November 2015

Highlights from the month of November for the Arrow Lakes News Year in Review

Arthur Van der Kroft embraces his brother John. The brothers were reunited after spending nearly 60 years apart.

Brothers reunited after nearly six decades

When John Van der Kroft left Holland in the summer of 1957, he had no idea it would be 58 years until he would see his brother again.

At the age of 21, he had just finished his mandatory two-year stint in the military, and decided to immigrate.

He and his brother Arthur tried to keep in contact over the years, but life moves pretty fast. Both men were busy raising their families. Gradually, they fell out of contact.

Their children however, did not.

John’s youngest son, David, and Arthur’s two daughters, Anita and Diana, hatched a plan to reunite the pair.

John was in for quite a shock. On Oct. 16, there was a knock on his door. Standing outside was a reporter and two men. One of the men asked John if he would be surprised to know his brother was outside.

“I went outside, and there he was, standing in the street. I didn’t recognize him at first.” he said.

This is probably the last time the brothers will ever see each other. John is 79. Arthur is 77, and neither one can afford the trip to visit. This trip would not have been possible if the tickets weren’t already paid for.

“It’s breaking my heart when I must leave.” said Arthur.

While something like this may never happen again, the pair is grateful they had the chance to see each other once more.

Sisters run for research

Tiya Volansky was never a runner.

Growing up, she had always been athletic, but she had never attempted any kind of long distance running.

That changed in the summer of 2013, when one of her daughters, Zacora, was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease.

The first year following the diagnosis was a struggle for the family. Zacora had to be home schooled because she wasn’t well enough to make it to school most days.

It was also difficult for her classmates to understand.

“Not a lot of people do know what Crohn’s is, and she did get teased at times, with kids thinking they could catch it.” said Volansky.

Volansky said managing her daughter’s disease can be scary. Right now, they’ve got it under control, but the body can rejects the drugs Zacora is taking to manage it at any time.

“I was overwhelmed with the number of people who either had never heard of or didn’t know what Crohn’s disease was,” said Volansky’s sister Naomi. “It doesn’t seem to get a lot of publicity. Hopefully This (the run to raise funds and awareness) will help shed a little light.”

Nakusp woman wins literary award

When Deirdre Dore left Nakusp on Nov. 1, she left as a finalist for the Writer’s Trust/McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize. She came home on Nov. 4 a winner.

“I couldn’t even stand up for a second, I was so excited,” Dore said. “I was thrilled, overwhelmed, and humbled.”

The prize is awarded for published short fiction in a Canadian literary magazine. The literary magazines choose which stories they want to send in.

Dore’s short story, The Wise Baby, was one of 12 stories selected to be published in the Journey Prize Anthology. Of the 12 stories selected, three are chosen as finalists for the Journey Prize, and are asked to come to Toronto for the award ceremony.

Along with the Journey Award, Dore also received $10,000.

“I love to travel. I’d like to go up to Haida Gwaii,” she said. “And of course, some of it will be spent just on living.”