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Radio Netherlands: ‘Short biography of Tom Meyer’ transcript

Short biography of Tom Meyer

SHORT BIOGRAPHY OF TOM MEYER

Thomas Hendrik Meijer was born on November 16, 1938 from a Swiss mother and a Dutch father, in Amsterdam, the Dutch capital.

In 1941 the Meijer family managed to get out of occupied Holland and via France, Spain and Cuba reached the West Indies. There, on the islands of Trinidad and Curacao, Tom spent his early childhood and was introduced to his first foreign language, English. (For a long time the only word he knew was “YOU”. This word was used to attract people’s attention, beg for cookies or apologize after running over a duckling with his little red tricycle.)

After the war the family returned to Holland for a short period. Then followed 2½ years in Singapore and in 1948 they settled in the Netherlands once again.

As a pharmacy student Meyer wasn’t very much of a success, mainly (he says) because his heart was with music, theatre and other such affairs. However, the first switch was to study the law instead of pharmacy. Indeed the results there looked a little more promising, not as promising however, as his results in “show—biz”. There, his success was such that he turned semi—professional, travelled about for two years, also appearing on radio and television occasionally with a one-man show.

In 1965 he joined Radio Nederland, the Dutch World Broadcasting System, answering an ad for a Dutch language announcer. For this he gave up a job with an international marketing and motivation research centre, for which he had been travelling throughout the world. In the meantime it had been proved that he had a knack for languages, mostly (he says) because he’s not really a human being but a parrot….The fact that Meyer spoke Dutch, English, German and French fluently was one of the reasons for the Radio Nederland management to appoint him successor to Edward Startz, the originator and compére for 41 years of the international “Happy Station Show”. (The typically Dutch vowel “ij” in his last name was changed to a “Y” for international audiences). A language laboratory managed to teach him to speak Spanish fluently in six weeks, enabling him to also present the “Estación de la Alegría”.

Every Sunday Radio Nederland broadcasts his English and Spanish shows during a total of 15 hours to all parts of the globe. His ultimate goal in life is: harmony. Harmony in person—to person relationships, which – according to him – is the starting point for a greater harmony in world matters. And what better way to achieve this goal than to promote international friendship and understanding through his “Sunday Family Show of Smiles Across the Miles”.

It’s not only ‘KEEPING IN TOUCH WITH THE DUTCH” which he urges you to do, but also — and especially — getting and keeping in touch with each other.

RADIO NEDERLAND, P.O. BOX 222, 1200 JG HILVERSUM, HOLLAND. Tlx 43336,Cables:Mundivox

14 Comments

  1. This brings back memories when I was interviewed by Tom Meyer/Meijer on the Happy Station Show

    • Tom Meijer

      Through a mysterious quirk of fate I ended up here… I am not on facebook, twitter, twatter, twotter, or any other co called “Social Medium”. (I happen to find them all extremely non-social, sorry…) Being the age that I am I wish I could remember your name or the occasion. Once more, “Being the age that I am” I can’t. Can you enlighten me? Eternally thankful, yours truly, ‘little me’, a.k.a.Tom Meijer/Meyer

      • Ian Chard

        Impressed and flattered that you found me! You did actually send me a lovely message a year or two ago, and in the blink of a fat finger I immediately lost it. I used to listen to your show every week and you read my letters a couple of times, but you definitely won’t remember that!

      • Tom Meijer, nice to hear from you. I am Robert Ruenitz. I called in from Hong Kong one time and later visited Hilversum when I was consulting in Den Bosch for a few months. I look back at those times as magical as I was able to reconnect with friends through your show. My nom-de-net now is C_in_B. It used to stand for “chained in basement” (writing t finish a masters degree) to Capo in B (caffè macchiato in bicchiere) of Trieste.
        Cheers and all the best.

      • Jeff Erickson

        Your post brings back many memories. I listened to Happy Station for many years and recall the Easter egg hunts, shows broadcast from studio 13? (Hotel), a hot air balloon and other locations. The phone ins from listeners around the world. I would listen late afternoons in South Australia to a Bonaire live transmission . I phoned Happy Station several times and flew 500 miles to have lunch with you in Melbourne Australia when you visited. Thanks for all the happiness you brought to your vast audience.

