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Pier 21 the gateway that changed Duivenvoorde Miticís career

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

The survey ďImpact of Dutch immigrants on Canadian societyĒ shown at the Dutch Immigration Commemoration ceremony was compiled and presented by immigration historian and author Trudy Duivenvoorden Mitic, a former Pier 21 Society director. Duivenvoorde Mitic joined the society when it was formed and became part of the inaugural board at a time Pier 21ís rescue from oblivion still was the highest priority.

Duivenvoorde Miticís interest in immigration was sparked when as a child her curiosity got the better of her. As visitors talked with her parents (from Rijpwetering and Oudenaarden) about their common immigrant experiences, she would stealthily listen from the staircase when ordered to go to bed. The stories fascinated her to no end but this part of her childhood would lay dormant during teenage years. When raising her own children while living in Halifax, the need to pick up these pieces increasingly became important.

Ironically, Pier 21 became the gateway to Duivenvoorde Miticís career as a historian and author. She wrote her familyís history so her own children would know their roots: Canadian by Choice. Her publisher soon after introduced to her to J.P. LeBlanc, a retired immigration official in need of help to complete his manuscript on Pier 21. Duivenvoorde Mitic who earlier had gained experience as a researcher during her undergraduate studies in an unrelated field, became co-author of Pier 21, the Gateway that Changed Canada which was published in 1988 (and republished in 1997). The Pier 21 Society was formed soon after.

Now a B.C. resident, Duivenvoorde Mitic in 2001 published People in Transition, Reflections on Becoming Canadian. She also has written dozens of articles for such periodicals as The Beaver (Canadian history), Nature Canada, and Beautiful British Columbia and currently is a columnist for Focus on Women.

Her power-point survey included businesses from each province, all founded by Dutch Canadians, and many professionals, innovators and the achievers.