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How a meaningful stained glass window in the Trail hospital came to be

The window was created by Gavin Holland in 2010, a stained glass artist based in Nelson.
The stained glass window is in a room on the third floor of KBRH. Photo: KBRH Health Foundation

Francis Michael (Bud) Godderis passed away unexpectedly and peacefully on Dec. 15, 2016, in the family room of Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital (KBRH) surrounded by family and friends.

Six years earlier, as chair of the Spiritual Care Committee, Bud was instrumental in having a beautiful stained glass window installed in a chapel/reflection room on the third floor of KBRH.

Today, six years after Bud’s untimely death, the stained glass window once again hit the forefront of local news with the Trail Times’ Thursday, Aug. 11 story “Cancer patient plans sacred space in Kootenay hospital.”

The article tells the story of Aaron Banfield, a local man living with late-stage colorectal cancer, who is turning the old chapel where the stained glass window lives, into a sacred space where patients can focus on emotional wellness and find support from their peers.

The following letter, provided to the Trail Times by Bud’s wife Ann Godderis, was published as an invitation to an open house in February 2010. It outlines how the stained glass window came to be 12 years ago.

Photo: KBRH Health Foundation

The Trail Health Care Facilities Spiritual Care Committee is holding an Open House on Thursday, February 25, 2010 in the KBRH Chapel/Reflection Room on the 3rd floor of the hospital.

The community is welcome anytime from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. to view the newly installed, and spectacularly beautiful, stained glass window.

The chapel was originally established in the hospital to offer a welcoming, quiet, contemplative space for patients, their families and hospital workers.

Now, the stained glass window brings new spiritual dimensions of colour, light and a meditative focus.

The window was created by Gavin Holland, a stained glass artist based in Nelson.

He worked very closely and collaboratively with the Spiritual Care Committee to come up with the initial concept and design, and then remained in close contact with Committee members as the window took shape in his studio.

According to Spiritual Care Committee Chair, Bud Godderis, “The end result has far surpassed the original vision, and we believe its breathtaking beauty will be a source of renewal and hope to anyone who spends some quiet time in this special space in the KBRH.”

The window has become a reality thanks to the very generous support and donations from many individuals, groups and organizations in the wider Kootenay community.

Photo: KBRH Health Foundation

Contributions were collected through the KBRH Health Foundation.

The Spiritual Care Committee is an advisory group providing input and support on matters pertaining to the spiritual needs of patients, residents, families and staff members of KBRH, Poplar Ridge and Columbia View Lodge.

Members include representatives from various local faith groups and Kootenay Boundary communities, several IHA staff including the hospice and palliative care coordinator, as well as hospital and long term care social workers.

“We hope people accept our invitation for the 25th”, says Godderis. “I know that the artist, the Spiritual Care Committee, KBRH Health Foundation representatives and Hospital staff are looking forward to the opportunity to welcome members of the community to the Chapel and to help us celebrate the gifts of generosity, caring and creativity that this window represents.”

Aug. 18, 2022 Letter to the Editor:

Dear Editor,

I was so happy to read the article in Thursday’s Trail Times about Aaron Banfield’s dream to create a “sacred space” in the old chapel at KBRH.

(“Sacred space planned in Kootenay hospital,” page 20, Aug. 11)

In 2009, the Health Facilities’ Spiritual Care Committee, chaired by my late husband and former hospital social worker, Bud Godderis, had a similar dream and approached Nelson artist Gavin Holland to create the gorgeous stained glass window that portrays the seasons of life.

The concept was for a peaceful space open to all.

A few years later, we learned that the space had been designated by hospital administration as a “multipurpose” room and that it was being mostly used more for meetings and other “business.”

It sounds as though the room eventually fell into neglect except for the marvelous window.

I sincerely hope that the long-held dream of a contemplative, nurturing, peaceful sacred space will be realized and that there will be those in the hospital and community who will ensure it is protected into the future.

Bud would certainly be delighted!

Ann Godderis,


Read more: #KBRH Stories

Read more: Cancer patient plans sacred space in Kootenay hospital

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Sheri Regnier

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