† Fr. Edwin (Frans) VEEN sscc (Holland)
Edwin was born in Blesse in de province of Friesland on April 23rd , 1922. He made his religious vows on September 24th, 1944 and was ordained a priest on October 2nd ,949 in Valkenburg (Lb).
In 1951 Edwin was appointed to the mission of the Cook-Islands, but as a matter of fact he worked the first two years in Christchurch, New-Zealand. From then began his stay for years on end on the Cook-Islands, during which he worked on several islands of this archipelago: on Mauke, Rarotonga, Penrhyn and Atiu.
As was usual on these small islands Edwin served as a priest in various ways. He was – as he himself said – at the same time parish priest, bishop and pope, but worked also as a teacher and for a while as a furniture maker. In 1959 Rome appointed him Administrator Apostolic, but in 1962 he got at his own request dismissal of this high office that did not suit him well.
In 2002 Edwin came back tot The Netherlands. He believed that he as an eighty-year-old man had worked long enough and wanted a more quiet life. He came to the house of the congregation in Bavel, where he pretty soon learned the ropes of computer, internet and e-mail. And with these he could stay in contact with his friends in the Cook-Islands. He was a good member of the community in spite of the fact that he during 43 years as the only westerner had lived on those isolated islands. He meant a lot for the group as a whole, but also for various brothers personally.
However, his health was not so good. Just during the weeks that the community of Bavel was busy with the preparation of the removal to Teteringen his health-situation became so bad that he was confined to bed. And during the actual removal, op September 2nd he was in the hospital in Breda. He died there on the morning of October 5th 2009.
Edwin was buried on the cemetery of the congregation on Zuylen in Breda.