featuredIndo ProfileNewsRené Creutzburg's De Indo US Publication

On his birthday, The Indo Project remembers and celebrates Indo legend René Creutzburg. With his monthly magazine ‘De Indo’, he helped define what it meant to be an Indo in the United States and connected Indos worldwide.

Verenigd – United

“Oom” René was a great supporter of The Indo Project from the start.

2011 - Indos Priscilla Kluge McMullen (TIP Chair), René Creutzburg, Jeff Keasberry (TIP Vice Chair) at the Holland Festival in Long Beach
2011 - Indos Priscilla Kluge McMullen (TIP Chair), René Creutzburg, Jeff Keasberry (TIP Vice Chair) at the Holland Festival in Long Beach

When I first started The Indo Project and hardly knew any of the Indos in California. I planned to attend the Holland Festival in Long Beach and wrote wrote to “Oom” René to see if he knew of any Indos who ran an inn or hotel where I could stay.  He said, “ach nee, Pris, je moet mijn vriend Kees Kunstt opbellen. Hij zal wel iemand weten waar je kan logeren.”  That started a deep friendship with both “Oom” René and Kees Kunstt who to this day are like family to me. “Oom” René was a great supporter of The Indo Project from the start. Whenever I was in California, I would make it a point to stop by the city of Walnut to visit René.  He, in turn, would make it a point to visit the TIP booth at the Holland Festival and provide words of encouragement. He and Chen, even flew to Florida to attend one of TIP’s earliest kumpulans. I miss him. ~ Priscilla Kluge McMullen, TIP Chair

Indos Eric Morgan and René Creutzburg at Gala Event
Indos Eric Morgan and René Creutzburg at Gala Event

… the importance of continuing the work that he, as well as other Indos of the 1.0 Generation, have started …

The Indo Project was fortunate to have been able to help honor Oom René at a gala event at the Buena Park CA Elk’s Lodge. It was one of the last opportunities to pay tribute for the long-standing dedication to preserving our cultural legacy. We were one of many who were able to express gratitude for what he has meant to the Indo Community. In typical Oom René fashion (in keeping with his modest, yet gracious, demeanor), the one thing he could think of TIP to do was a token amount given so that he could take his ‘De Indo’ crew out to lunch. The photo is of him allowing us to make that gesture, as well as be able to speak on the importance of continuing the work that he, as well as other Indos of the 1.0 Generation, have started.

It was a great evening, with a strong sense that the overflow crowd present relished the opportunity to be able to express our thanks to him, as well as his family, for sharing him with our people. ~ Eric Morgan, TIP Board Member

Indos René and Chen at TIP's Florida Kumpulan in Spring Hill
Indos René and Chen at TIP's Florida Kumpulan in Spring Hill

Zelfstandig – Independent

Oom René put the “De Indo” magazine in our lives so we would not forget who we are or where we came from.

I met Oom René  back in the days of De Soos in the early sixties, when I really did not understand the impact of our “Indo” group back then. Later as I grew up, I went to the Indo Luaus. I even learned a group “Tahitian” style dance. It was always fun as the Indos always joked around and laughed as we practiced. I loved hanging out with my “tribe”! Recently, I found the photo below on De Soos website. With Oom René, it was always a festive gathering, learning to help when volunteering at the events and parties.

René Creutzburg at Indo Luas
René Creutzburg at Indo Luas - De Indo Collection
Indo Luas at De Soos in Southern California, Maureen de Schepper on left - 1974
Indo Luas at De Soos in Southern California, Maureen de Schepper on left, circa 1974 - De Soos Collection

Even in my retired years, I started helping Oom René with the “De Indo” magazine mailing. He had a special method on how it was to be done; he supervised a whole group of us – a  great organizer. Each month, after the work was done, like typical Indos, we had to grab something to eat; we would end up at the Chinese restaurant for multiple dishes of seafood, noodles, rice, and veggies to split between us all.

2015 - René Creutzburg prepares De Indo's Monthly Mailing
2015 - René Creutzburg prepares De Indo's Monthly Mailing

Oom René put the “De Indo” magazine in our lives so we would not forget who we are or where we came from. His “yellow magazine” made an impact on all the Indos not only in the USA but also over the world: Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, Curacao, Indonesia and beyond. The magazine was distributed to seventeen countries. This is how the senior Indos kept in touch. It was devastating to many that the magazine ended with his death in May 2020.

Indo René Creutzburg with his pink poppies - April 2020
Indo René Creutzburg with his pink poppies - April 2020

With the “De Indo” magazine no longer being published, my participation with The Indo Project is making me feel we are continuing his legacy: keeping Indos informed and connected. I hope to create TIP outreach events to continue Indo festivities, kumpulans and more. 

Oom René was a very smart, kind, and gentle man. I miss his company and visits at his house each month. I hope I do him proud by following in his footsteps to continue spreading Indo culture.  ~ Maureen de Schepper, TIP Board Member

Indo Cruetzburgs at 2017 Herdenkings in SoCal
Indos René and Chen at 2017 Herdenkings in SoCal

Volhardend – Persevering

‘De Indo’ was my father’s connection to the Indo community.

While I did not know René Creutzburg personally, his expansive influence was apparent to me: every time the yellow ‘De Indo’ magazine arrived in our family’s mailbox, my father would make a point to read it as soon as he possibly could. He would read it from cover to cover, delighted with every single story. My father kept all his copies on his bookcase. ‘De Indo’ was my father’s connection to the Indo community. I am excited Moesson International will continue this work of connecting Indos. Mr. Creutzburg also had a legacy of honoring Indos; our family was honored to have him present at our father’s memorial service. Let’s continue his work! ~ Monica Veerman Cluff, TIP Volunteer

2021 Indo International-Moesson-2nd-Edition
Moesson International 2nd Edition with René Creutzburg's grandson Kalani as cover story

Share your memories of René Creutzburg in the comments below, what he meant to you and what impact he had on Indos in Southern California and beyond.

2 Comments

  1. Rene Creutzburg was indeed a very smart,kind and gentle man. I never met him in person, but I wrote articles for “The Indo” and Rene and I spoke a number of times on the phone. I miss him and “Het Gele Blaadje” as lots of other people do.
    He had a vision of how to keep Indos connected, he gave his heart and soul to the project.
    I am grateful to have been part of it.He left us with “Happy Indo memories”
    Francisca Haanstra.

  2. For Oom Rene who I did know personally, memories of him calling me over the weekend for Monday morning “workdays” with the other volunteer helpers for DE INDO, will always be with me. At times He and Chen needed help to the US Post office with the booklets to the US destinations. In the past I also volunteered for the Indo Project, and therefore helped keep a connection between Oom Rene and the Indo Project. It is understandable NOT all helpers can be mentioned or be in a photo, but sadly the Indo Project again has missed an opportunity to acknowledge some of the “helpers ” from the 57 years, not to say I seek recognition, but had direct connection with both, to bring our Indo culture to the generations interested in reading and keeping our culture alive.

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