On the 8th of December 1875 there was an unusual message in newspaper Java-bode.
The message apparantly was send in by civil servants of the land registry office (“kadastraal bureau”) in Batavia. At that time, Francois Joseph de Calonne was acting chief of that office.
Francois Joseph de Calonne (1836 – 1906) was the son of Jean Baptiste de Calonne, the ancestor of de Dutch-Indies De Calonne, who came from Belgium.
Francois was the father of August de Calonne and thus a direct ancestor of all Dutch-Indies De Calonne that are alive today.
The civil servants expressed their regret (“leedwezen”) and concerns about the fact that the government planned to terminate Francois’ employment at the land registry office.
Officials praise Francois as “a benevolent and helpful official (…) perfectly familiar with the local situation in Batavia.”
Francois would be replaced by someone who had just arrived from the Netherlands. He was, according to the officials “unknown with the situation and does not speak a word Malay while he will be in contact with native inhabitants often, because of the nature of his job”. And all this while he would receive over 50% more salary than Francois.
They conclude with the ominous words “What the future the office in Batavia brings, everyone knowing the present situation the office is in, will understand.”
And indeed, Francois Joseph de Calonne’s employment at the office was terminated around that time (Java-bode, 11th Dec. 1875).
And, did the plea of the officials had any effect? It seems so, because in the Java-bode of 2nd of Febr. 1876 we read that Francois is promoted and named sworn surveyor first class (“gezworen landmeter der eerste klasse) at the land registry office in Batavia. Given the first mentioned message, he must have been named chief of that office too!
What happened to the fresh arrival from the Netherlands, originally intended to be the chief, is (yet) unknown.
Unfortunately the civil servants did not enjoy Francois’ leadership for long.
Early 1877 Francois was granted a two-year leave to the Netherland because of 15 years of continuous service in the Dutch East Indies (Java-bode 28th Febr. 1877).
The whole family leaves to the Netherlands in May 1877, with steam ship “Friesland”. The company consists of Francois, his wife Maria Jacoba Cornelia Knaud, eight children and two servants. See Java-bode 18th May 1877.
The leave in the Netherlands was spent in Amsterdam. During their stay there, their child Marie Hermine de Calonne was born (1878).
In August 1878 the family returns to Java in the Dutch East Indies on steam ship “Torrington”. The company consists of Francois, his wife, six childrens, two servants and a pupil of Francois. See Java-bode 7th Aug. 1878.
The whole artikel from the Java-bode of the 8th of December 1875 can be read below.