"Right is a wonderful thing; that creeps up on me in everything I read about it, and it never lets go ... Adio, pale and as always, w.g. Father"
[closing sentence from a letter from Jan to his son-lawyer, April 19, 1988]
How would Father Jan himself started to describe his own life, apart from the fact that he would judge it as completely hypothetical something autobiographically entrusted to the paper….
Probably not at birth, but that of one of his ancestors in the third, fourth, fifth generation. And mention the years, places of residence, education, spouse and profession. Completeness with footnotes to the sadness of the reader, however: a complete picture of the subject had to and should be painted, whether it was about family affairs of all ages - see his contributions to the family book WIARDA 1369-1969 [a, see sources at the end] - or in his numerous legal publications.
Do not be afraid, I will limit myself.
In hindsight, Jan himself would have applauded that, I think…
Jan Wiarda -IV - was born on March 5, 1909 in Dordrecht, where his Father - Jan III [1870-1946] - was then a judge. A few years later, the family, consisting of mother Louise Lucks [1876 - 1931] and brother Gerardus Johannes [1906 - 1988], moved to Amsterdam, where brothers Gerard and Jan attended the Barlaeus Gymnasium and both studied law.
For Jan, this study in no way pointed towards a major scientific career, when he wrote years later:
My oral candidate exam was extended by twenty minutes [extended exam”, which I applied, recalling what had happened to me here in Groningen during a few oral doctoral exams]: and I still hear the iudicium in my doctoral degree: "The faculty has decided to let you pass." [B]
Even after their studies, the brothers' lives ran partly parallel for some time:
in addition to Gerards' job in a legal position at the Amsterdam Tax Authorities and that of Jan as an assistant to their both - and admired by both - teacher Prof. dr. Mr. Paul Scholten, they each worked on their thesis under the guidance of their promoter - you guessed it - Paul Scholten.
In my mind I see the two brothers in their [ex-] student room in the parental home amidst books, old lecture notes and annotations studying their subject, interspersed with trips to the university library:
I carried many entrusted folio editions Cujacius and Donellus…. by tram, line 2, home, Koninginneweg 130 (top)… [B]
In 1937, Jan obtained his doctorate on the subject of Cession or transfer of registered debts in Dutch Civil Law, a book that for decades was cited as Wiarda's Cession as the comprehensive work on the subject. [B]
In 1939 Gerard planted the seed for his interest in the legal aspects of the private and public relationship between Government and Citizen, which he would always demonstrate in his publications and work with the thesis Agreements with government bodies. [D]
In time he targeted the later concept, which is famous in more than just legal circles, General principles of good administration.
Jan then remained a professor at the University of Groningen from 1946 to 1979 throughout his working life. He himself has always avoided the usual address of professor and he discouraged students and others from addressing him in that way.
After a number of functions in the judiciary and a professorship in Utrecht, Gerard became a member and later President of the Supreme Court and President of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg. [E]
In 1940 Jan married Lucie ter Braak, after a long engagement period. Was he afraid to ask her? Was he not sure of his case? By no means!
mother died in 1931. Half a year later his brother married Alexandra Moltzer and Gerard left the parental home in Amsterdam, where Gerard and Jan had also lived during their student days. Both loved their mother.
Jan, then 22, couldn't think of leaving his father alone in the big house. Love had to slow down… ..
Many years later, Father told how much grief he had from mother's death, but that he had fully reconciled with it and was actually happy that his mother, as a German, had not had to experience the horrors of Nazism in all his expressions.
Gerard and Sandra had four children: Louise , Clara [Claar, for her Uncle Jan, 1934] Elise  and Just 
Jan and Lucie were blessed with four sons: Jan [1941-1993], Willem , Gerard  and Sjoerd .
Further family details of these two generations can be found in the great Wiarda book, pp. 282/283, nos. XVIh and XVIj, and that of the children and grandchildren in the Wiarda booklets, Branch 7/05 - 7 / 21b.
Wiarda family life was initially very clear: two brothers with their wives and each with their four children. Were there any other other Wiarda’s? Not that they were aware….
With heyday in the far north, Gerard wrung his long body into a real Citroën 2CV to attend Groningen holidays.
Jan swore by the train simply because he had never learned to drive a car.
For mother Lucie this was limited to taking driving lessons in her youth in Eibergen, where she received her driving license after she had succeeded in driving around the Reformed Church opposite her parental home without dents. After that she would never turned the wheel again…
This house on the Groote Straat was the regular holiday destination for the Groningen family at Easter and the summer holidays.
