Volunteer Week special section
Larry Lew Morton has been a volunteer most of his life, whether stripping gear off bucking bulls or a consultant for Canada World Youth.
Morton was born and raised as a ranch boy in the Hand Hills. As a young man, he told his dad, “I want to see fifty countries by the time I turn 50.” His dreams came true and he has worked in the Middle East, India and Africa and all the way down to Angola. In his words, “I have seen the world.”
Growing up in the Hand Hills Morton, his father and grandfather all volunteered at the Hand Hills stampede stripping gear off bucking horses and bulls. The job required the cowboy to take off the flank straps, ropes & bells, touching and talking, to calm the excited animals. Morton still volunteers to this day, stripping gear, at the Stampede.
During the 1970’s, many young men from Alberta, started working in the oil patch and Morton was no different. Morton got a job with Joyline Transport, moving oilrigs. After a couple of years, they sent him to work overseas with six rig trucks.
After working overseas for 20 years, Morton was considered a consultant for that part of the world with World Health Organization, Canadian Embassy and the Canadian Consulate. During the Gulf War, seven students were scheduled to go on a eight month student exchange to India. The Canadian Embassy in Delhi, contacted Morton to be the students guide and logistics person. It was a memorable time, according to Morton as he got to be away from the oil rigs, the moving trucks and the dangerous work.
After working away for over 35 years, Morton moved back to Drumheller. He was walk-
It is very rewarding to be a volunteer, to give back something. People always ask me, ‘what would we do without you?’ I reply, ‘what would I have without you!’” Larry Lew Morton Volunteer
ing past Pioneer Trail Society one day, looked inside and saw George Humphrey. Humphrey had taught Morton to curl when he was only six years old. He went inside to talk and that was the day he decided to become a volunteer.
“The people here, at the society, really helped me. I didn’t know how to fit back into a community. It was a different culture, different life and I had lost the knowledge, on how to interact with people.” He volunteers his time at the Pioneer Trail Society as their Vice President, their maintenance person and Bingo caller.
His biggest accomplishment was getting wheelchair accessible washrooms built at centre. Morton explains, “I am very aware of access issues, due to the dangers of moving big iron and people getting hurt. Fellows I worked with, over the years, have gotten hurt, broke their backs and ended up in wheel chairs.”
Morton is also a volunteer with the Drumheller Dragons. He proudly says, “It is behind the scenes work, and I haven’t missed one minute of any game for five straight seasons.”
Morton also volunteers with the Drumheller Humane Society. He and his girlfriend, have a transitional home for cats that don’t fit in, have eating issues or struggling at the shelter. Morton said, “We give them special care and we understand their needs. Some cats will require a quiet home, perhaps with seniors.” Currently they have seven cats and four are ready for adoption.
“It is very rewarding to be a volunteer, to give back something. People always ask me, ‘what would we do without you?’ I reply, ‘ What would I have, without you!’” expressed Morton.
Volunteer Larry Lew Morton calls out Bingo numbers at the Pioneer Trail Centre.