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Profile 2 - Raymond Vos

By Christina Decarie with photography by Jonathan Sugarman

Gene O'ReillyBorn in Trenton in 1956, Raymond Vos was the first child of emigrants from Holland. His parents, Walter and Lorraine, arrived as teenagers with their respective families and met in Canada. “Eventually they married,” explains Ray, “and then they had me.” There had been a large influx of Dutch immigrants to many parts of Ontario, including Trenton. Ray was the oldest child, and he was followed by Ed four years later, Julie two years after that, and then after six years, Curtis. But he was not the last addition to the family. “We adopted a young girl when she was five,” says Ray, “and she was right between Julie and Curtis. Jeanie is native Canadian from the Georgian Bay area. I think my mother just felt there was something missing, and she wanted to contribute, make a difference in that way. It wasn’t uncommon at that time.”

Service and involvement with the church were a big part of Ray’s childhood. “Both of my parents were very active in the church,” says Ray. “They did a lot of volunteer work. During the war, my maternal grandfather was involved in the resistance. My paternal grandparents hid a number of Jewish families. One little boy they hid in plain sight as their own son. . . .

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