This afternoon at the library – Loekie Morales launches Overseas Bloodline

POSTED: 11/28/12 2:20 PM

St. Maarten – Author Loekie Morales launches her book Overseas Bloodline this afternoon at the Philipsburg Jubilee Library. The theme of the book is a family search. The launch is scheduled to begin at 5.30 p.m.

Sponsored by the Windward islands Bank, the RBC Bank, the Prince Bernhard Cultural Fund and insurance company Nagico, Morales’ Beyond Writing Foundation has been able to offer free copies of the book to all high schools of the former Netherlands Antilles.

Earlier this year, Morales made ten copies of the book and the audio book available to the Prince Bernhard Cultural Fund.

This afternoon the author will show the short movie Overseas Bloodline Comes toLife. It is the real life story of three sisters who found each other again after seventy years.


Morales published the book in 2002 in Dutch as ‘Bloedlijn Overzee’. She did what several family members in Holland told her not to do in 1990. She packed her things and travelled to the western edge of Venezuela, a country she only knew from tales to find her roots mainly the brother and sisters of her grandmother, whom  her granny had lost in life for 70 years  and she ended up with several surprises on her quest for the past.

The story is a powerful passionate tale of the quest to find not only her roots, but join a family separated by poverty in the depression, that drove them apart.

The author’s grandmother Adelaida Morales who raised her and her siblings in Curacao after her own mother died when Loekie was 11, migrated to Curacao on a small boat with her Curacaolean man who was a baker in the early 1920.

Unfortunately, her grandpa died before WW2 and the fatherless Morales family started off the war in difficult times. Loekie ended up growing up with grandmother with sweet tales of long lost relatives, people and the culture of her grandmother’s original home in Coro, Falcon State in Venezuela. There was a mystery there – a part of the history that she says needed to be found to indeed better understand the family relations.

‘In 1979 I went to Holland to study,” the author said. “My grandmother also went to live with her daughters.”

As  Adelaida went on aging gracefully in the Netherlands, Loekie began to have e strong desire to find her grandmother’s family, especially after her granny got a severe stroke while she was 96 years old. “I wanted to know if any lost family was still alive.”

There was strong support from Adelaida when she unfolded her plans but none at all from other family members, who basically thought she was going nuts. She scraped and worked extra hard to earn the money to go on the voyage to find her grandmother’s missing family.

With a rudimentary knowledge of Spanish, images of her grandmother, her spoken voice on cassette recorder and a family tree, she packed and caught a plane to Coro, where she had second thoughts. ‘Oh my, what have I done’, she said. But when during the first night she opened a Bible that she had found in the drawer in her hotel room in Coro on Psalm 23, a psalm her grandmother always recited after her prayers, she knew she was doing the right thing.

A visit to a popular radio station ‘Radio Coro’ in the morning had made searching for a Mayor’s help unnecessary. By noon the word was out and Morales’s begun to show up.

‘You have to check if those people were really family, and I could do so, with the family tree my grandmother had made with me,” Loekie Morales says. “My grandma had a remarkable memory and knew all the names of relatives she had left behind in 1920 and their ancestors and knew their places in the family tree. That helped a lot.”

Morales met two sisters of her grandmother who were alive: Machita (the youngest one of 88 years old) who lived in Maracaibo and Lucia Morales of 96 years old in Caracas, both small , very skinny and warm and caring, who both still could recall their sister Adelaida.

Loekie’s name sake and grand aunt  Lucrecia Morales, appear to have died exactly 3 years before her encounter with her family, and more remarkable things happened during her journey. She describes the ups and downs during this search and the moments of hope and fear in her book. Those are interwoven with letters, flash backs, socio cultural stories wherein the Dutch, Venezuelans and Curacao-Caribbean culture are being compared from the people’s point of view.

“I was just on time for a reunion between two of the sisters,” Loekie says. “Sometimes you wonder whether coincidence exists or if there is a plan for things that happens in life. This remarkable search has brought me new life. Sometimes real life is better than fiction. I can really advise everyone who has lost family to go and do the search. Seek and you will find, says a proverb. Your life and way you look at life will never  be the same. It all changes for the positive.”

Morales gave the first manuscript of this book to her grandmother on her 100 birthday anniversary on 16 December 1994.

      Blood is thicker than water is the title of this story of family search.

Overseas Bloodline is for readers as book available at Shipwreck shops and the Sint Maarten Museum in the Speetjens Arcade (Frontstreet) or at Beyond Writing Foundation at 5562735. For the listeners, there is an audio book available as well.


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