Vol­un­teer­ing works in ev­ery lan­guage

The Prince George Citizen - - Seniors -

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.

CIT­I­ZEN PHOTO BY JAMES DOYLE

Den­nis Haus­sel­man re­mains a busy vol­un­teer in his re­tire­ment years.

SE­NIORS’ SCENE KATHY NADALIN

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