Goosen Willem Hendrik Reijs

Goosen Willem Hendrik (my father) was born on 28 June 1940. Goosje's middle name is Willem, named after the neighbour Willem. For many years he will bear the first name Flip, because two men with Goos in the house is too confusing. Below is the story of my father Goos jr. starting just after primary school. This is a continuation of the full story of my grandfather which you can read by pressing the button below.

After primary school, Goos went to the Municipal Technical School on the van Coothplein.

After finishing he worked, for four months, as a construction sheet metal worker for Asselbergs & Nachenius .

After this, he worked for another year at Molenschot Weegwerktuigen on the Teteringsedijk, where he assembled bascules.

After this, 6 months at garage Ruttchen on the Vier Sprong, where he was responsible for the maintenance of trucks and cars.

He then worked for six months at Fred Scherink's as a constructor and production controller of tumblers and washing machines at the Speelhuislaan.


By now it is the end of the fifties and Goos has had many jobs but also learned a lot. Goos is active, restless, self-conscious and wants to get by (almost like his brother Karel). In those days this was labelled as an over active child, but nowadays one would call it ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), a diagnosis that did not exist yet. This started already in the internment camp where he was constantly on the move, in the camp he saw things that were not meant for children's eyes. By the end of the fifties his brother Karel was living in Vlissingen and Goos used to visit him, driving there on his bicycle, to get rid of his energy.


At the end of 1959 Goos went into service with the regiment Huzaren van Sytzama in Amersfoort (Tank corps). After 2 months they asked for volunteers at the commando corps, for which he applied. He ended up as the only one of the 80 applicants in Roosendaal. After two months he was discharged because of an Achilles tendon inflammation. After this Goos joined the Grenadiers Guards at the Oranje Barracks in Schaarsbergen near Arnhem. Often taller men were selected for this corps, and Goos with his 1m72 stood among them. The Grenadiers Guards could be recognised by their 'Kolbak', a large hat made of bearskin, (like the guards of Queen Elizabeth of the United Kingdom). His job was driver/mechanic of heavy vehicles. Goos drove these vehicles, both on and off the military premises, without a large driving licence. His superior officer gave him a handbook, for which he had 3 months to read and learn, and then he could take the examination. After this he got his military driving license with all the stamps in it. In this period Goos also bought a moped in order to visit his aunt Alie who lived in Apeldoorn.

When the call came for volunteers for the war in New Guinea, Goos was eager to enlist, especially with and because of his background (his tropical experience) he was selected. He ended up in the barracks in Arnhem for three weeks to prepare for the departure. With 6 men from his unit, they left for Biak in a KLM plane as civilians, before being transferred to Fak-Fak. This last place could only be reached by boat or seaplane, called Beaver. Goos was stationed there for one year as a driver/mechanic. At the end of 1961 he returned to the barracks in Doorn to return in his military supplies.

Back in the Netherlands, he soon found a job at the Renault garage Otten on the Beverweg, where he worked for a year as a car sheet metal worker. As he still lived with his parents on the Beverweg, his place of work was just around the corner. In this period, he met Christa, who lived around the other corner in the Ignatiusstraat.

In 1963 Goos went to work for Anton Vriens, a BMW garage in the Spoorstraat for a year.

After this he wound up at the Vespa dealer Ad Maassen on the Wilhelmina Singel as a mechanic of Vespa, Solex and Jawa. At one point when he asked for three weeks leave to go on holiday with his parents to Spain, and this was refused by his boss, his father Goos Sr. informed his boss that he could consider him fired. However, many years later Vespa would still play an important role in his life.

After which, he went back to Molenschot Weegwerktuigen where he became their sales representative for the Belgian provinces of Antwerp and Limburg.

With the next job he returned to the garage world, working at the Tichelaar Ford garage as a car metal sheet worker. In this period, he also married Christa in December 1964 and temporarily lived with her at his parents' house on the Beverweg. Meanwhile he was looking for a place of his own.

