Over the years Oliebollen and Calvin have become synonymous. In thinking of one you can’t help but think of the other. In a curious twist of semantics the Dutch word for fruit donuts without a hole, has come to be a self explanatory description of the School’s major fundraising event. The history of the Oliebollen Festival is a wonderful testimony of parents working together to realise their vision of providing their children with a Christian education.
It is this vision and commitment that led to parents working to raise the funds to build Calvin many years before the school commenced. In those early years some of the fundraising initiatives included driving a big truck around Kingston on Saturdays selling apples, picking and selling blackberries and holding Dutch style barbecues. The barbecues involved lining up to pay for your sausage and going over to a fire to cook it yourself on a twisted length of fencing wire fashioned into a long two pronged fork. Having it burst into flame or fall into the fire was as much a part of the fun as being a successful chef. Once the school was established formal school fairs commenced – although it was some years before the school fairs were to become known as the Oliebollen Festival and held in the grounds of the school.
The first fair was at the Kingston Beach Hall and then later in the grounds of the old Kingston High School. Some of the activities of the first fairs have remained treasured memories recalled fondly by old scholars. At those early fairs sjoelbak (pronounced shoolbuck) competitions went over the whole day. These days a sjoelbak (wooden shuffle board) is a most treasured auction item. Not to be forgotten was Mr van der Molen’s delicious thick slices of deli meats for 20 cents and the lucky dips. Lucky dips were very popular and came in a number of different variations. Easily recalled by those involved in the first school fairs was a big skirt with a host of pockets filled with lucky dip prizes and a box containing sawdust which concealed all the little treasures, with three small holes to fit different sized children’s hands.
The Oliebollen Festival as it is today is far more than a mere school fair. People come from all over Hobart (even interstate) to have fun, buying anything from fresh flowers to old wares but especially to purchase the traditional Oliebollen (rarely does anyone purchase the one oliebol). Besides being a significant fundraising event Oliebollen is a wonderful celebration of the Calvin Christian School community. Oliebollen is held on the second Saturday in September rain or shine.