Unsung Heroes - Years 1990 - 1996
The Unsung Hero/Heroes Awards are presented to those individuals who always work behind the scenes in any successful organization. They are also dedicated to UOAC, but do not seek the limelight. In fact they prefer to do their work and give their support in an unobtrusive manner.
Lottie Calli, Vancouver Chapter - (April, 1995)
** Georgina Penny, Cape Breton Chapter - (May, 1995)
Dave Shea, Editor, North Bay & District Chapter Newsletter - (June, 1995)
Muffy Truscott - Editor, "Regina Ostomy News" - (September, 1995)
Blanche Alward, Oshawa Ontario Chapter - (October, 1995
Dolly Knobel, Ottawa Ontario Chapter - (November, 1995)
Emmy Merz, Brantford & District Ontario Chapter - (January, 1996)
Hazel Harris - Prince Edward Island Chapter - (February, 1996)
Jim Book - Editor, Ottawa Chapter - (March, 1996)
** Arnie Freistadt, Saskatoon Chapter - (April, 1996)
Lucide Rioux, Fredericton & District Chapter (May, 1996)
Jean-Pierre Lapointe, "Mister Ileo-Colostomy Assn. of Montreal" - (June, 1996)
Stan Sparkes, Past President, Winnipeg Chapter - (October, 1996)
Roger Ivol, Hamilton & District Chapter - (November, 1996)
Lottie Calli - Vancouver Chapter
Shortly after Lottie's ileostomy was performed in 1974, she joined the Vancouver Chapter in January, 1975. Just seven years later, in 1982, and as the usual case, nobody to do it, the newsletter was "trusted to me". So Lottie took it on, even though she was "green: in editing, and is still at it. With the help of many people, Val Pellatt her current right hand, an Apple Macintosh computer, along with PageMaker and Microsoft Word programs, "Highlife" evolved into one of our outstanding chapter newsletters. Lottie is ten years into her senior years. After being widowed in 1980 and losing her companion, Gordon, in 1992, lives alone now with Sammy the cat. Among her many interests is her love of gardening, the outdoors, fishing, swimming, and, Bridge, like many seniors. She also loves crab fishing with her grandsons in Prince Rupert. Lottie wanted to mention members Ivor and Joan Williams who are always ready to help, along with `old standbys George and Vi Puhl who give our Chapter some character.'
Georgina Penny - Cape Breton Chapter
'Georgie' has been involved with the Chapter (located in Sydney) since 1975 when her late husband Sam was the first president. At the same time Sam took on the newsletter editor position with Georgie doing the typing and setting up. When Sam passed away in 1985 she took over, purchasing her own computer to make it easier. Though Georgie is not an ostomate, she has kept close ties with the chapter, being involved in almost every aspect of its work.
From 1988 to 1993, she was UOA Provincial Representative for the four Atlantic Provinces, traveling and speaking to most chapters in the Region. In 1989, Georgie was chosen the twenty-second "Citizen of the Year" by her community, following Sam who was the seventh person receiving the Award .
Among her many interests are her Garden Club for which she has acted as a judge for several county shows and fairs, community history research committee, member and officer of three Senior's groups, Hospital Auxiliary, church and bridge. Georgie spends a considerable amount of time traveling (not approved by Maggie, her three year old Lab) to visit her two daughters and son and grandchildren, scattered between Mississauga, London and Dartmouth. UOA Annual Conferences are high on her list and already has her reservations for Las Vegas.
(Georgina Penny passed away on 6 April, 2001)
Dave Shea - North Bay & District Chapter
When Dave has his colostomy surgery in January, 1970, at the age of 60, he and his wife Ida had been operating a service station and lunch counter in a tourist area at Tilden Lake, 20 miles north of North Bay. Four years later they decided to retire after 27 years of serving the public, to travel and enjoy life.
In 1978 the Cancer Society in North Bay invited Allan Porter and Dianne Garde, ET to form an ostomy association. Eleven people joined, with Dave accepting the position of Treasurer and Membership Secretary. As he felt more people could be helped by a newsletter, offered to take that on, also. He set it up himself, typing some and attaching interesting articles from other newsletters with the Cancer Society lending a helping hand with the photocopying. They continue to offer this service, and the chapter gives them a sizeable donation in appreciation each year. He takes the 75 copies home, folds and mails them four times a year. Dave wrote that as he will be 86 years old this month (June), thinks it is time to turn the job over to someone else. Chapter Secretary, George Trembley, has agreed to take it on and give Dave a well-earned rest.
