Patron Eigits D. Timermanis (Goga) with his daughter Daina Susan. Photo from personal archive.

This is a story of a bright, active, educated Sydney Latvian whose heart remains committed to Latvia. Throughout the years, Eigits Dāvis Timermanis, also known as Goga, has sustained his identity and honouring the origins of his family. Support for the “alma mater” of their parents once again proves that the University of Latvia Foundation patrons all around the world are dedicated to education and human aspirations.

The family of Timermanis originated in Zemgale – Vircava in Dobeles district. Goga's father, Roberts Dāvīds Timermanis (1909–1945), was born as the youngest son in a family of three children. Dāvīds married Valija Vilensone (1912–2006), and the family had a son, Eigits Dāvis or Goga (1935) and a daughter, Ivonna Aija (1936). Their early childhood memories are bright and happy while growing up in a warm family atmosphere in Pārdaugava. Unfortunately, the young Timermanis family was also affected by the war, and in 1944 Valija and her two children became refugees and fled to Australia. "I regret that I had no opportunity to grow up in Latvia, but the war is cruel!" Goga says.

In Perth, Australia, Goga began to build his new life by marrying  Ansie van Halteren (1942), and the family had two children, Jānis Dāvis (1964) and Daina Susan (1966). The children had grown up in the Latvian spirit, just like their grandfather, and attained university degrees in economics in Australia.

His first marriage dissolved. Later, in 1982, in Hong Kong, Goga married Latvian Māra Liberts (1944), who had settled there to run a beauty salon for a couple of years. Currently both live in Sydney, in enjoyment of everyday life, collecting summers and admiring the new generation of their family.

Timermanis’ family – pilots and fighters

His the passion for flying was infused in Goga’s blood. His father, Roberts Dāvīds Timermanis (1909–1945), who had worked in the Aviation Regiment, later successfully led the formation and operation of the Latvian Guards of the Fatherland (partisans) but died in a battle when his son was only 10 years old. Thus, little Goga has been around planes and airfields since childhood. Later in his life Goga spent thousands of hours flying, initially working as an aviation engineer and later as an onboard engineer. Timermanis was the first apprentice in this field who was not an Australian national.

Goga is characterized by a positive view of life and relentless energy – he is a lifelong member of the Sydney Latvian Society and has invested his talents in the Sydney Latvian St. John's Church and Sydney Latvian Men's Choir. His collaboration with the UL Foundation began in 2009, supporting the scholarship programme “Ceļamaize” and later together with the Australian Latvian Association “Timermanis un Vējiņš” gifted books to the University of Latvia.

Early 2020 will see the release of the book “The Story of a Latvian Soldier: Roberts Dāvīds Timermanis (1909–1945)”.  It is dedicated to tracing the life of Goga’s father and his contribution to the fight for independent homeland. Since the restoration of Independence, Goga has been promoting the publication of military content books, given them to schools, libraries, military institutions and diplomatic missions.

The patron emphasizes: “Higher education is necessary and important to prepare young people who will be the next employees and leaders of the country, society, economy and education. The state can only cover part of these costs; therefore, people must come to help, enabling to multiply the numbers of students who are willing to continue further studies”.

 

Pictures: Goga's parents – Dāvīds and Valija Timermaņi in 1938 and Dāvīds Timermanis in October 1932, serving in the Aviation Regiment. Photos from Eigits D. Timermanis’ personal archive.

To help a mountain climber

The patron has proved his altruistic nature with generous deeds. At the end of 2012, the UL Foundation received three land properties as a gift from Goga, which provides support to outstanding students carrying out studies of major importance for the economy. The first Timermanis scholarships for competitiveness research in social sciences were awarded in 2017. So far, there are five UL social sciences doctoral students or PhD candidates that have received support: the scholars from the UL Faculty of Business, Management and Economics are Madara Apsalone, Ieva Pūķe, Kristīne Petrovska and Ilgvars Rukers, while the UL Faculty of Law is represented by Laura Kadile.  

Multiple scholarship recipient Mg.oec. Madara Apsalone presents her accomplishments that have been achieved with the patron's support: “In 2017, Eigits Dāvis Timermanis scholarship enabled me to conducted an extensive research, surveying more than 600 small and medium-sized enterprises in Latvia, identifying and analyzing the role of organizational culture and knowledge management processes in organizational innovation, developing a conceptual model for characterising this impact, as well as evaluating the contribution to the promotion of innovation and competitiveness of companies. The results of the research were published and presented at several international scientific conferences abroad, as well as discussed with entrepreneurs at a thematic seminar in cooperation with the Latvian Chamber of Commerce and Industry”.

Affiliation and commitment to the University of Latvia

Following an invitation by the UL Foundation, in 2018 Timermanis agreed to donate EUR 3,500 to establishment of the UL Alumni Trail at the UL Botanical Garden. This donation is dedicated to the memory of his parents as UL graduates. “My desire to support UL is due to the fact that my father graduated from the UL Faculty of Economics and Law, and my mommy – from the UL Faculty of Natural Sciences, where she also worked for some time after graduation. The war prevented them from continuing to build Latvia. With my support, I want to give others the opportunity to continue, because Latvia has been dear to me since I was young,” says Goga. His father Dāvīds also contributed to the work of the Student Corporation “Tervetia”.

“My wish to young researchers is not to get tired, not to lose track. Your work efforts will guarantee the increased prosperity of our Latvia in this very difficult period of changes,” says patron Timermanis.

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