Gouwe Ouwen, page 2. Golden Oldies at full speed
June 17th 2017: The Midsummer Party at Care Center Houthaghe, The Hague, the Netherlands. Mrs. Rieu (Joke Breedijk), fake conductor of the fake mime Johann Strauss Orchestra “The Golden Oldies at Full Speed” invited a few guest performers. We see a Mary Poppins (doll) being lowered from a balcony and Dutch star imitators such as “Sugar Lee Hooper” and “Anneke Grönloh” perform. Sugar Lee passed away many years ago. She was a remarkable person, had a hit song: “Oh, wat ben je mooi” (Oh, how beautiful you are). She was bold, overweight and wore wide tulle dresses, making her look even more overweight than she already was. We see Clara playing the part of Sugar Lee, together with her great granddaughter Yara, who had problems with pebbles in her sandals… and Joke Breedijk created the dresses. Nellie played Anneke Grönloh with the song ”Paradiso” and “little” Joke played Mary Poppins. The doll was created by Joke Breedijk. We see the Loosduinen anthem played (the flag with three dunes). Loosduinen was a former independant village, now a part of The Hague, exactly the area the group and we live in. Many residents of the retirement homes here hail from Loosduinen. And the song about The Hague by “Haagse Harry” is well-known: “O, o, The Hague, beautiful city behind the dunes”. Flag of the city of The Hague: yellow and green with a stork.
Photo credits: Ramon Meesters and Jolanda de Jong. We thank Jolanda for the video part of “Anneke Grönloh”. Left: Clara and her great granddaughter Yara.
Do you like to see more of the Golden Oldies? Go to page 1, click HERE. Go to page 3, click HERE. Do you like to see how they perform at the Pathé cinema in The Hague, prior to André’s cinema streaming? Click HERE.
Music and romance belong together. Just like in the JSO, love is flourishing in the Golden Oldies orchestra. Two orchestra members of 69 and 73 found each other. In this case no newborn babies…. Only grand- and great-grandchildren!
June 6th, 2018. Just a few weeks ago Joke Breedijk, the leading lady of the funny and successful senior mime group “Golden Oldies at full speed” was diagnosed with colon- and liver cancer. Of course that has turned her world upside down. We still hope she can join us in Maastricht in July 2018. She was interviewed by a local broadcast channel of The Hague TV and they had an enormous surprise for her: a live message by André Rieu himself. Watch the video below.
June 25, 2018. Another video by the local broadcast channel of The Hague TV. The call to find a successor for the terminally ill Joke Breedijk, led to nine responses. Nine people, who are willing to take over several specific tasks, and now we may conclude: The Golden Oldies Mime Orchestra from The Hague, the Netherlands, will continue!! Joke will start a chemo treatment in July, so she decided to cancel her Maastricht bookings. We are so sorry for her, she looked so much forward to the Vrijthof concerts. We wish her strength.
The swinging seniors Like every Tuesday night, there is a rehearsal of the playback orchestra "Golden Oldies at Full Speed" in the senior complex “De Muttersborgh” in Loosduinen (part of The Hague). The unstoppable Joke Breedijk has been the driving force for years. “Edition 070” takes a look and introduces a remarkable piece of The Hague and the woman behind it. First we catch up with a cup of coffee. But not for too long, because Joke has a tight schedule. Tonight, the seniors are in casual summer clothes. So, not in their costumes and without the matching wigs, feathers and glitter. But that does not spoil the fun. The instruments made by Joke are removed from the case. Gold sprayed trumpets made of drainage pipes and screws, a clarinet made from a shower head, a flute out of a PVC tube, a drum made of a colander, a cello made with a cane converted guitar, a shower bar as a clarinet. All created and made by Joke. Then the CD player turns on, a waltz, of course by André Rieu. THE inspiration for the Golden Oldies. Joke is at the front with a violin and holds the reins firmly in her hands. People should have fun. Born and raised in Loosduinen, at a young age Joke was already in the music scene and she loves show business. With her twin sister and two boys she formed a band: "The Four Rubies". They were going to tour through Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxemburg, but the songwriter who was going to guide them, pinched her in her bottom, which father Breedijk saw. He prohibited the adventure. Later Joke became a jazz ballet teacher and became champion of the Netherlands with her girls. “I came to live in Muttersborgh in 2009 and thought it was a boring place. Everyone was on their own. As a member of the homeowners association, I made sure we would play games and watch the Dutch soccer team together. Four years ago, during a garden party, the idea of the playback show was born. With seven ladies. I made the orchestra dresses. For myself I bought a dinner jacket for ten euros on the market. I wanted to become the conductor of the orchestra, like Andre Rieu. We performed in nursing homes. Word of the mouth spread fast and everyone wanted to join. I said, "I want gentlemen." They had to be in dinner jacket too, of course.” The tour schedule of the Golden Oldies is well filled: Rotterdam, Hoogvliet, Vlaardingen. They also play for disabled people. Joke: "Then we bring whistles so they can play along with us." Twice they played in the cinema of Pathé Buitenhof, during half an hour before the movie of the André Rieu summer concert was shown. Family of each other. “I'm fighting to keep it cozy here, even though the situation in Muttersborgh has changed a lot lately. But we will continue. Our orchestra members now come from various places, but the majority is still from Muttersborgh. We also receive enough attention. Here is a video message from André Rieu, listen, he says that I am his source of inspiration and that he is jealous of me! And this one: a card from his son: "The shadows are behind you because the sun is shining on you." The Rieu family knows us, we are also a bit of a family." Last breath. Joke continues: "I will continue until I really can't go on anymore. Due to my health, I now have less and less energy, but we have a team of nine enthusiastic people who can replace me. For example, the washing and ironing of the costumes, that takes too much energy from me. People will do that themselves. But really, I will lead the orchestra until my last breath". Without playing a note, they have the greatest fun together. The Golden Oldies tonight show that you do not need much to make fun together. The costumes may be missing, but the instruments are there and, above all, the music. There we go. The Radetzky march is started. On CD and played along on the soundless instruments. Joke leads and gives instructions. “Nel, Cilia, here you jump in”. Important, because with this march The Golden Oldies will open in Loosduinen. On a waltz also played by André Rieu, the orchestra members sway-, hum- or sing along. Joke conducts with her violin. The trumpets, played by two standing men, have a solo. The rest sings lalala and padapa and sways along with the rhythm. Joke is not entirely satisfied: "stand up a bit earlier, gentlemen". The two clarinetists give a show, encouraged by Joke. An Italian song sounds from the CD player. Will they sing? Only the chorus, loudly by the entire orchestra. It's finished. Everyone cheers. For themselves, for Joke, and because it is so much fun and cozy. Did you know...? • That the youngest member of the Golden Oldies is 60? And the oldest member 93? • That in 2017, when the orchestra got off the bus, there were a lot of pictures taken? Foreign tourists thought they were the real Johann Strauss Orchestra!
