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Travel pioneer and agency founder Doorman succumbs at age 85

Arnhem guide for Allied troops

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

MAPLE RIDGE, British Columbia – Thousands of Dutch Canadians passed by under his watch, first when they boarded CNR trains in Montreal on the way to their destination in Canada, and later when they flew ”home” from Vancouver for a family visit aboard a Schreiner or Transavia charter flight. L.R. (Ray) Doorman, again later a co-owner of Vancouver-based Travel Headquarters, recently passed away suddenly at the age of 85.

The Dutch Canadian entrepreneur joined the railway as a passenger co-ordinator at Montreal where he worked among Dutch immigrants who passed through the city. In the early 1950s , he and his brother John also homesteaded in the Terrace, BC, area. After working in Canada’s north, Doorman spent his remaining years in the Vancouver area, first in transportation and travel, eventually retiring from his agency, which mainly represented Dutch products such as Heineken en Bokma. Doorman Agencies was started by Ray’s brother John.

Ray Doorman was part of the Dutch Canadian Centennial Committee that gave British Columbia the Netherlands Centennial Carillon at the provincial legislature buildings in Victoria.

In the Netherlands in 1944, the Doorman brothers spontaneously volunteered as guides to Allied troops when these literally landed in the backyard of the family’s summer home in Heelsum, near Arnhem.

Travel Headquarters continues to be operated by Doorman’s nephew Marius Enthoven who took over the travel business from his uncle and partners Case Brouwer and Jan Blom who all since have died.

Ray Doorman is survived by his wife Ine (Jansen), son Dick and daughter Nora and two grandchildren.