Client and Volunteer from our Friendship Calling program
Over forty years ago Barbara left Ontario to settle in Victoria. To say she is an avid hockey fan is an understatement.
When she moved west Barbara abandoned the Toronto Maple Leafs in favour of becoming an Edmonton Oilers fan. Years of support have left her with plenty of memories and an impressive collection of Oilers memorabilia.
Barbara’s love of hockey began with the opportunity as a child to play hockey with anyone who would stay after public skating to play the game. It was the best of times where all were welcome regardless of age or gender to grab their stick and join a side for rousing ad hoc games.
Barbara has been a client of Saanich Volunteer Services for the past two years. Barbara is a very accomplished and independent lady but like a lot of us, found it hard to make connections during our Covid restrictions and we offered to find her a Friendship caller to lift her spirits.
Barbara describes herself as a hockey nut, political junkie, and concert groupie. She thoroughly enjoys her chats with her Friendship Caller, