Jan Verkley’s extra-special birthday

Jan Verkley took a ride on a bi-plane for his birthday.
And rumour has it.. he even got to take over the controls for awhile!

Click on the photos for a larger view.

I emailed Jan for more information about the plane, and he said:

“It is a “Fleet Fince”, built in 1936 in and was used to train wartime pilots, before they went to bigger planes. There are only a few left in flying condition, this one is worth about $ 100.000.
He knew I was a pilot, so he let me handle it for half an hour, toying around, poking holes in the sky as we call it. It has a 5 cylinder engine which lets you feel every bang.
Google “Fleet Finch” and you get a movie, which shows what I felt. Easy handling, being outside, you sit on top, rather than in a plane.
This plane and pilot was used in the making of the Amelia Ehrhard movie. (I forgot the title now), where his face was made to look like Amelia.
All my family was there, having a picnic while I flew. Quite a party.”

Rie Appelman-Verkley (06-09-1921 – 28-09-2009)

My name is Jeroen Appelman and I am the youngest son of (Ma)Rie Appelman-Verkley (* 06-09-1921 – + 28-09-2009), daughter of Theo and Cornelia Verkley from Bouwlust, Leiderdorp.

I want to let you know my mother has quietly passed away last night in her sleep in the age of 88 years old.

She was suffering from Parkinson which in combination with low bloodpressure made it very hard for her to breath and also her heart was getting weaker and weaker. All her kids and grandkids visited her frequently up to yesterday and she was very relaxed about her coming passing away. Just before she was put to bed she nipped a glass of Port wine so she would sleep well. We could wish for such a way to go.

Thanks and kindest regards,
Jeroen Appelman

Christmas Extravaganza 2008

I would like to put out a big thank you to everyone in the family that made it on Sunday.  When we started cooking the food we weren’t sure who was going to come and eat it and if I would be feeding Don and Jesse for weeks with all the left overs.  As everyone started to show up I was amazed and excited and the fun started to multipy.  We enjoyed good food, good fun and good company while as Cecilia mentioned the storm raged outside. 

As the night came on and Kiana decided that it would be fun to have a sleep over many agreed and we canvased the house for things to sleep on and things to keep everyone warm.  I never knew I had so many air matresses. 

It was a great time and all were missed who couldn’t come but we will all get together again soon I am sure. 

A memory to last forever,

Don and Maria

Verkley Family Christmas/Pyjama Party 2008

Saturday the family was looking at their local forecast and took note of the winter storm warnings for Sunday but the snow fall amount was forecast to be 5-10cm for the Monkton Ontario area which is where the party was to be held at Don and Maria’s house.   But in that part of the province 5-10cm is just a light dusting so off most of them set out on Sunday morning.


Wes and I had gone in the night before as I being a city slicker do not like driving in snow so figured I would beat the storm that was supposed to happen Sunday morning.  We woke up in Monkton to a weak sun rise and some light snow just like I thought it would be.  Then it started to blow a bit, Frank called to cancel for his family and Dave and Patricia also had decided to stay home.  Joe also didn’t want to venture out.  Paul who lives fairly close called to say he was not sure he could get out his lane but since a couple of people had already arrived he would see if he could make it.  He did.  Jeff and Teresa and boys arrived and slowly the storm got worse.  John and Patty Jo made it with tales of horrible driving conditions, Ed and Nora and the boys all arrived, as did Cathy and kids minus Tom who was suffering from back spasms back at home.  Last to arrive was Brian and Leanne and Hadley they also had horrible visibility once they hit Perth County.  We all had a good dinner and some fun.  Jeff and family decide to go home early but the rest of us thought the storm would blow itself out and we would be able to go home later in the evening after some snowplows went by.  Well that didn’t happen.  Paul and Ed and family went home in a convoy as did Tina and Jesse.  The rest of us had no choice but to party on.  It finally became a sure thing we were staying when Nora called to say they just announced that Hwy 23 was closed which was the route home for most people.  So Maria performed some magic and found all kinds of air mattresses and quilts she had made over the years and found us all places to sleep.  16 extra guest overnight.   Luckily we had leftovers from Christmas dinner.  The next morning the snowplows had been by but Hwy 23 and Hwy 7/8 were still closed which is the roads we needed to get home.  We all had a nice breakfast after Don went to the store for a fresh batch of eggs.  John made it to Kitchener via some back roads, which allowed Wes and I to get out.  Lots of big snow banks so I am sure we would not have been able to get through those drifts.   After the Hwy was opened the rest were able to get home.  So the Verkley Christmas party of 2008 was morphed into a pyjama party we all will not forget.   Thanks Don and Maria for looking after all of us.







Ticked Off

Yes ticked off is what I feel sometimes. Why you ask? I can’t tell you how many times I wanted to call or just drive out to visit my parents but I can’t, they are not here anymore. I just have the memories of all the times I did do it. That is ok but I still miss it. At these moments I do feel ticked off. Oh well can’t change it so I must move on. Life is wonderful. I will think of those special times with Mom and Dad and thank the universe that I was able to have that enriching experience. Each time I experience the memory I will resolve to carry on with what they taught me being who they were. As I hear the song “Memories” by Elvis in my head I say to you all it is ok to be ticked off once in a while, just remember those wonderful memories and your day will be enriched!


Gezina Verkley

In loving memory of Gezina Verkley

October 25,2006

A year has come and gone but our memories of you are still in our everyday thoughts, we now that you are truly happy now as grandpa has joined you and you can now carry on your life together.  Missed but not forgotten

Love Don, Maria, Wes, Tina and Jesse

Written in the Listowel Banner October 24,2007


Grandpa, I would call him the perfect man.  I can honestly say that I have never met another guy who was so loving and devoted to his wife.  From my first memory to my last I can always see him holding grandma’s hand, bracing her back or giving her a kiss just in a normal everyday sitiation.  This always gave me hope for my future to find a man that could love me as much as he loved her. 

Some of my earliest memories of grandpa were of him in his work shop, whenever we would come to visit grandma would have to call down to him and we would go running to see what new and interesting thing he was working on that day.  He was so skilled in woodworking it was amazing.  The beauitiful tables, sowing boxes, clocks and pins that he made, we all felt so special when they were for us.  I think that every member of the family will cherish those well made works of art!

As grandpa got older he may have gotten quieter but his wisdom & positive thinking never changed.  He was always right there with a word or a quick one liner to get you back on track.  I remember when I was quite young sitting down eating dinner next to grandpa and I went to push some food onto my fork with my finger and I got a quick smack on the hand, there was nothing else that needed to be said I new that I needed to improve my manners. 

He was never one to yell, all ne needed was a simple gesture or a few words and you knew what he wanted you to do.  He was also a great listener and would share his great wisdom as well if you were willing to sit and listen.  Grandpa was an amazing singer and music was very close to his heart.  He could play the violing so gracefully and often would accompany grandma on the keyboard.  I’m glad to see that some musical talent has carried on in the family.

In the last few years grandpa has not been a man of many words although I know he was still very “Happy” and “Whoot” or “Hail Whoot” as long as mother was around because he always told us so.  He still gave great hugs and sometimes a pat on the bottom too.  All in all grandpa was an amazing person who was full of so much love, patients, forgiveness and words of encouragement like (parden my dutch) “kanet is dout” and I hope that we can all take some of that with us to carry on his memory.

As hard as it is to loose him I think that we should all have a few Hip Hip Horrays for his wonderful life and remember it is not goodbye it os only until the next time.

 Hip Hip Horray!

 Hip Hip Horray!

 Hip Hip Horray!

With all my love…  Tina