Daniel de Bruyn, now 84 years of age, was born on 27 September 1938, and has lived through some of the most challenging times in history.
He was just a child during World War 2, but he vividly remembers the day it ended. The joyous celebrations that followed still resonate with him today, over 80 years later. He fondly recalls that he and his brothers dressed as the three musketeers, marching and celebrating in the streets.
Growing up in the Netherlands, Daniel, the eldest of nine siblings (5 boys and 4 girls) helped his parents to provide for his younger brothers and sisters. His father, Daniel de Bruyn Senior worked as a machinist and his mother Petronilla was a full time housewife, kept busy with her brood of nine! Although the family struggled financially at times, his father’s talent for making toys out of timbers meant that they never went without.
Despite facing numerous challenges in his early years, Daniel always had a positive outlook on life. He was a hard worker and lives to help others. His proudest achievement was being able to provide for his family and help his parents when they needed it the most.
For Daniel, a trade qualified painter decorator for over 50 years in both the Netherlands and Australia, family is everything. A lifelong bachelor, his siblings and extended family are most treasured and he is grateful for every moment spent with them. He particularly cherishes his brother-in-law Michael, who treats him like his own brother and is always there for him. Daniel always makes time for family gatherings, especially during Christmas and Easter, which are must-attend events in his calendar.
Daniel’s advice to future generations is to live life to the fullest, treat others with kindness, and always be true to oneself.
Throughout his life, he has had many interests. He loves classical and country music and is a huge fan of Elvis and Kenny Rogers. He enjoys travelling and has fond memories of visiting Canada and many European countries. When he was younger, he enjoyed playing soccer and tennis and going to the movies. He also loved gardening and breeding birds like budgerigars and canaries.
These days Daniel still likes to be busy and spends his time on his ‘gadget’ doing word searches, watching movies, and listening to music. He admits he has a weakness for sandwiches with lots of vegetables too! Daniel’s life story is one of love, family, and kindness. He’s lived a full life, surrounded by the people he loves most, and continues to have a positive impact on the lives of those around him.