The patron Žanis Lapuķis (1913–2008) was born on 28 March 1913, in Skrunda, in the family of Lapuķis. His father was a householder Juris Žanis, and mother – a housewife Šarlote Minna. Baptized at Skrunda Lutheran church. Žanis was the eldest son in the family, and his brother Ansis Lapuķis was born on 1 January 1921 (he died in the Eastern Front on 14 August 1942 and was buried in Lestene cemetery).

Žanis Lapuķis grew up in a rather affluent family – agricultural records show that the total area of the farmstead "Jēkaupiņi-Lapuķi" was 240 thirds of a hectare, which included both arable and sown lands, as well as livestock, and three employees worked the land in addition to family members.

Ž. Lapuķis graduated from Nīkrāce Primary School in 1928. In 1934, he continued his education and enrolled in the Cīrava Forestry School in Aizpute district, which he successfully completed two years later. In the same year he was called up for military service.

On 1 May 1936, he began his service at the Independence Company, but three weeks later he was seconded to the Instructor Company for completion of a course. On 10 October, the course was completed with the highest grade and Ž. Lapuķiswas promoted to the rank of corporal. The captain of the Independence Company describes Ž. Lapuķis: "An assured, true, sentient person. Thinks and acts bravely and energetically. Knows and performs the duties of service very well, with dedication. Very good physical abilities. Very good team commander."

On 31 May 1937 he took up the position of Chief Forest-Guard in Ventspils Forestry II. On 12 May 1938, he was promoted. Žanis Lapuķis was considered a particularly valuable employee, as evidenced by the fact that on 23 March 1944 he was issued a UK card (unabkoemmlichkeit from German – the proof of indispensability), which exempted him from military service and granted him the status of an irreplaceable employee.

In the course of fulfilling his duties he received several rises of salary for good work. Already during the war, the seed of philanthropy was manifested in Žanis Lapuķis – he volunteered for the collection of donations organized by the National Assistance on 24 October 1943.

He left Latvia on 12 October 1944 and departed to Gotland; his fellow refugees Elmārs and Alīde Emsiņi accompanied him and later all three settled in Hamilton, Canada.

Ivars Gaide, the pastor of Christ Church in Hamilton, remembers Žanis Lapuķis as a friend of faith and song: he participated in the founding of the congregation, was an employee of the church, and also a council member; for 30 years he was a choir singer and a choir leader of Christ Church. He was also a passionate fisherman and hunter. Bread winning was not easy – as most immigrants, he had to resort to manual work. Ž. Lapuķis worked in the brick production industry.

Ž. Lapuķis was concerned with the education of young theologians in Latvia. He was providing them with support during his lifetime and wished that this would continue after his demise, so that there would be no shortage of pastors in his homeland.

The patron Žanis Lapuķis passed away on 9 May 2008, at the Latvian nursing home "Garden of Christ" near Toronto, Canada.

Support

Žanis Lapuķis bequeathed 500 000 Canadian dollars (EUR 355 000) to support the University of Latvia Faculty of Theology by awarding scholarships to students. In accordance with the will of the patron, scholarships are to be awarded to those gifted students of the University of Latvia Faculty of Theology who, upon graduation, will serve as pastors in Evangelical Lutheran Church of Latvia congregations or work as teachers of religious education in the schools of Latvia.

For the first time, scholarships were awarded in the 2011/2012 academic year to Jānis Cepurītis (EUR 4 700), Elana Jurgena (EUR 6 850), Dana Kalniņa-Zaķe (EUR 6 850), Guntars Rēboks (EUR 6 850), Oskars Smoļaks (EUR 4 700), Lelde Titava (EUR 6 850), Normunds Ūdris (EUR 6 850).

The scholarships in the 2012/2013 academic year were awarded to Rudīte Losāne (EUR 7 850), Jānis Cepurītis (EUR 4 700), Normunds Ūdris (EUR 6 850), Oskars Smoļaks (EUR 4 700), Normunds Celmiņš (EUR 6 850), Guntars Rēboks ( EUR 7 850), Krišjānis Bulle (EUR 4 700), Līga Dzenīte (EUR 6 850), Lelde Titava (EUR 7 850), Dana Kalniņa-Zaķe (EUR 7 850), Dāvids Alksnis (EUR 6 850), Andris Gross (EUR 6 850).

The scholarships in the 2014/2015 academic year were awarded to Jānis Cepurītis (EUR 4 000), Ivo Rode (EUR 4 000), Dana Kalniņa-Zaķe (EUR 4 000), Rudīte Losāne (EUR 4 000), Oskars Smoļaks (EUR 4 000), Guntars Rēboks (EUR 5 000), Krišjānis Bulle (EUR 4 000), Lelde Titava (EUR 4 000), Uģis Brūklene (for tuition fees – EUR 2 134).

The scholarships in the 2015/2016 academic year were awarded to Milda Klampe, Uģis Brūklene, Ivo Rode, Nils Konstantinovs, Ņikita Andrejevs, Estere Pumpura and Madara Uburģe.

The scholarships in the 2016/2017 academic year were awarded to Kaspars Simanovičs and Uģis Brūklene.

The scholarships in the 2017/2018 academic year were awarded to Bella Briška and Kaspars Simanovičs.

We greatly appreciate the generous support to education and development!

 

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