If you’ve ever called Christian Courier’s toll-free number, you were likely greeted by the warm voice of Rose der Nederlanden, CC’s Circulation Manager. Rose has been a faithful member of the staff since 2001 and will be missed dearly as she steps back from her part-time work into retirement this month.
For nearly two decades, Rose has humbly and quietly filled many roles at CC. It may have been “part-time” work, but she poured full-time energy into every task. Rose processed subscriptions and maintained the database, tracking items like address changes and renewals. She picked up each new issue of CC from the printer in Hamilton and delivered the boxes to our St. Catharines mailing house, and then drove copies for our U.S. subscribers across the border to a post office in Lewiston, New York.
Any time the publishing process has changed, Rose has helped figure out a way to keep costs down. In the early 2000’s, Rose and two other women, Kim and Sonya, printed and affixed the mailing labels in her kitchen. “We had a good ol’ hen party while we were doing the mailing and it was all very efficient; we were finished in three or four hours,” Rose recalls.
When she first came on staff, instead of digital layout the staff used paste-ups. Rose was involved in proof-reading, and when the layout moved to computers she designed half the paper. She worked closely with her late husband, Harry, who was CC Editor from 1999 until 2008, when he passed from cancer. Rose says she enjoyed layout and design and found it like arranging a room. She would often talk things over with Harry, who was an artist as well.
Rose also worked with Angela Reitsma Bick, who started as Editor in 2009, to design nearly 200 front pages of CC. “We’d chat every other week like clockwork, discussing photos and layout of the current issue – but first Rose would ask, ‘How are you?’ and really care about the answer,” Angela says. “She gave regular encouragement as well as sound advice for thorny editorial decisions.”
Just over a year ago, Rose handed the layout work over to a new designer but kept the other parts of her job. She especially enjoys talking to the other people who call into CC: “It was interesting talking to people and picturing where they were living,” she says.
Rose has also taken care of CC’s annual grant application to the government, worked on a Niagara Church Directory project, and shown her hospitable spirit during CC Board meetings by ensuring fresh coffee and refreshments.
Board member Syl Gerritsma describes Rose’s contributions as a “steady, consistent excellence over many years,” and on behalf of the board extends a sincere thank you to Rose for her dedication to CC.
Rose is facing a diagnosis of lung cancer, part of a growing number of non-smoking women fighting the disease. Join us in praying for complete restoration of Rose’s health so she can enjoy a season of retirement.
Though I’d known of her and her late husband Harry because of their long connection to Christian Courier, I’d not recognized the extent of Rose’s work with our dear little rag until I started writing regularly for CC. I soon discovered that all manner of administration rested on Rose’s shoulders. Even before Dennis Dunbar and Rose married, he shared the task of heavy lifting on what were dubiously romantic drives to and from Hamilton to [pick up] the papers.
Oh yes, and then there’s the layout work, from which Rose recently retired. And the proofreading and questions about dumb little misteaks I’d made in punctuation or misspellings of weird names and places. Thanks be to Rose and to God for Rose. Wherever would CC be without you?
– Jim Dekker, Pastor and CC Contributor
I’ve never actually met Rose face to face, but she’s the kind of person you can love without ever laying eyes on her. A phone call, some emails – however you engage her and whatever you need – she’s always willing to help, ready to go the extra mile. We should all be so kind to each other.
– Heidi VanderSlikke, CC Columnist
Whenever Rose thinks of the fun she and other workers had when they took care of mailing new issues by running them through “Morris,” the speedy mailing machine, she remembers the laughter that shattered the quiet offices of CC. As one of Rose’s many friends and coworkers, I will always think of her as a lively and happy person who never complains but appreciates the joy of helping others as much as she can.
– Bert Witvoet, former CC Editor