On September 1st, 2018, the next concert, actually the relaunch, will take place at the Loosduinen Main Square during the festival "Sound of Loosduinen". "We give ourselves and especially others so much fun, that's what it's all about," Joke smiles.
July 27, 2018: By Heleen van der Putt. For: Editie 070 (Municipality of The Hague) Translation: Ineke, edited by Sonja Harper.
The only impersonating Rieus which we love! Here is an example of the impersonating Rieus which we love! Ineke recorded several performances in care centers in The Hague (town in the Netherlands) and surroundings, during the second half of 2018. The latest images are from December 2018. The quality of the video is not the best, but at least you have an impression of how the golden oldies orchestra is bringing pleasure to the elderly. Even the police is willing to assist the orchestra with a safe crossing. Despite Joke Breedijk’s serious illness she is still conducting the orchestra as André Rieu, in between her chemo treatments. It is unbelievable. The orchestra is her hobby and passion and she says she feels happy while working on the sewing machine, creating all the costumes. Like the real André Rieu and the Johann Strauss Orchestra, they have invited guest performers. In this case the majority of them are Dutch entertainers/singers from about 50 years ago. All the elderly people know them and can sing along. They were also successful to contract guests from abroad. The international fans may recognize Boney M. We hope you enjoy these performances of ”The Golden Oldies At Full Speed” mime orchestra. Duration of the video: 30 minutes.
January 4th, 2019. Senior mime orchestra changed to a foundation! As of January 4, 2019, the "Gouwe Ouwen op volle Toeren" (Golden oldies at full speed) mime orchestra has been changed to a foundation. Last year, the seriously ill Joke Breedijk, founder and driving force of this organization placed a request in the local newspaper. Joke asked for volunteers who were willing to take over her duties. That produced positive results. She has gathered a number of people around her, who are 100% committed to have the orchestra survive. Unfortunately Joke Breedijk was not able to be present during the latest performance, but behind the scenes she is still in charge. Joke hopes to keep up with her team as long as she has been given. The agenda of the senior mime orchestra is already quite filled for 2019!
February 5, 2019. To celebrate the foundation of the Golden Oldies orchestra, Joke organized a party in the central hall of the senior complex Muttersborgh, for the orchestra members, the people of the new board of the foundation, the people of the housing association and I felt honored to be invited too. We have become close friends during the 5 years of the existence of the mime orchestra. She also liked to show the new business cards. Photo credits: Tineke Arbacht.
February 18, 2019. In Memoriam: Joke Breedijk (74), NL. To our immense sadness, we have to announce that our dear friend Joke Breedijk has passed away on February 18, 2019. We first met Joke in 2015, after we had heard of a senior André Rieu mime orchestra, in our hometown The Hague, in the Netherlands, and even in a neighboring district from where we live! To see what it was like, we attended a performance in a care center for senior citizens. We were flabbergasted! The idea to imitate André Rieu and his Johann Strauss orchestra in a funny way, was conceived at a garden party of the Muttersborgh senior complex in 2014, and presented as a comical act. Joke was the enthusiastic, artistic, musical leader and the driving force. Her neighbors from the senior complex loved André Rieu and so did Joke. Of course they asked the Maestro's permission, which they received. That is how the mime orchestra "Gouwe Ouwen op Volle Toeren" (Golden Oldies at full Speed) came into being and Joke played the role of André, created the costumes, instruments, organized the agenda, door-to-door transport, took care of the laundry, and basically did everything else! Performances took place in care centers throughout The Hague and surroundings and the group became a great success. They even were on TV and in the newspapers. In April 2018, fate struck. Joke was diagnosed with colon and liver cancer with a life prospect of 6 months. It was Joke's dearest wish that the orchestra would continue. Due to publicity in the media, nine volunteers came to the rescue to take over several tasks for the future. Joke held on to the reigns as tightly as possible for as long as she could. In between the chemo treatments she guided the new people, still made costumes and continued to conducted the orchestra herself until December 2018. In the meantime a notary changed the orchestra into a foundation served by a board. The municipality of The Hague made a subsidy available, which proves that the value of this kind of entertainment for the elderly is recognized by the Dutch authorities. In February 2019 Joke organized a party to celebrate the foundation with snacks and drinks, to toast the future of the orchestra and to see all her friends. She felt she was going to lose the battle. Joke has always been open minded about her illness. Lately she told me that she would definitely watch the July Maastricht concerts from Heaven. On February 18, 2019 she passed away. She will be in our hearts forever. May she rest in peace. Nellie Seesink, one of the orchestra members, will take over her role as André Rieu in the future.
Nellie Seesink.
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