A FRIENDSHIP forged from a tragedy more than 40 years ago took on a more official form late last year with a presentation of a $90,000 cheque to the REM Lee Hospital Foundation.
The presentation was made by Max Muff acting as the executor to the estate of long time friend Walter Mantel who passed away April 15, 2012.
Muff first met Mantel in 1968 when a hunting partner of Muff’s went missing in the Bornite Mountain area. Mantel, a mountain climber, was one of those who came out to search for the missing partner.
“We never did find him,” said Muff of his partner. “But that’s where I met Walter and that started the friendship.”
That friendship was based on a mutual love of the area and its mountains.
“We went all over the mountains around Terrace,” said Muff.
Their accomplishments included climbing the highest peak of the Seven Sisters Mountain range in the early 1970s.
An accomplished photographer, Mantel always carried a camera, Muff added.
Born in Germany, Mantel came to Canada in the late 1950s and became a citizen in 1964.
His last job before retirement was that of a draughtsman at Twin River Timber.
Mantel’s wife predeceased him and the couple had no children.
The cheque presentation was made to REM Lee Hospital Foundation representatives Dec. 23, 2013 at Mills Memorial Hospital.
The money, $90,852.04, will be used for foundation purchases of medical equipment, said foundation representative Eileen Kennedy.
“We’ll be announcing something specific in the new year,” she said.
Mantel also left a similar amount to the St. Paul’s Hospital Foundation in Vancouver, making for a total bequest to the two health care foundations of just under $182,800.
“It was within a few pennies [of the bequest made to the Lee foundation],” said Muff of the money provided to the St. Paul’s foundation.
“It was an odd amount in total and it wouldn’t divide evenly so that’s why,” he said.
Muff said there was no specific reason for the bequests for the two hospital foundations but did note that Mantel was a cancer patient at St. Paul’s and that both he and his wife had been patients at Mills Memorial.