport was also a massive task with special trains leaving The Hague after midnight.