Dr. Wilf Goodman - humanitarian, good friend and early patron Dec 21, 1922 - Sept 8, 2015

 Picea Pungens Hoopsi
One of the many varieties of trees planted by Wilf Goodman
at Vanaheim

Wilf Goodman was a humanitarian, healer, happy family man, good friend, and an early patron. In 1958 I’d recently emigrated to Canada from the Netherlands and had ear problems. Having no doctor, I looked in the Yellow Pages, and noticed the name “Goodman” under the Ear, Nose & Throat specialist section. “Must be a good man”, I thought. And he was!

When Wilf learned that I was an artist, he suggested I go out West to paint, but on realizing I had no means to travel, he said he’d take care of it, and he did.  Wilf thus became my first-ever patron. What an opportunity he gave me, only two years in Canada, and I was able to spend several months in the Banff region of the Rocky Mountains! (Several posts were written a few years ago about the 1959 spring and summer in Banff;  if you search "Banff" in the box on the left, several will come up.)

Baldur, Manitoba - oil painting 1959, Henri van Bentum

In appreciation, on the way back by train to Toronto, I stopped in Manitoba to visit his parents and did an oil painting at Baldur where Wilf was born.

Also in gratitude for his generous support, I gave him all my paintings. Around the time Wilf was seeking a name for his new ‘farm’ near Shelburne, Ontario - -  knowing his Icelandic descent and his love of opera, I suggested the name “Vanaheim”, and he liked it very much and so named the property.

We stayed in touch through the years; every Christmas he took time to write us a lengthy, handwritten letter. We are honoured, thankful and happy to have known Dr. Wilf Goodman - a humanitarian, healer, family man, and lifelong friend.