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ALL KINDS OF EVERYTHING



CORNELIS VAN DER GROEF  (Dirksland , 1856  -  Gouda , 1932)  ,  a rather remarkable life ....

 

#  The man in the foreground , dressed in black , portrayed here near the bank of the canal , is very likely to be  CORNELIS VAN DER GROEF  , born on March 17 , 1856  in the small place of Dirksland on the former island of Goeree-Overflakkee in the Netherlands ,  and who , despite all the hardship he had to endure during his life-time , would finally pass away in the year 1932 , on June first , at the age of 76 .

This ancient picturesque shot was taken in the Dutch place of Gouda , probably even more than a hundred years ago now . 
It is a picture of , as is very well readable , the 'aanlegplaats der stoomboten' , meaning :  the landing-stage of the steamships .
Round the year 1900  Cornelis van der Groef was a superintendant of the steamships , which makes it highly likely that the man in the black uniform near the canel is indeed Cornelis van der Groef , who must have been a superintendant for many , many years .
Cornelis started this job when he was almost 30 years old , so in or around the year 1885 , and he must have stayed a superintendant for the steamships possibly until a short time before his death in 1932 .

Cornelis was the fourth child of labourer/farmer/shopkeeper  WILLEM VAN DER GROEF  and of  former maid-servant  JACOBA VAN VESSEM .
  
Cornelis grew up in Dirksland , but left this place nd the island of Goeree-Overflakkee rather soon in his life , settled in the small city of Gouda where he subsequently worked as a porter , miller's man and delivery man , before becoming a superintendant of the steamships  -  nd at the age of 23 Cornelis got married to  GERARDA MARGARETHA DE RONDE  , who would give him 10 children , bt .......... a happy and pleasant marriage life they certainly didn't have .....
The first 5 children , born in the family of Cornelis and Gerarda , all died within their still very young childhood years  -   it wasn't until the birth of the sixth child that light could start shining in their mutual lifes .

Several of those later born children would even reach high ages , with son  WILLEM VAN DER GROEF  (who happened to be the fourth (!) born Willem already within the family , but the only one with real life expectations , must certainly even ...) as 'the one in the lead' , since he would even manage to finally reach the age of .........103 !!

Two years after the birth of the last child , spouse and mother Gerarda Margaretha de Ronde already passed away , just 39 years old .
Already in that same year Cornelis van der Groef remarried .   The name of his second wife was  GERRITJE JOHANNA LENS . 
Gerritje and Cornelis didn't get any children together .
Gerritje passed away in her hometown Gouda in the year 1929 , Cornelis , after a , in different aspects , rather turbulent life , departed this life three years later ....



 

 

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From : The One Hundred and Fifty'th Anniversary Celebration (1860 - 2010) , First Presbyterian Church of Englishtown , New Jersey , Erected A.D. 1860 >

Rev. John VanderGroef (Stated Supply, 1944 1946) . At a Congregational meeting October 29, 1944, it was voted to call Rev. John VanderGroef, a senior at Bloomfield Seminary to fill the vacant pulpit of the Englishtown Presbyterian Church.

During the two years pastorate of Rev. VanderGroef the spiritual life of the church increased immensely. An increase in attendance at worship services was noted and a friendly spirit developed throughout the church.

Rev. and Mrs. VanderGroef took charge at services, which increased from one a month to one every other week with an average attendance of thirty, at the Millbridge Chapel located on the Englishtown Old Bridge Road.

The old records of the church were rebound, the kitchen redecorated, and fluorescent lights installed in the chapel. The latter provided by the Home Builders.

Mrs. George Vandenbergh (Mildred) was appointed organist February 5, 1945. She resigned in 1966.

Rev. VanderGroef resigned May 1946.

 

 

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 JOHN W. VANDERGROEF - overl vr 10 febr. 1978 , [ let op : foto zie ook : Andrew ! 'kopieren , uitknippen en dan weer scannen ]]

< from : The Kane Daily Republican , date: 1954-02-03 / Breckenridge American (Breckenridge , Tex.) , Vol. 34 , No. 23 , Ed. 1 Wednesday , February 3 , 1954 >>

> More than two dozen couples looked to the New Jersey legislature today to straighten out the error of a misguided Presbyterian divinity student who "married" them without church or legal authorization.

The legislature has been asked to legalize the marriages performed over a six- ear period by John Vandergroef, a student pastor who didn't know he lacked the power to join couples in wedlock .

The couples, including many with children, were shocked to learn that their marriages are not recognized by the state of New Jersey and the Presbyterian church.

"Oh for heaven's sake!" gasped "Mrs." John O'Neill.

She and O' Neill exchanged vows before Vandergroef at the local Pesbyterian church in 1947. They have a son.

State Assemblyman William O. Barnes introduced a bill which would make Vandergroef's marriages legal, retroactive to the date he performed them.

