guests of Dutch
Working visit for Heineken exchange
The Canadian flag was run up above Heineken's Amsterdam
Brewery on May 5, 35th anniversary of the liberation of the city
by Canadian forces towards the close of World War II. It was
raised as a tribute to 350 veterans of Canadian contingents who
visited the city to re-enact their part in the events of 1945.
Led by General Bell Irving, their wartime commander, the
Canadians were driven through streets lined by cheering crowds
from Berlage Bridge on the eastern outskirts of Amsterdam to
Dam Square in the heart of the city.
The veterans, who with their wives were Amsterdam's guests for
a week, arrived expecting to make their journey to Dam Square
by bus. But they were surprised to find that they were to travel in
old cars, motor-cycles and tanks dating from 1945. The drivers
were members of the Dutch society "Keep 'em rolling" whose
hobby it is to keep the vehicles in immaculate working order.
Throughout their stay the Canadians were feted by Amster
dammers receiving them with as much gratitude and enthusiasm
as in 1945. The Canadian flag mounted on the Heineken brewery
was one of many flying from Amsterdam's rooftops.
Under an exchange scheme sponsored by Whitbread and
Heineken, three British bar stewards spent four days in the
Netherlands. The visit was organized by Whitbread in colla
boration with three British .trade journals.
Aim of the programme was to give the visitors an insight into how
their Dutch colleagues work, and to assess, among other things,
the effect of longer licensing hours - a controversial subject in the
UK - and such point-of-sale details as beer dispensing, glasses,
bar display, decor and stock control.
News of the Heineken invitation was carried in the British publi
cations Licensee, Caterer and Hotelkeeper and Club Mirror, each
undertaking to find a suitable candidate in its particular area of
interest. (In the case of Club Mirror, popular diary columnist Jack
Spencer asked entrants to complete the sentence, "Heineken
lager is tops for my club because...").
Winners were Mr. G. Lake, Manager of Otley Golf Club, near
Leeds, Mr. J. Page, landlord of a pub in the Norwich area and
Miss N.Maura-Cooper, bar steward of a hotel in Wales. Each
spent a large part of the four-day visit observing and helping
during a typical day's work in a Dutch counterpart of their UK
Mr. Lake was a working observerat the Groote Club, Amsterdam,
Mr. Page at the city's Heineken Hoek and Miss Maura-Cooper at
the Krasnapolsky Hotel. Each was accompanied by a Dutch host,
and midway through the programme the party was joined by re
presentatives of the British Trade Press which had publicised the
Off-duty activities included visits to Holland's tulip fields and a
number of places of historic interest in the Amsterdam area. At a
farewell dinner on the eve of return to the UK each of the visiting
stewards received a commemorative shield.