René Roders presents biography about LD Gerharts

Author René Roders gave a short presentation on his approach to write LD’s biography. Photo: ABC Online Media

KRALENDIJK- Writer René Roders on Friday afternoon has presented the biography he wrote about Lodewijk Daniel Gerharts; one of the most striking figures in the recent history of the island.

Around 50 persons were present at the presentation of ‘Beloved, admired and contested’, which Roders worked on for quite some time. In order to write the book, he spoke with direct descendants of Gerharts, he ploughed through many books and archives to compile the book about Gerharts, or ‘Meneer LD’, as he was called by many.

The book focuses on the period when Gerharts as young Dutchman settled on Bonaire in the early 1930s and slowly built up a business empire on the island. Gerharts, among others, founded the first bakery on the island, but he was also responsible for the island’s first power station. In addition, for many years he was one of the leading figures in the nascent politics of the island.

Four parts

The 14 chapters of the book are divided into 4 parts: The run-up, Entrepreneur and Conservationist, Politics and politician and The End. The book does not shy away from more difficult subjects. For example, relatively much attention is paid to the prosecution and conviction for allegedly immoral behavior by Gerharts. Roders did his own investigation based on many documents and concludes that political motivations may have been behind the accusations which Gerharts continued to deny until his death in 1983.

The book, which reads partly like an exciting novel and partly like a history book, is an absolute must for anyone who wants to understand how the sometimes complex reality of Bonaire works.

The book, which is published by LM Publishers, is available at Bruna bookstore as of Saturday.

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