Towards Freedom

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Garth Harvey

Caring Canadian Award recipient

image of Garth Harvey


Garth grew up in the 1920's and 30's in small town Manitoba. He worked as Head of the Scientific Information Section of Forestry Research in the Federal Government before retiring to Vancouver Island in 1976. He and his wife chose community service as their retirement project. They assisted in the creation of the Shawnigan Lake Community Centre and museum, and published the community newsletter. Both were honoured as Valued Volunteers in 1985 by the provincial government. Later in 2001 Garth was chosen volunteer of the Year in the Cowichan Valley.

Care for his wife for over a decade of Alzheimer's Disease convinced him that family caregivers need and deserve all the help they can get. He was instrumental in starting Family Caregivers Support Society.

In 2006 the Governor General of Canada, Michaelle Jean, gave him the Caring Canadian Award. She described the recipient of the award as follows: "You are the glimmer of hope that saves so many people from sinking into solitude and helplessness … you are the models of sharing and openness, and inspire those around you and coming generations to follow in your footsteps".

A Snake Called Phatlington

In a village where streets were named for trees, former residents that the villagers chose to honour, and some romantic names, there lived a family, father, mother and son who were a little eccentric even for people who chose to live on an island. They really believed that each living thing had a right to its life and merited respect. Their house reflected this belief; a couple of birds, a rabbit, a guinea pig, two dogs and a cat all shared the same rooms.

I Am an Each

Some time ago the knowledgeable ones in government decided to spend millions of dollars TO DEVELOP a community's capacity to look after its people. This brought thoughts of earlier days to mind. It is spring in Manitoba where, in spring, there is a window of only a few weeks when everything has to be done if one wants a harvest in the fall. I thought of the Wilsons, a young couple just starting out on their own farm.