In his old days, father let it slip that those two weeks were always the most exciting of the year for him, afraid that the four-in-hand sons from toddler to adolescent age would disturb the rest of his elderly in-laws too much.
Was this one of the reasons that Jan urged one or two of them to Münster and Bielefeld in Germany every summer to visit two sisters of his mother - his only direct relatives on the mother's side - who were [also] born in Bielefeld?
The trip was a party for the children: from Aunt Auguste they each received a special gift of their choice - in the period of spending restriction in the Netherlands, in the mid-1950s: a leather football, a real Mont Blanc fountain pen, even an original Lederhose .
And the daily Kaffee und Kuchen at Aunt Theodore was so exuberant that the sons invariably concluded with an Ich bin satt after presenting the umpteenth slice of the cake. Their first German words, pronounced with a chuckle, because the literal translation in their own language was not General Civilized Dutch and therefore out of the question at home….
ENTRANCE OF THE WIARDA'S
And then appeared in the early 1960s Onkel Siegfried from Neuenhaus, who had found Wiardas living in all kinds of archives all over the world - from Australia to America.
The Wiarda Family Association was founded on his proposal. It was also decided to publish a book about the fortunes of the Wiarda family from 1369, the year in which the name Wiarda was first mentioned in an official Certificate.
By the way: this mention was moreover due to a wrongful act than to the heroic action of our oldest namesakes: in a judgment of April 30, 1369, the Grietmen of the district of Winninge ruled that Wiarda's people had imprisoned a number of Frisian citizens for no reason. and that these should be set free.
A board was formed, with German and Dutch family members.
Siegfried started production and editing of the book Wiarda 1369-1969. Many family members contributed.
The book included a family tree, in which the personal register of all Wiardas was divided into bite-sized chapters - Branches / Sipping - and the elders of the branch / Sippenäl tests made their entrance.
The rest is history: the book was published in 1969 to celebrate the 600th anniversary of the gender in Leeuwarden.
And we went with the times: in 2019, at the commemoration of the 650th anniversary in Goutum, it was decided to design a website.
Back to the actual topic.
The professional day since 1946 often started with a bicycle ride from the house in Helpman, then a suburb of Groningen, to the building of the University of Groningen on the Academieplein in the center of the city, where the lecture halls were.
Given the broad teaching task - Civil Law, Commercial Law International Private Law and, later, Civil Procedural Law - giving lectures was a regular activity:
Because Wiarda was often carried away by his own eloquence, his students sometimes did not know which of the many subjects they had been listening to [F]
It was reported that it often happened that at a next lecture Jan asked his student audience about what subject he had talked the last time….
Unique in the country was the Prosecution college, which Jan organized: a meeting during which a case devised by the students, a legal dispute, was handled and decided by them in the lecture hall throughout the academic year, in which each student had his or her own role as judge , clerk, bailiff, witness, party, lawyer and so on.
After the written procedural documents and the exchange of arguments during the year, the student court pronounced its verdict just before the start of the academic holiday… in the garden of our childhood home in Helpman, while enjoying beer and wine and by mother homemade cheese biscuits. [G]
As a highlight [?] Jan appeared on the balcony at the end of the party and sang songs by his beloved Swedish composer Carl Bellman, accompanying himself on his twelve-string lute. On many family visits to Sweden in his youth, he had learned the principles of that language.
To this day I meet former students of my father - I myself am also a lawyer, which helps - and one of the first memories, which they then recall, is the garden party at the Verlengde Heereweg.
In addition to teaching, Jan has many scientific publications to his name.
It is beyond the scope of this article to write about this in more detail.
One exception is his magnum opus [1247 pages…]:
in 1957 his adaptation of a part of the so-called Asser series was published, a collection of handbooks covering various areas of law: Personal and Family Law.
the size of this Asserdeel ... grew out of usual proportions, but it was consulted by every lawyer because everything was in it [F]
Here, too, the very elaborate note machine may have contributed to this.
Where did Jan get it all from?
His own library was extensive. In the old-fashioned deep wall cabinets in his study, dozens of empty cigar boxes from his father [with images of Central Station, Rijksmuseum, etc.] served as a stepping stone for a row of books at the back, so that they remained visible, despite the row before. An unprecedented technical insight from a man, who did not hesitate to ask the carpenter to screw a screw into the wall to hang a painting….