      • Tom, it is so nice to here you again. I listened to your show since 1970’s and til the 80’s-90’s. I remember you had your dog(Sorry I can’t remember your dogs name but it was a blast back in the 70’s( where did time go?) it seems only yesterday that i listened to you. What every happen to girtzy ( sorry don’t the correct spelling)? is there away to stay in contact with you or maybe not.. You use to read my letters and what a big kick that was for me.-Dan

      • José Luis Maldonado

        Señor Tom Meyer, siendo estudiante de la UNAM, lo escuchaba en onda corta desde el Distrito Federal, México en 1973, en ocasiones ponía música de marimba, un abrazo desde Chiapas.
        Hoy en día se le puede escuchar en algún medio de difusión?

  2. Jacqueline Masek

    Well after all these years, it is so nice to see comments about one of my favorite programs i listened to on Sunday nights with great enthusiasm. Tom Meyer and Happy Station was a personal inspiration to me. Radio Nederland was one of my favorite stations to listen to. I forgot about watching local TV and listening to radio programs. It was Radio Nederland and all the great programming they had in the 1970’s.Its programs like Happy Station, Dody and Jerry Cowan and DX Jukebox that could never ever be reproduced by anyone nowadays. These were originals and those that hosted them were just as special. Thank you for those years

    • M.R.SURESH

      My happiest memories were of listening every sunday night I think it was 9.30 pm, to RN news and especially/ HAPPY STATION/ TOM MEYER in the 1970’s. The show would always be the last item on my listening program. I used to correspnd once in a way with RN Hilversum, Tom even sent me what appeared to be fiber EP record, a novelty those days, as well as a group snapshot of his colleagues like Gertie, Bertha etc. I cherished the interaction. TOM MEYER had indicated in his show of an official journey to Bombay in his show. I live deep down in Bangalore, Southern India.

  3. julie r in nebraska

    Fascinating finding this on the internet. During my introverted teen years I listened and couldn’t wait for another Sunday Happy Station show. I wrote and got a wonderful reply back from Tom, the entire listening experience helped me throughout my late teen years in the 80’s and I fondly look back. I didn’t know Radio Nederland ended. Was hoping Tom was still out there broadcasting somewhere over the internet. Best Wishes and Fond Memories.!

  4. oag2013wp

    Trying to reach Tom Meijer. I have original sound track of studio album recorded for World Productions (Fred Breed) in the 1980’s. Need to know if any interest. Reggie Oglesby contact@oagllc.net

  5. I used to listen to Happy Station as a young lad in the late 80’s and early 90’s. I really do miss those pre-social media days when the SW radio was the window to the world.

  6. Domingo Deras Torres

    Tom Meyer: Te saludo con el aprecio y respeto que te tengo, me hiciste pasar momentos intensamente felices escuchando tu programa radiofónico en La Estación de la Alegría, los domingos, desde Hilversum, Holanda. Inolvidable época en que disfruté las ondas trasatlánticas de una radio amena y cultural. Tiempos que no volverán y que recuerdo con emoción y nostalgia. Te saludo con afecto desde Torreón, Coahuila, Mexico. Domingo Deras Torres

  7. Doreen Gibson

    HELLO TOM MEIJER. As a child I use to listen to your radio show every Sunday night. I must have been 14-15 years. In those days my dad had a large radio that could catch various stations around the world.
    My dad would listen to American basebql games on American armed forces radio n we would catch the V.O.A. and I think radio Havana in Cuba. Sunday nights I would search for HAPPY STATION..
    I would feel so glad when I heard the tinkling bells of Happy Station.
    When our radio went bad my dad took it to a repair man who said it was beyond d repair. I always wondered why it was not returned since they could not fix it. The radios we get nowadays can only catch FM and AM .
    I would like so much to contact Mr. Tom MEIJER. Thank you for those hours of happiness I enjoyed listening to you playing the song requests of so many people from various parts of the world. In your own way you contributed to world Peace. It felt good to hear people from other parts of the world writing you and you reading their letters. I myself wrote in a few times and was glad to get your response.
    May God continue to bless you Mr. Tom Meijer.
    D. Gibson, po box 1431, Belize City, BELIZE.c.a.

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