fritzimageDear NLC Friends,

It is with a heavy heart I give you the sad news that “onze” our Frits, has passed away, peacefully on September 12, 2021.
Our condolences to the Begemann Family.


Begemann, Frits Albert

It is with profound sadness that the family announces the passing of Frits Begemann on Sunday, September 12, 2021 in Waterloo, Ontario at the age of 93. Beloved husband of Wilhelmina Begemann (1930-2018) for 60 years. Loving father of Karen Begemann (Graeme) and Chris Begemann (Elly). Cherished “Opa” of Eric, Lindsay and Christopher. Dear uncle of Judith Andreassen and Stephan Orzechowski. Lifelong friend of Ann and Rimmer Tjalsma (since high school). Predeceased by his siblings Harro (Ineke) and Marga (Wim).

Frits was very sociable and had a gift for making lasting friendships. He loved people, sharing stories and enjoying a good laugh. He was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, and friend, always keenly interested and supportive of individual dreams and pursuits. Family camping trips were a highlight of every summer vacation, travelling across Canada and the USA. After the children were grown; Wilhelmina and Frits travelled in their motorhome with their two beloved wheaten terriers taking time to enjoy the scenery through photography and water colour painting. Both were also passionate about music and theatre, and took in classical concerts, music festivals and plays on their travels.

Frits immigrated to Canada in 1952. He devoted over 65 years to serving the Dutch Community in Ontario principally as Executive Director of the Netherlands Luncheon Club (NLC). The NLC was started in 1954 as a social club and more importantly as a networking group to provide much needed business contacts to the Dutch Community and as a catalyst for promoting Dutch Canadian relations. He was considered the backbone of the club, coordinating well over 300 events. His contributions were officially recognized by the Dutch Government in 2014 where he was awarded the ‘Ridder in de Orde van Oranje-Nassau’ (Knight in the Order of Orange-Nassau), similar to the Order of Canada. He will be sorely missed.

He was also one of twenty founding members of the DUCA Credit Union in 1954 which made it possible for new immigrants to secure loans.

With his wife, Wilhelmina, he assembled a unique collection of Inuit art for over 50 years in which key works of art have been exhibited publicly over the years. He contributed to the appreciation of Inuit Art in Canada in countless other ways.

He will be remembered for his generous heart, positive outlook on life, and a drive to make any community he touched a better place to live for all.

A heartfelt thank you to all the staff and residents at Clair Hills Retirement Community for the fellowship, compassionate care and kindness shown to Frits.

Private cremation has taken place. A Celebration of Life will be held in spring of 2022. Arrangements are entrusted to the Henry Walser Funeral Home, 507 Frederick Street, Kitchener, 519-749-8467.

In lieu of flowers, donations to the Alzheimer Society of Ontario would be appreciated by the family.
Visit www.henrywalser.com for Frits’ memorial and to post comments and condolences.

August 25, 2021

A report by Ineke Limbertie on our recent visit with NLC to Little Canada at Yonge Dundas Square. 

Niet te geloven!   The Netherlands Luncheon Club is back with a bang-on visit to Little Canada at Yonge-Dundas Square in Toronto on Wednesday, August 25 ably hosted by club president Henny Groenendijk.

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It was also an amazing opportunity for the 30-some members who braved COVID protocols and Toronto parking/traffic problems to meet with the new Dutch Consul General Harman Idema (@harmanintoronto) who attended with his colleague Jorn Leeksma, acting Consul until last Friday 13 August (!) when Harman arrived at Pearson. All were amply rewarded by a delicious Thai-themed lunch prepared at Jack Astor’s and the subsequent speakers.

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Clearly, Friday 13 will be Dutch Toronto’s Lucky Day as the new Consul, in a witty speech, explained his intentions to meet as many Dutchies as possible during his time here while also learning about his new posting and finding members of his extended Idema and Prins families who emigrated to our beautiful country.  Harman is delighted to join the city’s cyclists and 

looking forward to doing business here, facilitated by the many ties that already exist between Dutch and Canadian entrepreneurs.  

Jean-Louis Brenninkmeijer, one of those very successful links between our two countries, is the guiding genius behind Little Canada, and has built an ode to his new home and native land in the nether regions of Yonge-Dundas Square, the beating heart of Toronto.  Impossible to miss, a giant sign on the wall of 10 Dundas Street E. lobby points you to Little Canada, where visitors can see tightly curated, miniature versions of Toronto, Mississauga, Hamilton, Niagara, Ottawa, Montréal and the Carnaval du Québec with more cities/sites to come!   It is even possible to buy a miniature version of yourself, to be placed in a spot of your choice.  Our new Consul-General  is now miniaturized in the (where else!) Ottawa Tulip Park.  Look out for him when you visit!

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Wendy Limbertie, ( Ineke’s sister) our NLC Webmaster, also visited Little Canada this week and produced this video montage on her trip …. please click on the link to view it- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b59C38RiJFg

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