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20-21 Grotiana (n.s.) 1 (1999-2000)

handle is hein.journals/grotia17 and id is 1 raw text is: In Memoriam

MRS. B.J.A.H. DE KANTER-VAN HETTINGA TROMP
(1905 - 2000)
In the stillness of an autumn morning, on October 15, 2ooo the busiest of
lives came to an end. A life which had not just spanned a century, but till the
last had been literally thrilled by (and with fervour commented on) its many
social riddles. Bernardina Johanna Aritia van Hettinga Tromp was a most
remarkable woman indeed. A lawyer of wit and acuteness, yet a woman who,
given the occasion and within the intimacy of her study, mustered an alto-
gether disarming convivial charm. A dignified lady at all times, yet one who
could come close to being roguish, as when reposting that 'crony' of later
years, the ever boyish Bart Landheer, in their incessant intellectual spars. A
devoted spouse too, who, till the last, and thirty years after his demise, spoke
ever so tenderly and ever so readily of her loving husband, that gentle man of
letters and diplomacy.
Still, this is not the woman the world at large or the circle of Grotian stu-
dents will primarily remember. The way we knew her, reason most defi-
nitely, prevailed over emotions. To most of us she was, if anything, the
militant crusader, the iron lady of razor-blade tongue, unyielding under the
best of circumstances, and never leaving one in doubt of her proud Frisean
lineage. If endowed with many gifts, to be sure, she was strong-charactered
above all. Obstinacy is probably the word that will first come to mind with
many. 'Now listen here' was her much dreaded intro to cut short debate and
settle the issue. Yet what made her remarkable, and intensely dear to her
intimates, in spite of all the awe-inspiring overbearing dominance, was the
mission to which she devoted all that imposing energy and will-power
throughout that bustling life. For sure, one could imagine poorer cases to
advocate.
What spurred her on relentlessly was her pertinent belief in the dignity of
man and his essentially social appetite. It is from this perspective that her

GROTIANA (New Series) vol. 20/21 (1999/2000) 1-8

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