Behind the Cover & Lens
“Who’s that?” or “Awww…those kids are so cute!” may have been thoughts that entered your mind when our last ELIM Connection arrived in your hands.
Meet Jurgen—or Jack—Logemann; Independent Living resident (Kootenay building) at Elim Village Fleetwood. Jack was born in Germany and trained as a cabinet maker before coming to Canada at the age of 21. Making his way to Winnipeg, he became a husband while there, having met his sweetheart Hanna at a local church. The winters, though, were cold and long, driving the young couple further west, where they settled in Burnaby in 1956. Jack became ‘Dad’ to three girls, and over the years became ‘Opi’ to four grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren. Two of those great-grandchildren are little Hudson and Forest—the very two from the photo. When visiting their Opi, they like to see the big fish in the pond, so Opi picks them up, plunks them on his walker, and off they go, seeking patterned poisson in the watery depths.
Another person along for these adventures is Brandon—grandson to Jack, and dad to the boys. This “Behind the Cover” doubles as a “behind the lens” tale, as Brandon is the one who captured our wonderful cover shot for the last edition.
He has also captured many more ELIM moments over the last decade and will be recognizable to many readers. As an organization, ELIM works with hundreds of contractors, everything from allied health professionals to architects to creatives, like Brandon. The extent of connections within the ELIM community never ceases to amaze me (just the other week a resident in Garrison Crossing told me she was the aunt of a staff person in Fleetwood; case in point!), so I shouldn’t have
been surprised to learn that Brandon—naturally—has a relative living with us.
“I always liked the sea,” Jack said, “so, I built a sailboat.”
While Brandon was onside for a recent photoshoot, we snuck in a quick interview with his Opi. While the three of us sat together, there were a few “Isn’t it obvious?” moments (it wasn’t obvious to me). Like, for example, learning of their family’s Christmas tradition of eating slices of a marzipan bar as a special treat, which is an almond mixture covered in chocolate. For many readers this will be a familiar treat, but incredibly I’d never heard of it; possibly because my own family favours a different Christmas sweet, called halva—a sesame paste (and the clear sister to marzipan in the nutty/seed delicacy world)!
Brandon pulled a marzipan bar out of his pocket when we arrived and it was promptly unwrapped and shared. I savoured my inaugural slice as I listened to the two stroll down memory lane. I learned that Brandon’s most prominent childhood memories of his Opi included listening to him play trumpet at church. I learned that, sadly, Hanna had passed away due to a stroke many years prior (and although dearly missed, the memory of her remains strong, including her wonderful sense of humour!) I also learned that Jack had built a sailboat in life (this was the second, “isn’t it obvious?” moment of our visit). “I always liked the sea,” Jack said, “so, I built a sailboat.” He said this so casually, that an astounded exclamation sprang from my lips. “Well,” he replied matter-of-factly, “I was a cabinet maker” (as though all cabinet makers double as shipwrights!) He constructed the 15-foot, four-person sailboat right in his carport, and frequently went out on the water with Hanna for a sail. He had also built the grandfather clock which adorns the corner of his living room (and which Brandon plans to keep in the family).
It was a very lovely visit, illuminating again the depth of community at ELIM, the importance of family, and the unique story and talents of each person’s life.
Written by: Katrina LaRoy, Staff Contributor
This article was featured in the 2023 winter edition of The ELIM Connection (page 12)—a community publication distributed three times per year to all residents of Elim Village. It is also shared with our email subscribers. The ELIM Connection focuses on the stories and lifestyle of those living and aging in place at our two retirement communities.
To access the entire publication of future editions of The ELIM Connection, subscribe to our e-mailing list.