Dave has another side and that is his interest in Economics. He gave me a copy of his book, "The A B C D of Economics" published in October, 1980, which I value highly.
Dave and Ida's main interest is travel and people, and hope they continue to have have many more years "on the road." (Bette Yetman)
Muffy Truscott - Regina Chapter
When Muffy had her ostomy surgery in 1986 for cancer, never dreamed she would be Editor of the newsletter that she received as gift issues following her surgery. Shortly after joining the chapter, she took on the position in January of 1989. As she says, 'it is so important that they (members) have access to information about new products, skin care and the like and sometimes the knowledge that they're not alone in their situation. So I feel very strongly that the newsletter must be continued if the chapter is to survive.'
Muffy has been a librarian since 1971, now employed as Head Librarian at Campion College, University of Regina for the past 15 years. Her two girls are 21 and 16 years of age, the eldest just finished her final year at the University of Regina and the youngest entering Grade 12 and a serious flute player. They were 8 and 12 when her cancer was diagnosed and Muffy was in fear she wouldn't be alive to see them grow, but is thankful that she has been able to do that. As she says, her husband is very supportive of her work with the chapter and has always been accepting of her ostomy. She credits him for helping her to adjust so quickly to her altered body.
This librarian is no slouch when it comes to sports. A serious jogger, she runs approximately 5 miles each day, rain or shine (or wind or snow!). During the summer months, indulges in biking along with the jogging.
Approximately 325 issues are printed, 5 times a year of which 220 go to the members, and the rest distributed to health professionals and other chapters across Canada. With her 486 computer, Word for Windows and Christine Cluff, their faculty secretary who willingly sets it up, is a far cry from 2 years ago, when Muffy typed the whole newsletter, with cutting and pasting, etc.
She gives great credit to the Saskatchewan Division of the Canadian Cancer Society, as they not only help with all the printing and mailing costs and but also provide money for other chapter activities.
Blanche Alward, Oshawa Ontario Chapter
When Blanche had her ostomy surgery for acute ulcerative colitis in March, 1971, like so many, thought she was the only person in Oshawa with an ostomy.
While recuperating, her surgeon suggested she join the Toronto chapter and gave her one of their bulletins. Filling out the membership (it was $5.00 then) she attended as many meetings as possible.
The following year, with support of her surgeon and a head nurse, she and 10 others were encouraged to form a support group. With the hospital supplying a free room, which they still occupy, began monthly meetings. It wasn't long before they decided on launching their own newsletter, which Blanche edited, folded and mailed for about 6 years.
In the fall of 1973, Allan Porter, who was Regional Coordinator at that time, came from Hamilton to explain the advantages of being affiliated with the UOA. Taking his advice, they joined UOA in January, 1973.
Blanche became the third president and has since served 2 year terms in that capacity twice more. Over the years she has held every office except Treasurer and is still involved as Membership Coordinator.
By this time, Blanche was becoming known to the UOA, and invited to join the Regional Program as Provincial Representative for Southeast Ontario. Blanche was widowed a couple of years earlier and had to learn to drive a car. As soon as this was mastered, she accepted, and was appointed in June, 1983.
Being a prolific letter writer, it wasn't long before all the pharmacies, VON, and ETs knew Blanche. She made good use of her driver's license, visiting her chapters, and staying on as Rep for 11 years. Blanche has attended all the Regional Conferences since her chapter affiliated and also 12 National Conferences over the years.
She has three sons, Ron, Reg and Ray, 7 grandchildren from 16 to 25 years of age. Her hobbies are knitting for the ostomy chapter and church bazaars, and loves making quilts. UOA has been the recipient of a number of her fine quilts as she has donated them to be auctioned at the annual conferences.
"I am so thankful for my ostomy surgery which saved my life and for all the nice people whom I have met through ostomy chapters and the United Ostomy Association.
Dolly Knobel - Ottawa Ontario Chapter"
Dolly had her ileostomy for ulcerative colitis in 1975 in Calgary. As she said, it literally saved her life even though it was touch and go for awhile even after surgery. Two people who helped her face the surgery and recover were an ET and a visitor. She joined the Calgary chapter and because her husband, Peter, was a military man, has since been a member of one chapter or another all over the world.
