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They have lived in Pijnacker since 1969. On the Noordweg, in the house that bears the inscription “De Leeuwenkuil”. Things have been quiet for 54 years at De Leeuwenkuil, owned by Hans van Leeuwen and Alice Santen, who celebrated their 65th anniversary on Easter Sunday, 9 April. Mayor Bjorn Lugthart came to congratulate the couple on Wednesday, April 12, at their home in Nordvig.
The couple celebrated the very cozy party at home on their real wedding day with their four children and nine grandchildren. They have four children: Hugo, Mark, Monica and David. Monica lives closest, in Delft, Hugo lives with his family in Eindhoven, Mark works in Poitiers, France, and the youngest, David, lives in Amersfoort. Hans and Alice came to live in Bijnacker in 1969, because Hans was able to work as a professor of theoretical physics at the University of Delft. At that time, Hans and his family returned from the United States, where Hans worked two terms at universities. From 1963 to 1965 and from 1967 to 1969. Until 1986 he was affiliated with the University of Delft and then Professor of Physics at the University of Leiden until he was 65 years old. Until a few years ago, Hans van Leeuwen had a workspace there where he stayed occasionally. In 2018, Hans van Leeuwen made national news due to a study on what exactly happens in the physics while skiing in terms of friction. On the Internet you will find a comprehensive article in Volkskrant on this subject. The pair also skated together at De Uithof for a long time.
Hans (90) and Alice (92), both Catholic by birth, met around 1956 at a course in deepening the faith in Amsterdam. Hans came from Herogovard and was born into a family of teachers with four children. Alice came from Heemstead. Her father was an accountant and had six children from his first wife, who died young. And ten children from his second wife, Umm Alice. “The first batch really grew up when we were kids, but we didn’t have to tell them,” says Alice, who says her father dates back to 1871. So he was already sixty years old when Alice was born. Hans and Alice have always enjoyed living in Bijnacker. The kids went to Joseph’s school, Alice played tennis and they always went and always went to Catholic Church. For physics professor Hans van Leeuwen, science and faith go hand in hand without any problems. “Science is about research and facts. Faith is about good and bad and they cannot be depicted in a scientific model. So science also has limitations.” While Hans was mainly busy with his work, Alice took great care of the family. When she got more space, she was still a French teacher at Moedermavo in Pijnacker. She looks back on that period with joy. A major problem – also during the Mayor’s visit – for Alice is that her hearing has been seriously impaired and beyond repair over the past five years. The best remedy is to speak slowly and clearly while looking at her. “I understand you the worst,” she said to Hans. “My dear, but what I am saying has long been known to you,” says Hans, who cannot escape punishment. Alice just wants to be able to follow the conversation! Hans says that after his retirement he was still active for a while in Wijkvereniging Pijnacker-Noord. “At the time, we were mainly busy talking about regeneration of the Pijnacker-Noord district and fighting municipal plans to erect large apartment buildings in certain places. Then we were able to help prevent that.”
All kinds of topics are discussed, such as the possible idea of a center for asylum seekers in Pijnacker. Mr. Van Leeuwen would like to see how the Mayor would act in such a situation. He also wants to know from the mayor if he likes Pijnacker-Nootdorp! The mayor thinks it’s a good place to live here, as the Van Leeuwen couple have always enjoyed living here. And still. Despite their advanced age, they are still completely capable of living independently!
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