Gerard Helders

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Gerard Helders
Helders, G.P. - SFA008007101.jpg
Member of the Council of State
In office
August 1, 1959 – September 1, 1975
Monarch Juliana
Minister of Colonial Affairs
In office
February 16, 1957 – May 19, 1959
Prime Minister Willem Drees (1957-1958)
Louis Beel (1958-1959)
Preceded by Kees Staf
Succeeded by Henk Korthals
Personal details
Born Gerardus Philippus Helders
(1905-03-09)March 9, 1905
Rotterdam, Netherlands
Died January 6, 2013(2013-01-06) (aged 107)
Wassenaar, Netherlands
Nationality Dutch
Political party Christian Democratic Appeal
(from 1980)
Other political
Christian Historical Union
Spouse(s) Pieternella Meijer
(m. 1930-1982; her death)
Children Four daughters and one son
Alma mater Leiden University (Master of Laws)
Occupation Politician
Civil servant

Gerardus Philippus "Gerard" Helders (March 9, 1905 – January 6, 2013) was a Dutch politician of the defunct Christian Historical Union (CHU) now merged into the Christian Democratic Appeal (CDA). He served as Minister of Colonial Affairs from February 16, 1957 until May 19, 1959 in the cabinets Drees III and Beel II.


Early life[edit]

Helders was born in Rotterdam. His father worked as a winetrader. From 1925 to 1929 he studied civil law at Leiden University. He married in 1930 and was the father of one son and four daughters.


Helders started his career as a politician for the Christian Historical Union in the Dutch colony of the Dutch East Indies where he worked as a member of the city council in the cities Bandung and Batavia (nowadays Jakarta). From 1942 until 1945, during which Indonesia was occupied by Japan, Helders was interned. During the 1950s, Helders was for a short time minister of colonial affairs in two governments. In 1957 and 1958 in a government led by prime minister Willem Drees and a second one which was led by Louis Beel. During this period he was responsible for building up a government in the now Indonesian province of New-Guinea. From 1959 to 1975 he was a member of the Council of State of the Netherlands.


At the time of his death at the age of 107, he was the oldest living former Dutch politician. As Minister of Colonial Affairs he worked under Prime Minister Willem Drees who himself reached the high age of 101. Helders lived in Wassenaar. For his 105th, 106th and 107th birthday the mayor of Wassenaar visited him, and on each occasion he wrote in his blog that he was surprised that Helders was still in such good health and well aware of current affairs.[1] Helders became the oldest man in the Netherlands after the death of Cornelis Geurtz on August 21, 2012. He had twelve grandchildren and several great-grandchildren.[2] Helders died on January 6, 2013.



  1. ^ (in Dutch) Bewogen beweging, Municipality of Wassenaar, March 15, 2012
  2. ^ (in Dutch) Zelden denk ik aan de dood NRC Handelsblad, August 12, 2011

External links[edit]

Government offices
Preceded by
Kees Staf
Minister of Colonial Affairs
Succeeded by
Henk Korthals