After Highschool I decided to make a carreer in the Merchant Navy.I went to Nautical College and after that, I joined the United Netherlands Navigation Company (VNS) and started my carreer as an apprentice deck officer. My first ship was an old Liberty ship, the ss.Leuvekerk and bound for India and Pakistan.
I made my last trip as an apprentice on the ss.Amerskerk.
After that I sailed as a fourth and third officer on victory ships and the ms Oranjefontein.
I finished my career at sea as a second officer, got to know my future wife and decided to go with her family and settle in Australia in 1958. The beginning was difficult, but after a while, things fell into place. Mia and I married in 1960 and had our daughter in 1965 and our son in 1969. Mia can trace her family back even further than I can. Her father was born in Vlaardingen, Holland in 1907 and his forefather with the same name, was born in Vlaardingen in 1589. That is hundred thirty six years earlier than the Aalhuizens. I have had a number of vocations, but the greater part of my working life was in the hospitality industry. I retired in 1994 and moved to the south coast.
In the eighties I acquired an interest in computers and in 1986 I bought my first Amstrad 6128. For several years I put little programs in, in Basic. It was still a primitive machine compared with today's computers. It had 128 kilobytes in memory, as against the giga bytes of today. When it broke down in 1994, my interest in computers was kept on a low flame. It was not until 1999, when I bought an old computer in a garage sale, that it flared up again. This time it was another Amstrad, only three years younger than my Amstrad 6128. My son gave me a more up to date computer, connected to the net and thus Rick's Page was born. I have been a stamp collector since I was 8 years of age and the combination of stamp collecting and computing was an ideal combination for making this page. The idea of telling stories about stamp illustrations was born in 1949, when I was presented with a book: "Postage stamps tell the story of the second world war"' by G.J.Peelen. I was only 16 years old, but it made a big impression and enticed me to set up a WW2 stamp collection. I did that several times in my life, but the stamps became more and more expensive, as time went by. Another interest of mine is genealogy and we will talk about that later.