This is a summary of a paper read on the occasion of the 70th birthday of the Netherlands Malacological Society (meeting of 2 October 2004, Amsterdam). Attention is drawn to the great sociological changes of the past seventy years (= three generations!) and how these factors have influenced the society. Table 1 lists the presidents of the society with their period of service and professional background, tables 2 and 3 show significant data in the history of the society and table 4 is a continuation of a paper on fifty volumes of Basteria (Van Bruggen, 1987).