Friday, September 22, 2023
Maple Ridge FH and Crematorium
11969 216 St, Maple Ridge, BC
See on Google Maps
April 23, 1959 – September 8, 2023
Gidius was born April 23, 1959 in the small town of Reitz in South Africa to parents Eric and Issabel Snyman. When Gidius was 5 years old his younger brother Albert joined the family. The family ultimately moved to Pretoria where Gidius went to CR Swart High School and subsequently to Medical School at University of Pretoria, where he lived in the “Geel Huis” and made lifelong friends. Thereafter, Gidius and many of his friends did their medical residency year in Cape Town. After he qualified as a medical doctor, Gidius performed his National Military Service for two years. Whilst he was performing his National Military Service Gidius lost his brother Albert. The loss of his brother had a profound and lasting impact on Gidius.
Once he completed his military service Gidius worked in many interesting places doing locums, including the island of St Helena. He often regaled interesting and amusing stories of those years. In 1988, Gidius came to Canada to work in Northern BC, thinking it was going to be for a few years to build up a nest egg. Gidius ended up working in Fort St John BC for 6 years and becoming a Canadian citizen. Gidius enjoyed the north, the integrity of the people, the sense of community and the type of medicine being practiced there. He made many lifelong friends in the north, both Canadian and in the ex-pat Medical Community. He enjoyed playing squash and golf with his buddies and entertaining friends at his infamous African parties. Gidius loved taking golf trips with his friends and making a lifetime of memories and stories with them.
After Gidius left Fort St John, for the next four years he worked 6 months and travelled the other. He went around the world twice, spend a lot of time back in South Africa and in 1996 joined a 34’ boat on a Cape to Rio sailing race. That race cemented his love for the ocean and for sailing and he knew he was ready to buy a sailboat.
It was at that time that Gidius met his wife, Hannelie, in Cape Town. Although Gidius grew up in Pretoria, he had a large circle of friends in Cape Town, and many were common friends of Hannelie’s. What started out as a beautiful friendship grew deeper and by the time Gidius had to return to Canada to do a locum in Campbell River on Vancouver Island, they knew they had a special friendship and love. Before Gidius returned to Canada he invited Hannelie to join him in the Caribbean at a friend’s wedding. The time they spent in the Caribbean helped them come to the decision that Hannelie would join him in Canada in July of 1996.
After Gidius finished the locum in Campbell River at the end of 1996, the two set off on a road trip with Gidius’ Jeep (Jerry) and a 14’ caravan (Willie). They travelled leasurely from Victoria, B.C. to Miami where Gidius was going to buy his first sailboat. After searching and testing many boats Gidius ultimately bought his first sailboat, Bafana, a 44’ Irwin. They then sailed from Miami, through the Bahamas and to the British Virgin Islands. Gidius left Bafana in the BVI, but ultimately brought her to Canada in 1998. Gidius subsequently had two other sailboats, Zingeli I and Zingeli II, and he was at his happiest on the water, which brought him much joy and peace. Many weekends and vacations were spent this way, whether in the Gulf Islands, San Juans, Caribbean or elsewhere. Gidius was a member of the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club since 1993. He thoroughly enjoyed spending time at the RVYC club houses, enjoying dinners and fun times with friends, and at the various outstations making new friends on the dock.
Gidius and Hannelie moved to Vancouver BC in July 1997. Gidius bought a medical practice in Kitsilano where he practiced Family Medicine until the day before he went to hospital on July 15, 2023. Gidius was a compassionate physician, respected, appreciated and adored by his patients and well respected by his peers. The outpouring of love and compassion during Gidius’ almost two months in the hospital was a testament of the love and respect for him.
Gidius and Hannelie got married on March 7, 1998. They shared a beautiful life and love. They were partners in everything they did, whether it was buying, renovating and selling homes, travelling, playing, cooking, decorating, entertaining or just being. They complete one another and are the love of each other’s lives, best friends, soulmates. They shared their beautiful world with Jock the Scottie (1999-2010) and Westies, Bree and Jamie since 2011.
Gidius joined the Jericho Tennis Club in 2016, originally playing squash and later moving to tennis. JTC was a happy place for Gidius, often saying it is the most beautiful tennis club in the world. He loved playing tennis there (especially with the “Thursday Night Mens Group”), but also playing fun mixed doubles with friends. He was fiercely competive and enjoyed and appreciated the friends he made on and off the court. He loved the view from the hot tub, having lunch or dinner on the deck, barbeque on the Grassy Knoll, spending time with friends and treating his friends to his mischief and sharp sense of humour.
Another happy place for Gidius was Shaughnessey Golf and Country Club. He made wonderful friends in both the golf and tennis community at Shaughnessey. He had a love-hate-relationship with the golf course, loved playing tennis with both the Monday and Tuesday night groups. He also loved playing tennis on the outside courts and was always looking for the eagle to fly over when we played. Gidius and Hannelie had lunch or dinner at least once a weekend at Shaughnessy and most loved the time at dusk (the “hobbit hour” as Gidius called it); being amused by Ratatouille (as he called all the little field mice) coming and going to and from the lounge; and finishing their date at the firepit.
Gidius passed away peacefully on September 8, 2023 after a brief illness. Hannelie was at his side and he knew that he was incredibly loved by her and everyone in his life. He knew that he was a much loved husband, dog-father, a loved and loyal friend, and compassionate physician. We are comforted by the fact that if love was the cure for Gidius’ health challenges, the strength and support that he received from all, Gidius would still be with us.
Gidius loved life and lived life to the fullest and on his terms. Whether it was the mischievous always-kid-at-heart, son, brother, family member, hard working and funloving medical student with his friends at the “Geel Huis”, army officer, loyal friend, compassionate physician, sailor, tennisplayer, golfer, wine connoisseur, socializing, dancing, dog-father or loving husband. All was done with his beautiful smile, great energy and sharp sense of humour. He will be missed immensely and forever.
In lieu of flowers, food or gifts the family asks that you please donate to the Friends of Gidius Memorial Fund to help support the ICU at VGH (click the link below):