Report on CSPC Luncheon At Chilliwack Airport
I like working with Chilliwack Seniors Peer Counsellors. I’ve been looking after all things computer related since before I offered to design and build out the new website back in May of 2015. My wife Lorna Olitch is currently the president.
But let’s face it, volunteering requires effort. It can be rewarding but sometimes it’s just a lot of work.
Today was different though. It was going to be a luncheon with our fellow volunteers of CSPC. This was a (sort of) replacement celebration for the after-Christmas one that never happened. It was still close enough to Valentine’s day so it could be called a celebration of that too, if you’re so inclined.
The day was cloudy and grey with light rain and cool air. It’s definitely February and therefore still winter. A fresh blast of it was soon to hit the area. I climbed into our car and turned the heater on full blast.
Lorna was beside me in the passenger seat. One thing about this occasion, for the two of us anyway, was the timing. It was right on. The luncheon was happening at 1:30 PM right about the time of our usual daily dinner. Not only that but it meant that I didn’t have to cook anything. Good enough for me, I thought.
We arrived early at about one pm. The first thing I noticed was that Doug Aldrich, our social convener, was standing in the common area ready to meet greet and direct the various CSPC members as they came into the Chilliwack Airport for the luncheon. He pointed us to the area down the hall at the end of the building. This was an area familiar to many who’ve lived in Chilliwack for any length of time. It had decorative dividers on each side with an open entrance in the middle. The room is bright with natural light thanks to its large windows all along one side that look out at the expanse of runways with mountains in the background.
This place is known as the Chilliwack Airport Restaurant. The same one that has become famous in these parts for its amazing fresh fruit pies. Pilots in private aircraft like to fly in here just for a slice of one. “I fly for pie!” They like to say.
We got in and sat down at a table with a little “RESERVED” sign on it. It had a big window beside it. I love the view. It would have been a bonus if the day were better and the aircraft were active. I really enjoy watching them come and go but that was not happening this day. A hard rain had moved in with no small degree of drama.
The other reserved tables soon started filling up with some thirty-eight of us in attendance. The staff started to take our orders. Doug had made arrangements with Brian Boyer, the restaurant’s owner, to put together a specially-priced menu of three different things (see the menu in last month’s newsletter for details). They did a great job of it given the short notice they had to get everything in place for us.
The food looked terrific and we all enjoyed our lunch tremendously. What made it even better was that it was topped off with a tasty apple crumble — complements of CSPC.
Then Doug got up. He had something to say. (And well said it was too.)
His speech was short but poignant, totally from the heart. It detailed his previous involvement as a volunteer at the Dr. Peter Centre in Vancouver. It was a place, he told us, that provides compassionate care for those with advanced HIV AIDS. He related a story about how quickly a patient can pass on from this disease and how alone they can be when it happens.
It was about one such patient who passed away as he sat in a chair in his room while Doug was arranging some boxes for him. “Just those few volunteers in that room” he said solemnly, “were the only ones out of the entire world that cared about this man as he was dying.”
“That”, Doug went on to say, “was why being a volunteer is such important work.”
It was a penetrating message and one that, in a much smaller way, I have both experienced myself and continually hear about every week as Lorna returns home from visiting her client, a sweet 88 year-old lady who lives in a room in a residence home. She’s been blind for the last 11 years.
“She told me she enjoys my visits very much.” Lorna told me. “Yes, I’m sure she does.” I said. “I could live all week on a complement like that.” she adds.
But now, after I heard what Doug had to say, I’ll want to make sure she knows: It’s important work you do. Important indeed.
If you’re a volunteer in this community you have my respect and gratitude. But you don’t need it to feel good for what you do. You get that from every senior you help to not be so alone with each week’s little visit from you.
I hope they take the opportunity to let you know how much you are appreciated. But if they forget to say it just recall what Doug said about volunteering: “…being a volunteer is such important work.”
I don’t know about you, but I for one could live all year on a plum like that.
– David Parsons – Volunteer Webmaster – CSPC
The Door Prize Draw
After Doug gave his speech he brought out a plastic bucket and began to pull out the first of two tickets. I had no idea there were going to be door prizes. I also didn’t see what was coming as he red off the ticket number. It was the one in my hand. I had won a nice bottle of Merlot!
The second ticket belonged to Peter Duncan. He’d won a gift box of three nice Japanese plates.
Many thanks to Brian Boyer the owner of the Chilliwack Airport Restaurant, and his staff.
Coming up: BIG FUN(D)RAISER IN APRIL!
(Stay tuned. We’ll have more on this in our next newsletters.)
- Door Prizes
- 50/50 Draw
- Fun, laughter, and food!!!!