The Rev. Charles L. Mead , pastor of the South Orange N.J. Presbyterian Church and chairman of a ministerial relations committee which uncovered the marital oversight , said the church as well as the state requires that a minister be ordained before he performs marriages .

The General Assembly of the Presbytery allows ministerial students to direct the religious life of small churches which cannot afford to pay an ordained minister. Such was the case with Vandergroef.

The general assembly of the Presbyterian church in Philadelphia has ruled that the marriages will be valid in the eyes of the church if the state makes them valid, Mead said.

Vandergroef himself was unavailable for comment, but his wife said they were "packing to leave."

He resigned as pastor of the church last Nevember.

"I can only say that he was the recognized head of the church," Mrs. Vandergroef said. "Further than that I have no comment."

Records indicated Vandergroef had performed 25 or 30 marriages since he took over the pastorship in 1946.

 

 

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 JOHN W. VANDERGROEF - [ let op : foto zie ook : Andrew ! 'kopieren , uitknippen en dan weer scannen ]]

< from : The Day , Oct. 1 , 1958 / The New London , Conn. , Evening Day , Friday , October 3 , 1958 >

FISHER ISLAND < by Mrs. L. C Foyle , Tel. 465 >Rev. John Vander Groef Accepts Call To Be Pastor of Island's Union Chapel

> The Rev. John W. Vander Groef of Pine Island , N.Y. , has accepted a call to become pastor of Union Chapel , succeeding the Rev. Ralph II. Waite . The Rev. Mr. Waite resigned recently to take an assistant pastorate in Garden City , Long Island .

The Rev. Mr. Vander Groef expects to move here about Oct. 7 . He will occupy the pulpit on Oct. 12 . He is now completing 18 years as pastor .

His former pastorates heve been at Christ Reformed Church , Newark , N.J. ; First Presbyterian Church , Englishtown , N.J. ; Calvary Church (Independent) Madison , N.J. and St. Paul's Congregational Church , Pine Island , N.Y.

The Rev. Mr. Vander Groef is a native of Passaic , N.J. , and was graduated from Passaic and Clifton Schools , and from Bloomfield College and Seminary .

At the Missionary Training Institute he was a graduate of a course in Christian Education . He holds a B.S. and a B.A. degree from New York University and Nyack Missionary Colleges for science courses . His wife , Maud Englishman Vander Groef , is from Paterson , N.J. .

Since 1953 the Rev. and Mrs. Vander Groef have been engaged in extension mission work among migrant laborers in Warwick Valley areas . There are some 1.600 laborers who work in the onion fields and orchards . Through the Warwick Council of Churches , education , religious training , recreation and medical aid were made available . St Paul's Church conducted under Mrs. Vander Groef's direction , a daily school for migrant children . Evening classes in religion and education for adults were conducted .

The Rev. Mr. Vander Groef has served as president of the Warwick Valley Ministers ( composed of 14 Valley churches ) and has been active in community projects related to church work . He has taught in public school and also at the New York State Training School for boys at Warwick .

He has also served on committees for the Hudson Valley Association of Congregational Christian Churches . The Rev. and Mrs. Vander Groef have conducted many teacher training schools for Sunday School education and show migrant slides for mission education and studies .

Mrs. Vander Groef has served as a volunteer nurses aid in the pediatric devision of several horpitals . She specializes in children's work , pre-school and nursery education , and has taught kindergarten and first grade in private and public schools . She has served in Women's Fellowship groups ; Mission projects ; Save the children Federation work ; Vacation Bible Schools and writing materials for the latter project .

Music is a major hobby of the couple .

The Rev. Mr. Vander Groef preached at Union chapel on Aug. 10 . His call came soon after .

The Rev. Mr . Vander Groef and Mrs. Vander Groef said today they look forward to the challenge and needs on Fishers Island and hope to present the necessary spiritual and educational values .

 

 

[ Maud Englishman Vander Groef : geb. 7 okt. 1906 , overl. 22 febr. 1998 , Bangor/Hancock , Maine , 91 jaar oud ]

 

 

 

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Vander Groef v. Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Co.

32 N.J. Super. 365 (1954)

108 A.2d 472

MICHAEL VANDER GROEF, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT, v. THE GREAT ATLANTIC & PACIFIC TEA COMPANY, DEFENDANT-RESPONDENT.

Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division.

Argued October 11, 1954.

Decided October 15, 1954.

*367 Before Judges EASTWOOD, GOLDMANN and SCHETTINO.

Mr. Harry Chashin argued the cause for plaintiff-appellant (Messrs. Marcus & Levy, attorneys; Mr. Chashin and Mr. Hyman W. Rosenthal, of counsel and on the brief).

Mr. John J. Monigan, Jr., argued the cause for defendant-respondent (Messrs. Stryker, Tams & Horner, attorneys).

