The Erasmus Foundation was established in 1965 and records were mostly kept from the beginning. This is a summary of the archived paper and electronic records. Initially the paper records were culled to manageable proportions by only keeping those that had an impact on the Foundation. The latter include: committee members, event details, changes of venue, subsidies and grants. The history is divided into 6 parts:
• General History
• Erasmus Awards
• Exhibitions organised
• Films screened
• Books published
• Dutch TV
Full details of events and committees are covered under our website’s history top menu.
The Erasmus Foundation was born in 1965 when a group of Dutch friends who used to meet regularly, the so called “Borrelclub”, came up with the idea to form a society where Dutch and Australians could meet in an environment of mutual understanding and friendship. The society was to be of a cultural nature rather than being a social (“gezelligheids”) club of which there were quite a few already established. In September 1966 there were already 100 members and the first constitution was approved by the membership. The objective of the Erasmus Foundation was to forge links between the cultures of the Netherlands and Australia. There were no other similar societies in Australia at the time and have not been since. The name Erasmus Foundation was chosen as Erasmus had a close association with English speaking people. It was fitting as a symbol of our mission to provide cultural links between people of an Australian and Dutch background.
Till 1977 the format of the society was to have a speaker or a film in the evening for members. It generally started at 8pm with free attendance but without dinner. The venue was usually the National Mutual Theatrette or sometimes the Shell Theatrette. Famous speakers in the earlier period were in 1972 Prof Max Euwe (1935 World Chess Champion, President World Chess Federation 1970-1978) and in 1973 Sir Percy Spender (President International Court of Justice in The Hague 1964–67).
Continue: The Era of Jonas Kreveld 1972- 1990