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Former radio host Jack Brouwer succumbed at age 88

Distributed programs and tapes

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

SCARBOROUGH, Ontario - Former Dutch-language radio host Jack Brouwer, who in his retirement years continued to broadcast Zingend Geloven, a Christian program, to listeners in the region around Toronto, Ontario, recently died at the age of 88.

In his early years in Canada, Jack Brouwer served as a broadcaster of an hour-long Dutch language radio program, 'Holland Calling'. After 20 years as a financial executive, Jack turned his broadcasting hobby into his next career, spending the next 20 years as the Canadian representative for Radio Netherlands, distributing news and recording radio programs catering to the Dutch-Canadian community that were played on radio stations across Canada.

At the same time he and his wife Lenie began a nonprofit service distributing recordings of local Dutch language church services to hundreds of Dutch immigrants across Canada, a service they ran together for many years.

His most-loved radio endeavour was Zingend Geloven, a Dutch language Christian radio program that combined spoken word with religious music, sponsored by furniture retailer and friend Anne De Boer, an effort supported by a number of other Dutch Canadian entrepreneurs. For his many contributions to his native country, his church and the Dutch-Canadian community, Jack Brouwer was inducted as a Knight into the Order of the House of Orange-Nassau by Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands in 1992, an honour bestowed on only a very small number of people in Canada.

Jack Brouwer was born in Vlaardingen in 1922 and was part of the Dutch resistance during the German occupation. Following the liberation by Canadian forces, he worked for several years as a journalist before marrying his fiancÚ Lenie Vogel in 1948. They immigrated to Canada in 1953.

Jack Brouwer is survived by Lenie, his wife of 63 years, his children, his grandchildren, a great-grandchild and other family.