The last was Ottawa and remained a member while living in Europe and, as she says, receiving their wonderful newsletter. Returning to Canada in 1984, Dolly became an active member as a visitor, while Peter became a Director and accepted the Treasurer's position. Since then, Dolly has sat in all the chairs but her longest stint has been the last eight years as President.
Since 1984, the Ottawa Chapter has grown with the help of substantial grants from New Horizons and the Trillium Foundation. The former enabled them to set up an office in central Ottawa, establish a library, their visiting program and a 24 hour help-line supervised by the Visiting Coordinator. Through the Trillium Foundation, they were able to start an arts and craft center. The chapter has become incorporated, established a wonderful rapport with their area ETs, the hospitals and VON, and yearly send children to the youth camp.
For those who keep their Ostomy Quarterly magazines, check the Winter 1988 issue. Not only is Dolly on the cover, but is the author of a very humorous article, "Life & Laughter With An Ostomy"
Now, a widow, she and Peter had three children. Besides her chapter work, this talented lady is a novelist, painter, inveterate traveller and loves swimming, walking and gardening.
Sheila Duckett - Windsor Ontario Chapter
President Lorna Gardner nominated Sheila as their "Unsung Hero." Sheila
has been a valued and long time member of the Windsor Chapter who took
over the task of editing the newsletter in September of 1987. Not only
does she compose the newsletter, but after printing, stuffs the
envelopes, finishing with stamps and mailing. As well, Sheila served a
3-year term as president. Every meeting has at least one member
thanking Sheila for another great issue of Lifeline.
As Lorna says, "our newsletter is certainly the glue that helps hold our chapter together. She is a kind, caring and considerate person who is always giving. Without Sheila and her word processor, our chapter would not be where we are today.
For all her hard work and support, we say, "Thank You". You are appreciated far more than you'll every know." Lorna had a urostomy early in life but has never that deter her from any activity. Her hobby includes a variety of crafts and her expertise makes them greatly admired. Active in her church, she helps prepare a 10-15 page quarterly newsletter for the congregation.Back to the top
Emmy Merz, Brantford & District Ontario Chapter
Emmy joined the Brantford Chapter after learning of the association through the local VON shortly after her ileostomy surgery for pseudo-membran-ous colitis in January, 1979. Born in Karlsruhe, Germany, she and her husband Otto and two daughters, Monica and Evelyn arrived in Halifax on Christmas Eve in 1951. Peter was born in Canada.
In her native Germany, she took a 5 year home economics course, obtained her chef's papers and worked for 25 years as a chef in Canada before her surgery. After surgery, Emmy enrolled in Mohawk College, where she took a full time course in Dressmaking and Design, graduating with honors and received a gold pin.
When Emmy took over as President of the chapter in fall of 1988, finances were very low. She proposed the making and sale of gingerbread houses. Although members were sceptical, she and Otto baked 32 large and small gingerbread houses and made close to $450 that year. Word spread and as Emmy said, they became too successful. Each house took 2 people working 3-1/2 hours and just too time consuming. With her chef training, she decided on small chicken and fruit pies. For the past 4 years, with Otto's help, their pies have provided their chapter with about $900 per season and range in the thousands. In October, 1994, Emmy stepped down as President.
"Life has given me a second chance. I promised that all the money that I would ever make from my talent and expertise in cooking and baking I would give away. I have kept that promise since then and have never regretted it. These have been the happiest years of my life. I am grateful to be useful again. I was paid back in full."
Hazel Harris - Prince Edward Island Chapter
A transplanted New Brunswicker, Hazel was born in Gondola Point, just out of Saint John but spent her growing up years in Hampton. Before her marriage to Lorimer Harris in 1962, she worked as a stenographer for a Fire Insurance Agency in Saint John. They moved to Charlottetown later that year.
Hazel's ileostomy for ulcerative colitis was performed in Halifax in 1973 after a number of years of misery. "Hazel was visited in hospital at the Halifax Infirmary by Bette Yetman who inspired her and was through Bette's visit that Hazel decided that life was ahead."
Through Hazel's initiative, an organizational meeting was held December, 1978 in Charlottetown which saw her voted in as founding president of the Prince Edward Island Chapter. The members wasted no time and affiliated within a month to UOA Inc. Hazel has since served as Secretary, Membership Chairman, is presently Treasurer as well as Acting Secretary, and also part of the Visiting team.
Since affiliation, every January meeting is a big "Anniversary" celebration, complete with beautiful cake, newspaper photographer, and a write-up in the local paper.
