A memorable event to preserve a lifetime of memories.
The Dhaka City Corporation has named Road 84, Gulshan adjoining the Australian High Commission in honour of Late A W S Ouderland , Bir Pratik. Ouderland, a Dutch born Australian national actively participated in the Bangladesh liberation war whilst working as the Managing Director of Bata Shoe Company in Dhaka . A former Second World War veteran, Ouderland took up arms, trained Mukti bahini members and gave shelter to many freedom fighters in the Bata Shoe factory premises. In recognition of his extraordinary contribution to the liberation war, Ouderland was awarded one of the highest gallantry award Bir Pratik, the only foreigner to receive this coveted award.
Mayor of Dhaka City Corporation, Sadeque Hossain Khoka unveiled the street signage on 12th February in presence of the Australian High Commissioner to Bangladesh Mr Justin Lee and several Australians, members of the civil society and Bangladeshi born Australians, now living in Bangladesh . The programme was coordinated by Mr Kamrul Ahsan Khan,Freedom Fighter a former student leader in the 60s and 70s and convenor of the Ouderland Memorial Committee. Among others present were Dutch High Ambassador to Bangladesh Alfons Heinekien, Lt General (retd) Harunur Rashid BP, Secretary General of the Sector Commanders’ Forum, Mirza Shamsuzzaman and Barrister Harunur Rashid, former Ambassadors, Major General (retd) Jamil Hassan, Major General (retd) Masudur Rahman, Bir Pratik,M. Hamid media personality, singer and cultural personality Dr Chanchal Khan, National sports personality, Quamrunnahar Dana, and a representative from Bata Shoe Mr Iftikhar Haider.
The speakers lauded the role of late Ouderland and appreciated the contribution of Australian people during the liberation war. Ouderland died in 2001 in Perth , Australia . He was laid to rest with full national honour given by the Bangladesh government under the arrangement by the Bangladesh High Commission in Australia .
Kamrul Ahsan Khan