The opinion of the court was delivered by GOLDMANN, J.A.D.

The trial court granted defendant's motion for judgment of dismissal after plaintiff had completed the liability portion of the negligence action he had instituted against defendant. The court held that plaintiff had failed to prove negligence and proximate cause. This appeal ensued.

Defendant maintained a loading platform at the rear of its bakery premises on L Avenue, Newark. The platform was 44 inches above ground level. Plaintiff came to these premises on the afternoon in question, as he had some thousands of times over a period of at least eight years. He was a truck driver employed by an independent trucking company whose principal business was to supply trucking services to defendant. On this particular occasion plaintiff operated a *368 tractor-trailer combination. He was assisted by a helper who got off the truck and opened the rear doors of the trailer when they arrived at the rear of the building, preliminary to plaintiff finally backing the truck to a position flush with the loading platform. Having backed up the tractor-trailer, plaintiff descended from the cab of the tractor and attempted to jump up to the loading platform in order to make known to defendant's representatives the arrival of the truck and to assist in loading merchandise into the body of the trailer. He placed both hands on the edge of the loading platform. What happened after that is best told in his own words:

"After I put my hands on the edge, why, I threw my left leg, left foot and leg up on the edge of the platform and assisted myself with my hands to pull myself up that way, to raise my whole body up on the edge, and as I started to arise I was still in a stooping position, and I put my right foot up, and my right foot slipped a little and I fell out the doorway on to the concrete. I fell out and fell on the concrete."

His testimony on cross-examination was:

"Q. Your right foot had not yet come up to the platform level. Is that right? A. When I fell, it had come up.

Q. But was it placed on the platform with your left? A. My left foot was on the platform and I had brought my foot up and set it on the platform. I was in a stooping position and my right foot slipped a little and I fell out.

Q. Were you holding on to the door at that time? A. No, sir. My hands were on the floor."

It was further brought out on cross-examination that plaintiff had many years before suffered an injury to his left foot, as a result of which he wore a heel bandage at all times. He admitted he had a "very slight limp" in the left foot before the date of the accident. Asked whether he hadn't told a Mr. Saunders of defendant company,

some five months after the event, how the accident had happened viz., "As I stood in a standing position I sort of lost my balance and attempted to grasp the door frame to prevent myself from falling." plaintiff said he would not deny having made such a statement, *369 but just didn't remember it. He admitted having vaulted onto the loading platform in the same way thousands of times before.

Defendant admitted that it had not provided any steps to the platform. The evidence was that there was no ladder, handgrip, or other device in proximity to the platform to aid plaintiff in ascending to or descending from it. There was a door leading to the platform from the driveway side of the building; plaintiff had on prior occasions observed there was a desk and boxes on the inside which barred entrance, but he did not know whether the door was blocked on the day of the accident. There was a front entrance to the building about two blocks away, and an entrance on the railway side of the structure, around the corner from the platform. Plaintiff at first said he was not aware of the latter door, but on cross-examination he stated he guessed there was such a door.

There was testimony that it was impossible to reach the platform by walking from the tractor into and through the body of the trailer because there was no opening in the rear of the tractor cab for that purpose. However, the trailer had a side door opening to which one could ascend and then, by walking through the trailer, reach the platform against which the vehicle had been backed. Plaintiff had never used this method of reaching the platform.

Defendant offered no counter-statement of facts, explaining that plaintiff's statement appeared to set them out accurately enough in a light most favorable to his contention that being the standard for review in judging whether the trial court had correctly granted the motion for dismissal. It is defendant's contention that viewed in accordance with that standard, none of the facts testified to, nor any of the reasonable and legitimate inferences flowing therefrom, presented a question for determination by the jury, either upon the issue of negligence or proximate cause, and accordingly the action of the trial court was correct. We agree.

An examination of the testimony fails to reveal any facts upon which a jury could predicate a finding that defendant *370 was negligent. We find no proof that defendant performed any act which a reasonably prudent person under similar circumstances would not have done, or that it failed to perform any duty which such a person under such circumstances would reasonably be obligated to do.

As has so often been observed:

"the mere showing of an accident causing the injuries sued upon is not alone sufficient to authorize an inference of negligence; negligence is a fact which must be shown; it will not be presumed. Indeed there is a presumption against it and the burden of proving the charge of negligence contained in the complaint is upon the plaintiff and must be sustained by proof of circumstances from which defendant's want of due care is a legitimate inference. It is a substantial right of defendant that plaintiff be required to bear this burden." Hansen v. Eagle-Picher Lead Co., 8 N.J. 133, 139-140 (1951).