Lorimer has taken an interest in the chapter since its beginning, working alongside Hazel, and for the past two years has been chapter president. Their teamwork makes a noteworthy contribution to the Island ostomy scene.
Hazel is an avid baseball fan and one who has enjoyed ice skating for many years. She considers looking after the home a full time job and during the summer months enjoys working in her garden.
Jim Book - Editor, Ottawa Chapter
Whenever a problem arises at United Ostomy Support Group, Ottawa, the call goes out - "Where's Jim? Ask Jim. Jim will fix it. Jim will help? " And Jim Book never fails. Jim may be seventy-nine but his motto is, "Do what needs to be done if no one else wants to do it." And he has boundless energy.
Jim, of Empire Loyalist stock, hates the limelight. As a young champion cyclist who rode seventy miles a day on his bike, Jim was attracted to Theda and the broadcasting world. Sweet Theda gave him two sons, and the broadcasting world took him through Sudbury, Kirkland Lake and Timmins. He tried to get into the airforce as a volunteer in 1941 but flat feet and a call to Ottawa by a CBC who needed Jim as Studio engineer to help keep the People informed but the War prevented him. The CBC was to claim him as Technical Director and ask him to cope with the coming of television etc. for the rest of his career. But generous Jim found time for volunteer work with Boy Scouts, Orange Lodge; church, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson Association, President of National Association of Broadcasters and Technicians for Canada, Cancer Society and UOA.
Jim's colostomy for cancer was done in 1981. He immediately joined UOA and has been an invaluable member since. Some of the highlights are his involvement with the planning of Regional Bilingual Conference in 1983, supplying of all technical backup for meetings, guest speakers, directorship in UOSG. Perhaps his most important contribution has been as lifetime Editor of Ottawa Ostomy News, a fine publication read by the medical profession as well as ostomates. Not being of the computer generation Jim spends many hours each week cutting , pasting and working on his typewriter to produce a newsletter to be proud of.
This is a true unsung, modest and caring hero. (Dolly Knobel, President, UOSG)
Arnie Freistadt, Saskatoon Chapter
Arnie became a member of Saskatoon chapter in February of 1981 following colostomy surgery in September of 1980 as a result of cancer.
He quickly volunteered to serve as chapter vice-president, serving in this capacity for two years then took over the role of president. Arnie is currently back in the vice-president position.
Besides volunteering for officer positions, Arnie has served on many chapter committees over the years and especially loves the chapter visitor program, visiting ostomy patients whenever called upon. He also spends much time with the ETs speaking to their student nurses, x-ray technicians and special care nurses.
Arnie was born and grew up in Humboldt, due east of Saskatoon. He and his wife Bernie raised a fine family of three children, two sons and a daughter. Now retired from his meat cutter profession, when Arnie is not working for his chapter, he coaches minor ball and his favorite summer pastime is camping and fishing.
Arnie is a truly dedicated, unsung hero. (Bev Fry, President, Saskatoon Chapter)
Lucide Rioux - Fredericton & District Chapter
For the chapter's 20th Anniversary being celebrated this month, Lucide Rioux was nominated as this month's 'Unsung Hero'. Best known to everyone as Cid, he is a modest man with great dedication to the UOA.
Born in Grand Falls, New Brunswick on January 29, 1922, Cid served in the war with the Royal Canadian Air Force from 1941 to 1945. Returning to Grand Falls, he completed his auto repair training from 1945 to 1952. During that time, he served on the Grand Falls Volunteer Fire Department and as Fire Chief from 1950 to 1952. He then moved to Moncton to complete this teacher training (shop), becoming shop teacher at Grand Falls Composite High School from 1953 to 1957.
It was at that time that Cid went to NB Department of Labor and stayed until taking early retirement in 1983. His ileostomy surgery was performed on September 23, 1977 and became a chapter member two months later. He has served as Vice President, President (4 years) and Treasurer. .Becoming an ostomy visitor in January, 1979, Cid has made 303 visits to date.
Cid and Lorraine have been married for 51 years, and have two sons, one daughter and five grandchildren. Cid, you are indeed an Unsung Hero. (Respectfully submitted by Judy Steeves, Atlantic Provinces Field Services Representative)
Jean-Pierre Lapointe - Ileostomy-Colostomy Association of Montreal
If ever someone could be classified as a "professional volunteer", it would have to be Jean-Pierre Lapointe of the Ileostomy-Colostomy Association of Montreal.
