Volunteering works in every language
Dennis Hausselman was born in Montreal. He spoke French right up to Grade 6 when his parents decided to move to British Columbia for work. His father worked as a production baker and found work in Burnaby.
This was a difficult time for Dennis, who was now a 13-year-old student attending school in Surrey and he could not speak English. The school set him back two years which meant that when he was nearly 20 years old when he left high school one credit short for a diploma. He decided not to stay another year in school to earn his diploma and found work instead at CN Rail.
He worked as an apprentice car-man in the townsite of Port Mann. The Port Mann townsite was created in 1911 in the municipality of Surrey. The new town was intended to adjoin the new railway yard and roundhouse forming the terminus of the new trans-national rail-line operated by CN Rail.
Dennis met and married Yvonne Lavers in 1972; they separated many years later. They have two daughters – Irene and Amie – who in turn gave them four grandchildren.
Dennis eventually went to work for BC Rail in Squamish and then moved to Endako to work in the Endako molybdenum mine as an uncertified millwright doing mill and mine repairs.
He said, “The mine laid off 500 workers in one day and I was one of them. I tried to talk to both the company and the union about going back to negotiations to avoid the layoffs. I explained to both sides that no paycheck meant no paycheck for all of us but it didn’t work. I put myself in the middle of it all and pretty soon both sides were mad at me.
“I stayed in Fraser Lake for another year and went back to work for CN Rail. I could see that there was no future for us in Fraser Lake so I loaded up my family and moved to Prince George.
“We bought a house and after three years with CN Rail I went to work for BC Rail. I did yard work, regular repairs and worked on the RIP line also known as repair work on the running inspection point. I retired in 2005 after nearly 20 years of service.”
Dennis had an interest in trap shooting and is proud to say that over the years he earned both gold and silver medals in several trap shooting competitions.
When he retired, he looked for suitable and meaningful employment and decided to do volunteer work instead.
Dennis is a member and a volunteer at the Prince George Tabernacle Church and he currently volunteers and ministers at the street church at St. Michaels, The Well, The Broken Bread Church, The Way Native Ministry and the Life Centre – a drop-in centre for the underprivileged.
He volunteered extensively at the 2015
Canada Winter Games.
Dennis ended by saying, “Moving to Prince George was a good move. This is a great place to live and there are many great people doing good things in this city.”
*** November birthdays that I know about: Nell Glass turns 99, Mary Kordyban, Shirley Bond, Eva Buchi (93), Noreen Rustad, Jim Rustad, Ginny Jenkins, Lorraine Anderson, Ann O’Shea, Karen Loehndorf, Maurice Mingay, Ken Royston, Bev Kelly, Maureen Braun, Jeanette Hawkenson, Josephine Lloyd, Darrell Rutledge, Carron Dunn, Robin Wright, Wendy Schmidt, Helen Eberherr, Ed Parent, Gale Russell, Randy Sokolowski, Jean Staniland, Maureen Suter, Rita Svatos, Ken Dahl, Eva Switzer, Margaret Toyata, Andrea Palombo, Myrna Lemke, Barbara Fairservice, Pat Collicutt, Dolly Girard, Bill Roper, Bill Smith, Agnes Lavale, Lindsay Hick, Christena Benwell, John Sunley, Lynn Anderson, Sharon Halvorson, Annette Kennedy, Fred Schaefer, Bill Heather, Marlene Arndt, Maureen Braun, Jack Paul, Sharon Paul, Mario Domenis, Lucien Prevost, Avis Giroday, Neil Hunter, Leno Ouellette, Rose Mcgregor, Sylvia Fetterly, Roy Ceal, Derrick Fife, Janice Rivers and Diane Trenaman.
*** November anniversaries that I know about: 66 years for John and Iva Lovett, 59 years for Ted and Carol Haugland, 57 years for Elmer and Maureen Braun, 54 years for Walter and Betty Wessner, 53 years for Vern and Verna Wright, 51 years for Roland and Edna Rouleau and 43 years for Larry and Kelly Flath.
Dennis Hausselman remains a busy volunteer in his retirement years.
SENIORS’ SCENE KATHY NADALIN