Mr. Eric Evenhuis, a resident of Utah, recently discovered a connection between his mother and The Royal Canadian Dragoons, and he reached out to us through our website - a fascinating story unfolded!
Eric’s mother, Ms. Sytske Tolsma (Rigby), was born in 1939, in Leeuwarden, Netherlands, the second of five children to Eelke and Tryntje Tolsma. In May, 1940, Nazi Germany invaded Holland and Systke remembers the nearly five years of harsh Nazi rule. On 15 April, 1945, Leeuwarden was liberated by The Royal Canadian Dragoons. Sytske recounts the absolute joy and happiness of not being under the rule of the Nazi’s. In September, 1956, the Tolsma’s immigrated to the United States. Systke married Antoon Evenhuis, who was from Groningen Netherlands. They had 3 children, Kathy, George and Eric.
Eric was born in 1972 in Ogden, Utah. From 1991 to 1997, he served in the United States Marine Corps as a ground radio repairmen. He and his wife Gina have three children. Eric plays the guitar and the bagpipes, and he is an active soloist and pipeband piper with Wasatch & District Pipeband. He began writing pipe tunes about 2 years ago and he’s written about 20 tunes so far.
Eric stated: “I’ve always wanted to Honor those brave men of the Royal Canadian Dragoons with a tune”, and he wrote a song entitled “The Royal Canadian Dragoons’ Liberation of Leeuwarden.”
Eric provided us with this gift of music to say thank you, concluding that “It gives me great joy to be able to share this tune with the Dragoons.”
Eric’s tune is attached for all to enjoy.