M.M.J. VAN BALGOOY — A farewell to the Rijksherbarium (Summary of the farewell speech by Van Balgooy): I grew up on a farm in Central Java, adjacent to rain forest, where wild boars and leopards were our next-door neighbours. When still a toddler I started observing plants and animals and carried out lots of experiments of which I shall spare you the gruesome details. The Japanese occupation was a blessing in disguise for my brother and myself: no school and ample time to roam the forest. The Indonesian struggle for independence after the capitulation of Japan was a perilous time for our family. We escaped unscathed but lost all our properties. We moved to Bandung, West Java, where I finished the Dutch secondary school in 1952. My family urged me to take up medicine but thanks to Dr. Van der Pijl, who was Professor of botany at the University of Indonesia, I changed my mind. My main interest, however, was zoology and not botany. All of my spare time went into the study of birds in the field.