After a long bout with ulcerative colitis, he underwent surgery in August, 1980. To learn how to deal with his ileostomy, he soon made contact with the Association in Montreal, and quickly became involved in its administration.
He served a four-year term as Vice President, then to President where he remained for eight years before taking on the position of Treasurer in May 1994. As Past-President, he is a wealth of information as well as a valued counsellor to his successor. Not satisfied with these tasks, since 1985, he has been Editor of the Chapter bulletin, "Ileo Info".
He also runs a collection point for the SHARE program of FOW Canada for Quebec and Eastern Ontario Region, graciously providing space in his own home, and has been directly responsible for two major shipments to the third world in the last few years, with a third currently being prepared. Through his vigorous efforts, a "first ever" was accomplished for the second SHARE shipment to Beloruse, Russia with a sponsor to completely assume the shipping costs.
Moreover, not satisfied with home town involvement, Jean-Pierre has managed to be UOA Inc. Field Service Representative for Quebec and Eastern Ontario, and was elected Treasurer of UOA of Canada Inc. in August, 1994.
In 1988, he initiated discussions with members of ostomy groups throughout Quebec and then worked with ConvaTec to develop the "Renaissance" (Great Comeback) Award Program, an undertaking especially devoted to people with ostomies. He chairs the yearly award event.
Considering the fact that Jean-Pierre is a very active member of the Quebec Provincial Police Force for more than 27 years, married to Nicole and dedicated father of two, Patrick and Isabelle, one can only wonder how a person can find the time and energy to accomplish so much, so well.
Personally, I tip my hat to this man, my valued mentor, and repeat, thank you, Jean-Pierre, for all you have done, and are still doing, for everyone. (Fernand Corbeil, President, I-C.A.M.)
Stan Sparkes - Winnipeg Chapter
Born in Corner Brook, Newfoundland, Stan grew up in a close family with eleven sisters and three brothers. At age18 he decided to see the world and joined the Royal Canadian Horse Artillery. Serving for 3 years, was released in Toronto and after moving around the country, decided in 1974 to settle in Winnipeg. Since that time he's been working at the University of Manitoba installing and maintaining traffic signs and fire equipment. Happily married to Mary Beth, they have one 16 year old daughter, Kalinda.
After being ill for 16 years with ulcerative colitis, Stan had ileostomy surgery performed in March, 1991. The following month he not only joined the Winnipeg Chapter but was also elected Secretary. He has been President for the past three years and as his term has just ended, looks forward to serving the chapter and members in other roles.
Stan is very pleased to have seen the chapter lobby the government on two different occasions. One was on implementing a fee on ostomy supplies and the other saving the present distribution system of ostomy supplies being changed from government to private hands. They lost the first challenge but won the second.
He was diagnosed 2 years ago with multiple sclerosis and although it has slowed Stan a little and now uses a cane, has not slowed him down at work or with the organization.
In Stan's words, the chapter and the concept of the United Ostomy Association is one of the finest that I have ever had the privilege of working with or of being involved.
Roger Ivol - Hamilton & District Chapter
We have in the Hamilton & District Ostomy Association a person who is most worth of the title, "Unsung Hero". I would like to introduce you to Roger Ivol. Roger is a very busy school teacher who still finds the time to be active in, and most supportive of, our organization. He is currently the Vice President.
Roger excels in the written word and has volunteered his expertise and time to our association in this area. For approximately five years he was the editor of our well known newsletter, "Osto Info", and when he had to step down because of other commitments, he agreed to continue as assistant editor. This he still does.
Roger went on to accept the challenge of editing "UOA Canada Talks", the newsletter of the UOA of Canada Inc. which is sent to all Canadian members of UOA Inc. When we were putting together our Cook Book, Roger was invaluable with his ideas and help. A very willing worker for our chapter, Roger is also on the Board of Directors of UOA of Canada Inc. He does not only confine his activities to UOA related work, but he is also involved with the Big Brother's Association.
Roger has represented our chapter at Annual UOA Conferences over the past years together with his wife Anne. In fact, Anne has become involved with the Association working with the Spouses section and representing Spouses on panel discussions at the UOA Conferences.
If you telephone Roger on weekends, especially through the spring, summer and fall, you will probably not find him at home. He's GONE FISHING - his favorite pastime.
The phrase, "I'm too busy", is not in Roger's vocabulary. We in Hamilton, would like to salute, Roger Ivol. (Peggy Owen Past-President)