R.J. Kooi (Erjeka) zadelfabriek, Mijdrecht, 1922-1958

Dit Erjeka transport zadel had ik eerder op de site geplaatst, zie eerder artikel.

Ik kreeg een reactie van de kleinzoon van de oprichter R.J. Kooi die in Canada woont, en interesse had in het zadel. Het zadel is inmiddels opweg naar Canada. Hieronder volgt informatie die ik had gekregen over het bedrijf:

Before he passed away, Uncle Pieter, the son of my grandfather, gave me the last saddle that came off the assembly line, for safekeeping. 

Het laatste zadel gemaakt door Erjeka.

I also have a framed group photo of all the employees at the factory together with my grandfather (Reinder Jacob Kooi), my grandmother (Grietje) my uncle (Pieter) and my mother (Idalina). The photo was taken in front of the family home in Mijdrecht which was on the same property as the bicycle seat factory.

Alle medewerkers van de zadelfabriek, voor het huis van de familie

According to my mother, the factory closed in 1958 (opgericht in 1922, red.), the same year my grandparents moved to Canada. She was very excited to hear about the bicycle seat purchase.

Luchtfoto van de zadelfabriek

By the way, a story from WWII goes with the photo of the factory I emailed to you. My grandfather refused to let the nazis use his factory and employees for their purposes. In addition, he was also assisting the Dutch resistance. The SS showed up at the house one day and demanded that my grandmother tell them where he was. He was in fact hiding in the cellar. She denied knowing where he was and as punishment, they set fire to their home. While the house was burning, a neighbour who was also an employee in the factory rescued my grandfather. As he ran from the house towards the factory, the SS soldiers gave chase. Our grandfather ran through the factory and at the other end, jumped into the canal from where he was rescued by a farmer. He then went into hiding at a friend’s home for a few months. Their beautiful house and all their belongings burned to the ground. In a separate incident, a brother of my grandfather was arrested by the SS and was never seen again.”