F.L. van Emmerik (BE BD MEngSc)

The milestones leading to his arrival and involvement in the founding of the FTJE

pak Emmerik and his wife, Noelle
pak Emmerik and his wife, Noelle

Rev Fred van Emmerik (or pak Emmerik as the students call him in Salatiga), was the founding 'Dekan' (or Dean) of the Faculty when it was established in 1967.

Fred was born in Salatiga in 1933, where his parents and his grandfather served in the ‘Salib Putih’ (White Cross) in Salatiga, a social institution helping homeless people in the area. He obtained his Bachelor of Engineering degree (in Civil Engineering) from the University of Tasmania, and his Bachelor of Divinity from Ormond College, University of Melbourne.

Invitation from Dewan Gereja Gereja Indonesia (DGI)

Through the Dewan Gereja Gereja Indonesia (DGI- Indonesian Council of Churches) an invitation was issued for Fred to work in Indonesia, at the Satya Wacana Christian University, but that he was to complete his Master of Engineering Science first.

Completing M.Eng.Sc degree prior to entering service

Item 12. Mr. F.L. van Emmerik.

Reported that an invitation had now been received from Indonesia to Mr. Van Emmerik, that he was undertaking a Master's Degree in Engineering Science (M.E.Sc.) Had received a £600 Research Grant for 1963 which will enable him to concentrate on his studies.

From the minutes of the Presbyterian Church board committee dated 26th Feb 1963

Completed his M.Eng.Sc degree from the University of Melbourne.

Sponsored by APBM and Inter Church Aid (World Council of Churches)

The Inter Church Aid of the World Council of Churches agreed to pay for his salary for the first 2 years, enabling the Australian Presbyterian Board of Missions (APBM) to allocate funds to build a staff residence in Salatiga, in time for his arrival in late 1964. (Fred and Noelle departed Australia for Indonesia on November 4th, 1964.)

Political situation in Indonesia in 1964-1966

There was considerable political upheaval in Indonesia during the 1964-65 period, culminating in the Communist led coup in September 1965. The following excerpts were what Fred had written for the “Encounter” newsletter of September 1966.

“In Salatiga it has been fairly quiet, no mob action, no student demonstrations. Plans to burn down the university were prevented by rostering the students for guard duty at night. Of course many people have been arrested and have not yet been released, many more have been suspended from work or study, including 150 of our students.

Another difficulty has been that lecturers from other towns have hardly given any afternoon lectures as it was considered unsafe to travel after dark. My own lecturing has increased with the additon of English for fist year science students.

The University is now planning to open a branch at Semarang with an Engineering Faculty in which I also will be involved.”

Courses taught in FIPIA (Faculty of Mathematics and Science)

Initial courses taught at the University by Fred was ‘Pure Maths I’ and ‘Applied Maths II’. Meanwhile Noelle had been kept busy taking First year English Department students for English conversation lessons in the afternoon, and had also been kept busy with the birth of their daughter Eleanor Grace in April 1965.

'Disamakan’ status of faculties

In the same issue of "Encounter", Fred wrote that the Education Faculty (IKIP), Economics Faculty (to ‘Sarjana Muda’ level) and Law Faculty (to ‘Sarjana Muda’ level) had been given the right by the government to conduct its own examinations (i.e. status of ‘disamakan’).