In 1965 they found accommodation in an upstairs flat in the Prins Willem III laan where their 1ste daughter was born in June and Goos changed jobs again. He ended up at the military complex in Dongen, called 569TD or REMI, for 6.5 years as a metal sheet worker of heavy vehicles. Here he also followed 3 courses on welding all kinds of metals. In 1967 a 2de daughter was born in the small upstairs flat, and in 1969 a 3de daughter. Because of his bad hearing he was declared unfit for work and for the first time in his life he was out of work for six months. In the meantime, the family had moved into their new home in Dorst.

After this six-month period, a post became vacant at the KMA in Breda, where he spent 1½ years as a welding instructor and also studied to become a workshop draughtsman. After this, he drove around in a van in Zeeland and Brabant checking military complexes for welding density, but this extensive travelling did not suit him.

Goos then ended up as a government official at the Trip van Zoutland Barracks, where he worked on the administration of the 'Compi' ammunition depot and bunker storage. He ended his career in the late 1970s at the same barracks, in the Central Instructional Workplace, where teaching materials for the military were made. He was active as an administrative assistant, in the warehouse, at the purchase and sales department where he was responsible for the staff administration.

Being a free-spirited person, Goos went back, all by himself, to his native country (now Indonesia) for the first time in 1982. It was no longer the  Dutch East Indies that he had left behind and in the past 30 years the country had changed a lot. In 1985 he went back for a 2de time and in 1990 for the third time, but at that time Christa joined him. On these trips he was able to find his birthplace on Java, as well as the houses on Sumatra where they had lived.

Just after his mother Chrisje had died and I had left the home, being the last daughter, problems arose. Father Goos sr had died four years earlier but, as the two men did not really get along, this loss was less hard to bear for Goos.

His pillar of strength, his pillar of support, the mother hen was no longer there. His mother who had watched over him from birth, who had protected his life and those of his brothers and sister, was gone. Just as his sister was drawn to her father, Goos was so close to his mother.

If there were any problems, it was the fault of everyone and everything but Goos himself. He came home 'overworked' and ended up on sick leave. Because of what happened at a young age, it was soon suspected that he might suffer from unprocessed war traumas. For one year he went by train every Wednesday to Oegstgeest where he went into therapy to talk with fellow-sufferers about everyone's experiences during their childhood. It was actually intended that he would follow therapy for two years, but after a year it became clear that there was no way he could continue and for Goos everything necessary had been said. While the therapists may not have thought there was an optimal success, I noticed that my father had changed after that year. He had become milder, more accessible and more open to some things. Perhaps it had not helped 100%, but I did see a change, and he could get on with his life. At age 53 he officially retired and was entitled to the Civil War Victims Allowance.

Now it was time to find something to do on a day-to-day basis. Three years earlier, around his 50th birthday, he had bought a Vespa. The Vespa was in need of a facelift. He did this all by himself, from denting to sanding he made sure that the Vespa was completely restored and rideable again. During the summer holidays, when he and my mother travelled through France in his camper van, the Vespa travelled along.  He bought another one, a slightly heavier model, and then another. He loved it and enjoyed repairen and restoring it. At the end of the 90s he bought a 2nd house in France (where I had settled down) and all his Vespas moved with him. In Holland, there were Vespas in the hallway, the bedroom, the kitchen, the conservatory and wherever there was a free space, so my mother was tired of the petrol and oil smells that hung around the house.

Goos opened his Vespa Museum in France in 2001, where over 50 Vespas are now on display and he still enjoys them every day.

Christel Kuijsters, June 2022

Goos with a Vespa in need of some love
Goos with a Vespa in need of some love
The Vespa Museum in Auzon
The Vespa Museum in Auzon
The Vespa Museum in Auzon
The Vespa Museum in Auzon
The Vespa Museum in Auzon
The Vespa Museum in Auzon
The Vespa Museum in Auzon
The Vespa Museum in Auzon

Goos (then he went by the name of Flip) at the St Jozef school

    School picture of Goos at the age of 15 or 16

    Goos  in New-Guinea

    Goos at the fair with rifle with on his left Adrie and Corrij Dusseljee

    Goos sr as a lifeguard in the EI

    Cooking with mother in the small kitchen on Beverweg

    Working on a Vespa