Meet Merv, a Volunteer from Port Alberni

Merv became involved in this project in October 2016. Since then, he has contributed 178 hours to this project and nearly, single-handedly, completed most of the care homes in Port Alberni on Vancouver Island.

What interested you about becoming a volunteer interviewer?

I have been volunteering for over 7 years between Ontario and British Columbia after retirement. I felt it was time to pay back for my good life I have had since moving to Canada from Britain 50 years ago.

What was your favourite thing about doing the interviews?

Over the years that I have been a volunteer, I have found that all seniors from all walks of life and ethnic origin, wish to be heard and need a voice.

What did you enjoy the most about being a Volunteer Interviewer?

I found that by being a volunteer I have made many new acquaintances. I am sure that by just listening to people, they are left with a feeling some one cares for them and that they are not alone in this world. In this fast pace world we live in, we just do not spend enough time with seniors. I feel if we do not talk about the past, we will fall in the trap of repeating bad decisions as we go forward. History tends to repeat itself.

Is there anything else you would like to share to other Volunteers?

I read an article awhile ago that really stayed with me. Have you ever thought about the phrase “old folks”? Old people are the ones you see at public events they are the one who remove their hats cover their heart, stand still  while the national anthem is played, sing with pride on their face, and know the words. They remember all the wars from World War I to present and speak proudly about how we defended peace and our families. They are the ones who open doors for any person, they still say please and thank you, and if you happen to bump into them they apologize.  They love to brag about pets and grandchildren,  their work ethic and pride of our nation makes us all proud. So less of the “old folks” and more of “senior citizen.”

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