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Know Your Goffins

Cockatoo (Andreas Leopold)
Hubert (Heroic Mine Rescue)
Josse Philippe Auguste (Forges de Clabecq)
Georges "Nemo" (Cyclist)
Henry Charles (Salvation Army)
Charles JJ (WWII Ace Fighter)
Robert (Writer, Poet)
Albert (Banker)
Gerry (Song Writer)
Louise (Singer, SOng Writer)
Josse (Graphic Artist)
Edwin (Astronomer)
-- As far as we know, the owners of this site are not related to any of these remarkable people --
--- comments to v g o f f i n - at - g m a i l . c o m ---

Goffin's Cockatoo


Goffin cockatoos are the most popular Goffins on the web.

Also known as Tanimbar Corella, Cacatua goffiniana, Goffin's Cockatoo or Goffin's Corella, this species of cockatoo is endemic to forests of Yamdena, Larat and Selaru, all islands in the Tanimbar Islands archipelago in Indonesia.

Wikipedia also gives a reasonable account of the name's origin: "Historically, the discovery of the species as Lophochroa goffini is attributed to Otto Finsch in 1863. It was named for Andreas Leopold Goffin (1837-1863), a friend of Finsch and apparently a Dutch naval lieutenant who died the same year at the age of 27."

This should settle it: Systematic notes on Asian birds, C.S. Roselaar & J.P. Michels (pdf); I think they recommend using goffiniana, not goffini, bit it's a tough read. Elements of the Andreas Leopold story are in there too.

Otto Finsch
Photo credit

Hubert Goffin (1771-1821)

Hubert Goffin et son fils (gravure)
Gravure au burin de Léonard Jehotte

Hubert Goffin, le héros liégeois.

Ce fut l'une des catastrophes les plus terribles du genre dont on ait conservé le souvenir

"Le 28 février 1812, la Houillière Beaujonc près de Liège fut inondée tandis que les mineurs étaient à l'ouvrage. HUBERT GOFFIN, leur chef, averti du danger, fait appeler son fils MATHIEU et tous les ouvriers pour fuir, il remarque que l'irruption des eaux va fermer le passage à un grand nombre d'entre-eux et qu'ils sont perdus s'il les abandonne. Son fils est près de lui, mais le généreux Goffin reste, fait remonter tous ceux dont il peut assurer le salut, et songeant aux autres, il s'écrier "Je veux les sauver tous ou périr avec eux." Son fils, agé de 12 ans, veut partager son danger. Le moment ici représenté est celui où travaillant depuis 4 jours et 3 nuits, Goffin épuisé de fatigue et non découragé, prend un peu de repos, son fils inquiet sur sa santé lui tâte le pouls, et sentant qu'il a encore de la force, il dit "courage père y va bin". ils entendent les efforts que l'on fait pour leur délivrance et elle de leurs 69 compagnons qui eut lieu le 4 mars après 5 jours et 4 nuits de travaux incroyables."
image et texte

Poèmes inspirés par Hubert Goffin:

Josse Philippe Auguste Goffin (1830-1887)

Josse Goffin
Josse Goffin

Josse Philippe Auguste Goffin, fondateur des forges de Clabecq, bourgmestre de Berchem-Sainte-Agathe de 1859 à 1887.

  • En 1752, l’impératrice Marie-Thérèse de Hongrie et de Bohème autorise le maintien à Clabecq d’une forge actionnée par un moulin à eau sur la Sennette
  • En 1828, au bord de la faillite, Edouard Goffin (1796-1858) reprend la société
  • Josse Philippe Edouard Goffin (1830-1887) développe l'entreprise
  • Son frère Charles Henri Goffin (1827-1861) installa un laminoir et un raccordement au chemin de fer

forges de clabeq

Many towns have a "Rue Josse Goffin", very likely referring to this Josse.

Georges "Nemo" Goffin (1883-?)

Georges 'Nemo' Goffin Georges "Nemo" Goffin

The most persistently unsuccessful Tour de France rider in the world is a man called Georges Goffin. He came from Liège, in French-speaking Belgium, and sometimes for reasons unknown he called himself Georges Nemo. Nemo is Latin for "no one". Maybe that's how he preferred to be remembered, because his unfortunate record is that he started the Tour de France three times and abandoned all of them on the first day. It's a record not likely to be matched.

Georges GOFFIN, born on April 1st 1883 at Ben-Ahin, near Huy. He competed in numerous premier cycling stages events, including the Tour de France in 1904, 1910, 1911, 1914 and 1922. However, he was forced to abandon the race every time.

Henry Charles Goffin (1885–1973)

henry_charles_goffin Henry Charles Goffin was a world renown Salvation Army officer, bandmaster and musical organiser. His father, Henry Goffin, was also a well known musician.

The high reputation of the "Musical Goffins" is known to bandsmen all over new Zealand. Brigadier Henry Goffin, who composed the official march of the New Zealand Marching Association, guided the early musical education of his sons.

As a composer, Captain Charles Goffin eclipsed his father-tutor. His composition, "Rhapsody in Brass" was used as a test piece for the British Brass Band Championships in England in 1949 and for the New Zealand championships in 1951. Other composition are "Symphony on Thanksgiving", "Crusaders" and "The Light of the World".

NZ gov. biographies
Family blog

Robert Goffin (1898-1984)

the world's most versatile man

"The world's most versatile man"


Robert Goffin, Benny Carter,
Louis Armstrong, Leonard Feather in 1942

Robert Goffin, Belgian lawyer, author and poet, credited with writing the first serious book on jazz, "Aux Frontières du Jazz", in 1932

Membre de l' Académie royale de langue et de littérature françaises de Belgique, biographie (copy)

The "world's most versatile man" according to the World's Assocation of Writers at the U. of Iowa Libraries.


