By Roy Lie A Tjam.
Iconic reporter at Ad Haagche Courant and Chronicler of The Hague Life, Leo van de Velde, received a Royal Decoration and was inducted into the Order of Orange Nassau for his longstanding commitment to journalism in The Hague, the international city of Peace and Justice.
Mayor Michel Bezuijen of Rijswijk, acting on behalf of His Majesty King Willem Alexander, via a video link, presented van der Velde with the auspicious honors, heralding his lifelong dedication to his profession. The Order of Orange Nassau is a civil and military order of chivalry founded in 1892 in the Netherlands.
Leo van der Velde is well known and fondly regarded by many in The Hague. For several years he published the section ‘Bij Ons in Den Haag’, an overview of all social and Diplomatic gatherings in the city. He was always there, but was never part of the Hague society in an official capacity.
Van der Velde knows Den Haag very well as he was born in the heart of the city and always has his pulse on the streets. He has an undeniable ease dealing with everything and everyone, roaming between all the social layers that are so characteristic of The Hague, that he comfortably interacts with all sections of society.
Leo sees and knows everything and is an old-fashioned journalist in the classic and beautiful sense of the word. This skill in perception is not something that can be learned in a school, but is gained through life experience, by looking and by listening. Even now in his seventies, Leo seems to be in the prime of his writing life.
The past two years he started a new column at AD Haagsche Courant Lieve Rachel. In a letter to his granddaughter, he combines the old with the new times, the traditional with the contemporary. Readers are able to truly have an organic experience, to feel and smell The Hague through his words and see the current city through the eyes of Rachel.
The columns were bundled last year and it immediately became The Hague book of the year according to the editor-in-chief in AD Haagsche Courant.
Editor-in-chief, Paul van de Bosch and colleague Maaike Kraaijeveld were elated and applauded the fact that Leo has received a Royal Decoration for the excellent job he has done over the decades.
Diplomat magazine congratulates Leo van der Velde with the honor that has been bestowed on him.
Photography Frank Jansen.