Plaintiff did not sustain that burden. He failed to introduce any evidence that the construction of a platform 44 inches high without steps or a ladder was in any way a deviation from standard construction, or that it was unsafe. Cf. Feil v. West Jersey & Seashore R. Co., 77 N.J.L. 502, 504 (E. & A. 1909); Halm v. Board of Chosen Freeholders of Hudson County, 78 N.J.L. 712, 715 (E. & A. 1910); Seckler v. Pennsylvania R. Co., 113 N.J.L. 299, 301 (E. & A. 1934); Kelly v. Loft, Inc., 124 N.J.L. 185, 186 (E. & A. 1940). And even had it been shown that the loading platform was of substandard construction, recovery would have been possible only where "the structural defect was dangerous or there existed some factor which constituted negligence." Ball v. Atlantic City Ambassador Hotel Corp., 137 N.J.L. 744, 748 (E. & A. 1948), where the cases are collected and discussed; Kahn v. Werbel, 4 N.J. Super. 184, 186 (App. Div. 1949). Such is not the case here.

Plaintiff argues that defendant knew or should have known there was an appreciable probability that some harm would ultimately come to one in his position from the particular condition the 44-inch height of the loading platform and so defendant's conduct in maintaining that condition without steps, ladder or other device, was unreasonable and therefore *371 negligent. Swift & Co. v. Schuster, 192 F.2d 615 (10 Cir., 1951) is cited in support. The facts in that case are altogether different. There the plaintiff, a government inspector in defendant's slaughter house, slipped and fell on a wet, slippery and greasy floor while descending from a platform which was claimed to be too high. A divided court decided that a jury question was presented upon the issues of negligence, contributory negligence and assumption of risk. The result has been criticized, 65 Harv. L. Rev. 623, and it does not appear that the case has ever been followed.

Not only did plaintiff fail to establish negligence, but there was an absence of any proof of proximate cause. Plaintiff himself testified that he already had both feet on the platform before he fell. It is not claimed that the platform was wet or slippery, or that there was some foreign substance at the spot where plaintiff stepped, or that the platform was faultily constructed. We find no more proof of defendant's responsibility for the fall than there was in Trilling v. H.L. Green Co., 130 N.J.L. 36, 39 (Sup. Ct. 1943). See also Ball v. Atlantic City Ambassador Hotel Corp., 137 N.J.L. 744, 748 (E. & A. 1948).

Plaintiff also claims error by the trial court in striking out a question posed in the supplemental interrogatories whereby plaintiff sought to elicit from defendant whether prior to the date of the accident a truckman had claimed to have suffered personal injury through the use of a similar loading platform located at defendant's bakery on Queen Street, Newark. The question was stricken on defendant's motion. It may be observed that at the trial plaintiff made no offer to prove a similar incident at the Queen Street premises. Such evidence would have been incompetent and irrelevant insofar as the incident in question is concerned. See Temperance Hall, etc., v. Giles, 33 N.J.L. 260, 264 (Sup. Ct. 1869), where the court pointed out that it would not be competent for plaintiff to prove, as tending to show there was a nuisance, that at other times other persons fell into the excavation there in question. The principle thus established has consistently been followed to exclude proof *372 of the occurrence or absence of other accidents to establish or negative defendant's negligence. See, for example, Bobbink v. Erie R. Co., 75 N.J.L. 913, 915 (E. & A. 1908); O'Brien v. Staiger, 101 N.J.L. 526, 528 (E. & A. 1925); Crouse v. Stacy-Trent Co., 110 N.J.L. 124, 127 (E. & A. 1933); Schnoor v. Palisades Realty, etc., Co., 112 N.J.L. 506, 510 (E. & A. 1934); Leech v. Hudson & Manhattan R. Co., 113 N.J.L. 366, 370 (Sup. Ct. 1934), affirmed o.b. 115 N.J.L. 114 (E. & A. 1935); Newbury v. American Stores Co., 115 N.J.L. 604, 605 (E. & A. 1935); Schwartz v. Howard Savings Institution, 117 N.J.L. 180, 183 (E. & A. 1936); Jones v. Lahn, 1 N.J. 358, 361 (1949). The present case is stronger than the Temperance Hall case because here the inquiry was addressed to determining whether there had been a prior accident at other premises.

Plaintiff's theory is that a previous accident occurring at the Queen Street platform would impute knowledge of the dangerous character of the L Street platform, citing Alcott v. Public Service Corp., 78 N.J.L. 482 (E. & A. 1909), and Dolan v. Newark Iron & Metal Co., 18 N.J. Super. 450 (App. Div. 1952). The cases are not applicable in the instant circumstances.

There is no question here concerning defendant's notice or knowledge of the height of the platform from which plaintiff fell. There is no allegation that there was any existing condition upon the platform of which defendant had or should have had knowledge. Information about the possible occurrence of an accident at the Queen Street premises would be inadmissible in determining whether there was negligence in connection with the L Street platform. Nor would such information reasonably be calculated to discover relative evidence.

The judgment is affirmed.