The idea of writing a paper about the Dutch in Quebec originated in the early eighties when I was invited to join the Montreal Ethnic Research Project at Concordia University. Graduate students and faculty members from diverse ethnic backgrounds studied and compared their respective ethnic communities.
The insight gained in the problems that beset other ethnic groups have made me aware of the relative position of my own group, the Dutch. More particularly, it has made me appreciate the uniqueness of each group and the difficulty (sometimes uselessness) of comparing them. Thus, my thanks go to all those involved in this research project, specially those who eventually became members of my advisory committee, Professors Efie Gavaki and Fred Bird.
I wish to acknowledge with thanks the FCAC grant which the Montreal Ethnic Studies Research Project received from the Ministère de l'Education du Québec, and which was of great benefit to me.
I am also grateful to Professor Gavaki for being kind enough to share certain very useful statistics on the Dutch that would otherwise not have been available to me.
Professor Bird deserves special thanks for introducing me to Mrs. Loren Singer, librarian at Concordia University, who was in charge of the Oral History Montreal Project. It was through her cooperation that I was given access to facilities and services normally reserved for faculty. The oral histories I prepared were used only in small measure for this paper and as a project stand by themselves. I wish to thank Mrs. Singer, as well as the numerous leaders and members of the Dutch ethnic group in this province for giving me this opportunity to help preserve a small part of the history of Montreal.
While many Dutch-Canadians have been of assistance, two persons merit special mention: Mrs. Virginia Sondermeyer, and Mr. C.C.A. Blommesteyn. The recollections, advice, and/or documentation they were able to provide, proved invaluable.
The Institute for Citizenship provided a grant, which, among other things, made possible the necessary travelling, and I gratefully acknowledge that assistance.
The helpfulness of the Emigration attaché at the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Ottawa and the Consul General in Montreal, who provided me with ample documentation and archival information, was also much appreciated.
Because of so many other obligations, such as family, career, and community projects, competing for attention, this study has been protracted almost beyond the limit. In this respect I wish to thank my advisor, Professor Bill Reimer, for his patience, encouragement, and academic guidance, without which the work would surely have been shelved.
Finally, my thanks go to my husband, Peter, who, in addition to giving valuable criticism, as well as moral support, helped me by word processing the entire document.