In addition, the University Library was an almost inexhaustible source of books and writings, which really had to be consulted for an article [completeness, you know]. The books were borrowed from cart loads and because a cart / car was not part of the household goods, everything was carried along on the back of the bicycle. To be returned in a number of suitcases by taxi and with a regret cake for the employees the day before the big school holiday and after several warnings from the University Library that the loan period had long passed.
Jan's writing life was increasingly dominated by his inner conviction and attitude to life, expressed by, among others, the frequently quoted Roman jurists Justinian and Ulpianus, in the ius est ars aequi et boni and honest vivere, neminem laeder et suum cuique tribuere. [Justice is the art of living honestly and the good, honourable life, not hurting another and giving each one his.] In other words: honest living, reasonableness and fairness.
The choice of the subject of his thesis mentioned above - de Cessie - does not yet indicate this. It may be explained that this subject had been suggested to him by his supervisor Scholten, because - in his words, in Jans' memory - your Father's Chamber recently issued a judgment about this, which has been annulled by the High Court. from. [B]
Nor does the adaptation of part of Polak's handbook for commercial and bankruptcy law, the Bill of Exchange and Check Law, published in 1950. After all, this was a subject with a distinct business character. Jan had the invitation of the widow of the editor of the previous edition, his teacher F.G. Scheltema [1891-1939], and his brother and colleague in Groningen. You do not want to refuse H.J. Scheltema….
In his inaugural speech at the University of Groningen in 1947 about the nature and meaning of legal principles, in particular the principles of good faith and fairness in our positive law, his thoughts on law and morality are clearly expressed, which he later elaborated on in various publications, very prominent in his prorectoral speech in 1963 Mercatura Honesta, on the connection between commercial law and commercial morality. [H]
It frequently refers to the 16th-century theologian Dirk Volkertsz Coornhert, the tolerant humanist, heretic both Roman Catholics and Mennonites, [a reason in itself to receive Jans's appreciation], who may count as an important leader in his legal philosophy to think. As Jan put it in an interview in 1991 [J]:
A virtuous and just life, art of living, one of the most beautiful commandments, but people no longer know it. They no longer know who Coornhert is, the apostle of the forbearance and author of the wonderful Moral Art that is Well-Being. "
Jan's legal interest shifted thinking from the I, the material, the property law - business law is such a greedy right” he once said [G]] - to the immaterial we, the person, the community, the brotherhood.
All people are your brothers”, I sang along for years under Mengelberg in the Amsterdam Music Choir. This also applies to the largest criminals. Just tell me what's right. You have to understand that people are so incredibly complicated. [J]
Jan called his mother, who had trained him with the Alle Menschen sind brüder, and: I am also liberal, remonstrant, so I don't think along certain lines. [G]
With the constant spirit of honesty and reasonableness and fairness, those lines were even less pronounced in his previous publications on legal claims and commercial law - business transactions simply require a clear legal framework [but what is clear? tell him] - in family law the leeway for human relations can play a greater role. There too, however, it cannot result in a complete Freedom, Happiness, his motto in life, which Jan presented to family members in particular and sometimes inappropriately.
The same constants and motto are fully in line with the statement of principle of the Remonstrant Brotherhood, which places worship to Our Lord - it says God, but Jan found it too distant and did not use it - faithfully places her principle of freedom and tolerance.
Raised from his home, he remained a faithful and active member of this Church throughout his life.
As a result, Jan's growing interest in the more intangible legal areas becomes clear once again, as the aforementioned handbook on Personal and Family Law from 1957 shows.
Among other things, civil youth law is thoroughly discussed from its inception in classical antiquity.
It was therefore not surprising that in 1965 Jan was appointed chairman of the Government Commission for Juvenile Justice, which prepared a major change to the entire system of juvenile justice and youth protection. Many recommendations and recommendations of the committee from its report Youth Protection Law  on, among other things, adoption, parental rights and the position of stepchildren have led to various statutory regulations, the best known of which is the law - only introduced in 1988, civil mills - to lower the age of majority from 21 to 18 years…
His university life came to an end in 1979.
In a letter of November 5, 1979 to the more than fifty, who wrote to him that they could not or could not have attended my farewell lecture on Tuesday, September 18, 1979, he wrote:
The subject of the college was: LAW. BROTHERHOOD. COMMUNITY. NEXT LOVE FAITH. And the tenor of this is that we should think less in terms of right”; and more in terms of brotherhood, communion, charity, faithfulness” (not to mention the question whether or not these concepts can and may be distinguished!). In doing so, I recalled a few things from the 1909-1979 development of legislation and case law; and, remembering the performance of the orchestra DE HARMONIE… before that son Gerard with his baton; looked at me with a look and attitude that I will never forget.
