Former Pupil Sees Spoorstraat After More Than 50 Years
A Special Visit
On Wednesday, 28 September, Wittenborg's Spoorstraat location received a special visitor from times long past. For his 70th birthday, the family of a former pupil brought him back to the campus to reminisce about where he spent some of the earliest years of his life. More than 50 years ago, Hans Toetenel studied in the halls of Spoorstraat at a time when Wittenborg was not even thought about.
Before there was Wittenborg, there was the Roman Catholic St. Gerardus Majella school for young boys from middle-to-working class families. When Hans came by – accompanied by his two daughters, Natasha and Jessica – he got to see all the ways Wittenborg has been transformed from a Catholic boys' school into a university of applied sciences.
The school's population has become much more diverse than in the late 1950s when Hans studied as a child. However, despite the superficial changes in scenery, the building's structure was just like he remembered.
Time to Reminisce
During the visit, Mr Toetenel was surprised both by the alterations to the Spoorstraat building, but affirmed that most of the historical building's interior reminded him of how things were when he was a boy. He explained to the staff members who were present that the reception room at the front of the building was formerly the headmaster's office. The canteen next to the front room used to be a common area for teachers.
Meanwhile, the bathrooms he used as a child have all been converted to storage closets. Hans also explained that the building next to the Spoorstraat location used to be a part of St. Gerardus, but served older pupils. One of his daughters even became quite emotional upon viewing Spoorstraat's lovely library.
When the visit came to a close, the family generously offered staff chocolates which they had brought with them to thank Wittenborg for allowing them to tour the building. Wittenborg thanks Mr Toetenel and his family for stopping by and allowing us to be a part of the celebration!