'Zwolle is a wonderful city to develop yourself'

Ferdy and Alice Damman are Zwolle residents

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As registrar, Alice Damman has assisted at least five hundred Zwolle couples in getting married. Husband Ferdy has a Silver Camera on the mantelpiece and photographs at home and abroad. Although neither of them were born in Zwolle, they don't think for a moment about leaving the Hanseatic city. "My parents moved to Zwolle when I was two years old. Unfortunately, Zwolle is not listed as a birthplace in my passport, because I feel like a real Zwolle native," Ferdy smiles.

Photo: Jurian Meijntjes

Alice: "I was born in Olst and grew up in 't Harde. From there I went to the mbo-school De Factoor on the Fuchsiastraat. At the bus stop on Hortensiastraat I always saw a handsome guy standing there. That was Ferdy. I fell in love with him and fortunately he fell in love with me too. We have been a couple since 1998. So I moved to Zwolle for love and to study at Windesheim. And I haven't regretted that for a second. Zwolle is a super nice city and for our three children a great place to grow up."

Ferdy: "Fortunately, they do have Zwolle in their passports. They are also true Blauwvingers. We don't feel anywhere as Zwolle as we do in the stands at PEC. With our season ticket we never miss a game. Soccer plays an important role in our lives anyway. Our middle son is a PEC youth soccer player and the other two play for SV Zwolle. That has grown into a fine neighborhood association here in Assendorp. I used to play soccer at WVF in Westenholte. That is the club that many Zwolle people probably associate with the Damman family."

Photo: Shaquille M Photography

Shaquille M Photography
Shaquille M Photography

Alice: "At soccer and around town, I am regularly recognized as 'that wedding officiant'. Besides my work as a communications advisor at a housing corporation, I have been doing this job for thirteen years now. Outside Zwolle I organize wedding ceremonies with my own company at special locations at home and abroad. I love to make the most beautiful day for couples even more beautiful with the wedding ceremony. Zwolle also has many beautiful wedding locations, although the Schepenzaal remains perhaps my favorite. That hall exudes so much atmosphere. And we got married there ourselves. With every ceremony I unconsciously also bring back many memories..."

Ferdy: "I am the classic example of someone who didn't quite know what he wanted to be. Until I visited an open day of the photography school in Apeldoorn. I was immediately enthusiastic. This is a creative profession with a lot of freedom, exactly what I find important. I mainly work for sports magazines and the events sector. Alice once did an internship at the Heineken Music Hall in Amsterdam. When they were looking for a photographer, she tipped me off. Nowadays I work for various clients in Zwolle, but also for the Ziggo Dome, the ANP and among others the sports magazine Helden. My passion for sports and music can therefore also be put to good use in my work." Alice: "If you like sports and culture, you're in the right place in Zwolle. The offer here is excellent. From great sports competitions to special festivals. We also like to visit concerts in Hedon or go to the theater. It's nice when people recognize you as ' the wedding officiant' and talk to you about a ceremony they attended. That happens regularly."

Photo: Andreas Terlaak
Photo: Andreas Terlaak

Ferdy: "A few years ago I exhibited concert photos together with Raymond van Olphen in the old Statenzaal in the Diezerstraat. That was honorable, but at the same time it felt very unreal. I am always critical of my work. I don't think photos are good enough quickly. Yet I liked the fact that I was allowed to exhibit in my own city. I always tell people with pride that I am from Zwolle. 'Nice town,' I often hear. And it is. Zwolle is a medium-sized city, with more and more the advantages of a big city. Compared to my youth, Zwolle has more facilities, amenities and events. Yet this is not at the expense of its convivial character. And that, I think, is what appeals to many people."

Alice: "In the city, again, I have a special feeling about our own neighborhood. Assendorp is close to the center and we know a lot of people here. Apart from that, in Zwolle I really like the wide range of schools, sports and other facilities. This is also fantastic for the children. Zwolle is a wonderful city to grow up and develop yourself."

The Top 3 of Ferdy and Alice Damman:

  • Ferdy: "When the two of us go out for dinner, we often choose 't Pestengasthuys. Our favorite restaurant is in an attractive building from the 15th century. If we cook extensively ourselves, we get Italian delicacies at Piccolini on Sassenstraat."
  • Alice: "On the way into town, we choose the route through Park de Wezenlanden. When the kids were little, we often visited the animal pasture there. Nowadays the terrace of the Pavilion in the park is our favorite place. Downtown, we also like to come to Café de Hetebrij."
  • Ferdy: "I'm on my bicycle a lot. Zwolle and its surroundings are ideal for that as well. A round Kampen, crossing the IJssel bridge towards Hattem, the Lemelerberg...actually all the routes here are beautiful."

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