God Bless the Good Ship China

Harry Booyens



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On 20 March 1688 a Dutch ship of the Vereenigde Oostindische Compagnie set sail from Goeree in Suid Holland. On board were a number of passengers in three groups. The first group consisted of eight young Dutch orphan girls on their way to the southern tip of Africa where they were destined to become the wives of anxious young men. The second group consisted of just two passengers. There was nothing out of the ordinary about them. They were merely regular passengers as one might find on any VOC ship of the time. Our story is about the third group of 28 individuals. This event at once marked for them the end of an epic flight from oppression and the beginning of an even greater journey that some would not survive.


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