In short, about everything that was close to his heart in his personal and professional life.
It was a real happening” that lasted for hours and which, as he did often, ended by singing some old Dutch and Swedish songs while accompanying himself on the lute. [H]
Even after his retirement, Jan continued to read the 7 [seven!] Magazines to which he remained subscribed, as well as the handbooks, but only as far as those parts of the law which are of particular interest to him. He also continued to publish, especially in bundles of friends for colleagues in the country who were celebrating or saying goodbye. [K]
Do you remember the cigar boxes in the bookcases in his room?
After his death in 1993, the question was what to start with those thousands of books and writings - including his own lecture notes as a student and as a professor….
It was a god sent that the Groninger University Library offered to inventory the entire collection!
Everything was transported to the library in a three-ton truck. Two years later, the University Library invited us to view the result of the inventory: on the well-known book shelves, everything was neatly classified and cataloged… 240 running meters….
And special the librarian mentioned that there were 70 titles with the books, which were not owned by the University Library itself.
The family was given the opportunity to find out which of the works they wanted to keep and subsequently donated the entire library to the University Library.
LIFE NEXT TO LAW
In addition to scientific life, there was time for social activities. As chairman of the Groningen branch of child protection association Pro Juventute, he regularly visited pupils in family replacement institutions across the country. During holidays sometimes accompanied by a son, their peer, to make contact easier.
Jan was also a member of the Education Council for Scientific Education, an advisory board of the government, for many years.
And in his spare time? Music and Walking.
In Groningen, Jan was able to continue his love of singing, which he had started in Amsterdam in the Amsterdam Music Choir under Willem Mengelberg: rehearsing every Monday for years in Music Choir Bekker, a broad repertoire from Jeanne d'Arc au Bûcher from Honegger to, of course, the St. Matthew Passion. The latter with, partly successively, the four sons in the boys' choir, as long as the beard kept out of their throat….
At every family celebration a homemade song on an old German [Boerlala, Jan Hinnirk] or Swedish melody, with lute!
Walking and cycling on the Wadden Islands. Later, when every beach and dune pan had been visited, all the lighthouses had been climbed and the last self-stuck kite had failed, in the Austrian Alps, a permanent destination during the summer holidays.
Not to forget the annual Appèlbergen walk with his” students through the neighbouring nature reserve with that name.
The sons have fond memories of the three-day hikes in the Sauerland, which they each made with father in his seventies: continuing eight hours a day next to your constantly humming walker, and then a glass of beer ...
As requested, this is a story about my father.
But it is only half: it is not complete without my mother's share,… his wife, who was not wrongly called the mother of the faculty… [G]
Without her, Jan would have sailed like a rudderless ship through the waves in the oceans of all those letters in books, letters, brochures, contributions in party bundles, enjoying the beauty of legally coloured vistas and destinations looming in the fog. But without worrying about the course, wind direction, position of the sails, forage [have I already received a second cup of tea?], And above all, the unconditional support of the real captain!
A naturally loving couple.
Mother, who engraved a glass artwork for her Jan with Vondel's text:
where sincerely became faithful
then between man and woman,
in the world ever found…
And father who donated a chocolate letter to his Lucie every Sinterklaas evening with the text:
the letter L of Love, you know it,
remains the letter L of Lucy to me!
Written by Willem Wiarda, Broek in Waterland, 10th of April 2020
[A] WIARDA 1369 – 1969,
uitgeverij Osinga, 1969
[B] Ars Aequi,
"juridisch studentenblad, nr 34  12 [special “Op gezag van…”]",
[C] Jan Wiarda,
"proefschrift Cessie of overdracht van schuldvorderingen op naam naar Nederlands Burgerlijk Recht, 15.01.1937",
[D] Overeenkomsten met overheidslichamen,
[E] Tjeenk Willink,
"Ex tunc ex nunc, bundel interviews met o.a. Gerardus Johannes Wiarda, W.E.J.",
[F] Jan Lokin,
"De Groningse faculteit der Rechtsgeleerdheid",
uitgeverij Boom, 2019
[G] Terecht Gesteld ,Groninger juridisch fakulteitsblad, Wiarda nummer,
"jaargang 14.1, 18.09.79",
[H] Mercatura Honesta,
[K] Nederlands Juristenblad,
jaargang 65, 13.12.90