From Holland with love

QUITE A CROWD: Jonker family reunion at Paradise Point and, inset, this photo was taken shortly after arriving in Australia from Holland in 1958.
QUITE A CROWD: Jonker family reunion at Paradise Point and, inset, this photo was taken shortly after arriving in Australia from Holland in 1958. Contributed

HERE'S the story of a lovely lady, who came to Ipswich from Holland with a husband and 11 girls and boys of her own.

Petronella Jonker is the matriarch of what is now one extraordinarily large family, which took root in Goodna more than 50 years ago.

Long-term Ipswich residents may recognise the Jonker name - members of the clan formed several successful businesses across Ipswich, including Jonker's Hire, Jonker's Demolition and Jonker's House Removals.

The family has expanded, with Petronella becoming a grandmother to 36 and, eventually, a great-grandmother to an astonishing 55.

According to Jacqui King - one of Petronella and Johannes' 36 grandchildren - the family businesses undertook some big jobs around Ipswich in the past 30 years, including the Kholo Mining Museum, the original Racehorse Hotel, Coronation Hotel and Challinor Centre.

"Over the years other members of the Jonker family have run various other businesses in the area, including a chemist, party hire business and a gymnasium, just to name a few," Mrs King said.

When the Jonker family business transported the Queens Park Cambrian Hall to the Kholo Mining Museum on June 17, 1990, it made front-page news in the Queensland Times.

The removal of the old Goodna police station building in 1985 also made the local newspaper.

Although Johannes sadly passed away in 1995, Oma is still going strong and celebrated her 93rd birthday with 80 family members on Saturday, November 3.

She relocated to the Gold Coast four years ago but enjoys family gatherings, usually on or around the time of her birthday, November 10.

A street in Goodna was recently named Jonker Court in honour of the family's contribution to the city of Ipswich.

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