45 years ago Eve Reinarz and Nannie Flim met on the steps of the Kimberley Civic Centre at the April Wine concert.
Last week they celebrated 45 years of friendship by coming to the very place where they first met.
Reinarz’ family owns a ranch in Wasa. She and her family immigrated to Kimberley when she was in high school. She spent her summers at the ranch horseback riding, swimming at the beach and doing all kinds of things that Kimberley folk do. Both Reinarz and Flim were born and raised in Europe.
Reinarz was outside at the April Wine concert when she came across a lonely looking Nannie Flim on the front steps.
“I was on the front steps of the arena and I just asked this girl (Reinarz) what time it was,” said Flim. “I noticed that she had a funny accent, like mine, and we got to talking. That was 45 years ago and also the last time I visited Kimberley.”
The duo have been best friends ever since. They spent that summer together at the ranch, in Kimberley and exploring the surrounding area.
“I have tears in my eyes just thinking about it,” Flim said, reliving her first experience in Kimberley. “Kimberley and Wasa had such a big impact on my life.
“I had never seen mountains like that before – the most beautiful place. It was so intense, I was overwhelmed with this feeling of independence and appreciation.”
Flim had come to Kimberley to visit her father’s cousin, Kees Scheffer. Scheffer and Flim’s father (Herman Flim) met during the resistance in World War II, where the two would ultimately save Canadian soldiers by disguising them as dutch residents.
“They put wooden shoes on them and taught them to say one thing, ‘good morning’,” laughed Flim. She went on to say that her father and Scheffer had a similar bond to that of her and Reinarz.
“So my father came to visit Kees and I stayed with them, but I wanted to see more,” said Flim. “I went alone to that April Wine concert and when I met Eve she took me out of my bubble. We had the most amazing summer.
“We’ve been talking a lot about it and trying to unravel what was so special for me. I think the biggest thing was that I not only gained a best friend but also my independence.”
Film still lives in Holland, where she grew up, while Reinarz now lives in Nanaimo, B.C.. The two often visit each other, chat on the phone, and at one time were pen pals. They decided that for their 45th year of friendship they would book a flight to Kimberley to relive the magic of their past and youth.
“We have always had this special bond,” said Reinarz. “We are always laughing and joking and having a great time.”
“We’re like sisters,” said Flim.
“Twisted sisters,” laughed Reinarz.
“Kimberley holds such a special place in my heart,” Flim said with her hands at her chest, as if in prayer. “I instantly remember why I fell in love with this place.”
*A previous version of this story stated that Herman Flim saved Kees Schaffer from World War II. A correction has been made, as the two of them actually worked together to save Canadian soldiers by disguising them as Dutch residents.