  • FAMOUS CRIMINAL LAWYER Practiced in Brussels and travelled all over Europe defending criminals until the Nazis came.
  • EDITOR Edited Alerte, leading anti-Nazi journal in Belgium until invasion; now edits La Voix de France in New York.
  • LECTURER Besides regular lectures at New School, has recent tour through Eastern Canada. Widely known in Europe as a speaker.
  • GENEALOGIST Writer of articles on early Walloon settlers in New York, including genealogy of the Roosevelt clan.
  • EXCHANGE EXPERT His three books on international finance are regarded as highly authoritative.
  • CHECKERS CHAMPION Checker champion of Belgium and chairman of the International Federation of Checker Players.
  • CHEF Likes to concoct exotic dishes and is author of a book on gastronomy. Secretary of Wine and Food Society.
  • PLAYWRIGHT Co-author with Maurice Maeterlinck of play, Catherine Schratt, Empress Without a Crown. Also, author of war mystery recently produced in Canada.
  • JAZZ EXPERT Author of Aux Frontieres du Jazz ; now lectures on jazz at the New School for Social Research. Publishes articles in Esquire.
  • SPORTSMAN Champion ice skater and chairman of the Brussels Ice Hockey Club.
  • BIOGRAPHER His thirty books include the biographies, Carlota, the Phantom Empress and Empress Elizabeth of Austria.
  • POET Winner of the Prix des Poets in 1937 — author of several books of poetry. Secretary of the European PEN Club.
  • NATURALIST Authority on rats and spiders — has written Le Roman des Rats and Le Roman de L'Araignee.
  • MUSICIAN Plays trumpet and conducted an amateur band in Brussels.
  • NEWS ANALYST He warned that the Nazis planned to invade Belgium as early as 1938 — received many threats from Nazi sympathizers. Has also written book which maintains that the Belgian king did not betray his people.
  • COMMISSIONER Member of the Commission which framed Belgium's Aeronautical Code.
  • BOOK REVIEWER Reviews books for The Saturday Review of Literature; wrote several books of criticism published in France and Belgium.
  • MYSTERY STORY WRITER Author of a number of mystery stories — four published in New York in last year.
  • TEACHER Teaches at the New School in New York — has lectured at other schools, universities and military camps.
  • HISTORIAN Many of his books deal with history of Hapsbourgs, Coburgs and the Wittelsbachs.
  • NOVELIST Author of four novels published in France and Belgium.
  • ICHTHYOLOGIST Author of Le Roman des Anguilles, a treatise on the life habits of eels which went through 37 editions in France.
  • RADIO SCENARIST AND COMMENTATOR Wrote scenario The Burgomaster of Brussels in which Mayor LaGuardia took leading role over WNYC May 31, 1942. Many appearances on radio here and in Europe.
  • LINGUIST Speaks three living languages — reads Latin and Greek.

Albert Goffin (-1958)


Albert Goffin in 1942

Albert Goffin (died 1958) was a Belgian banker, civil servant and governor of the National Bank of Belgium (NBB) from 16 July until 27 November 1941, a difficult time in Belgium's history (and the world's). The Belgian government in exile in London did not recognize his appointment and appointed instead G. Theunis, resident in the United States of America at the time, as governor of the bank.

Charles J J Goffin (-1944)


Charles Goffin in his Spitfire, 1944
Photo credit

Charles JJ Goffin
On 10 May 1940 Charles GOFFIN, Lieutenant Aviateur of the Belgian Aéronautique Militaire, was already an outstanding pilot. On board an obsolete Fiat CR-42 biplane he shot down a Messerschmitt Bf 109. The 15th, protecting a RECCE plane, he shoots another Bf109 and in France, on June 3d, he damages a German bomber. Obeying orders he returns, with his unit, to Belgium and becomes prisoner at the camp of Beverloo. He escapes and in 1941 crosses France to become again prisoner but this time in the sinister Spanish camp of Miranda. In May 1942 he finally reaches England but is medically unfit for the RAF! In 1943 he manages to join the U.S. Army Air Force and becomes Staff Sergeant Pilot in the 14th Photographic Squadron, flying American Spitfires. On 8 September 1944 during his 35th RECCE mission he is shot down, probably by flak, over the Grand-Duchy of Luxemburg.

More info at (original).
With more pictures from
Also from (original).

Gerry Goffin (1939-)

Gerry Goffin Gerry Goffin and Carol King, his wife. Great American song writer.
Songs with lyrics by Gerry Goffin

(Come on, baby, do the Loco-Motion)

Gerry crossed paths with Bob Dylan, see "Always Magic in the Air: The Bomp and Brilliance of the Brill Building Era" by Ken Emerson, a Google eBook.

Louise Goffin (1960-)

Louise Goffin Louise Goffin's parents are songwriters Carole King and Gerry Goffin.

Edwin Goffin (?-)

star occultation by asteroid Edwin Goffin has been calculating asteroid trajectories since the 1980's and publishes detailed charts of when and where occultation of stars by asteroids can be observed. He is currently working for Agfa-Gevaert in Belgium.

There is Main belt asteroid named after him: 1722 Goffin, discovered in 1938.
You can find his occulation tables on the web, for example here.
You too can try to spot asteroids: IOTA Observer's Manual (pdf)

Josse Goffin (1938-)

josse_goffin Josse Goffin is one of the most important illustrators/graphic designers of his time. The artist excels in poster design, illustration, graphics, children's books illustrations and television. His use of colour and form, his simple designs, his freshness have granted him a place on the highest level internationally. His works are often described as warm and recognisable.

Bienvenue sur le site de Josse Goffin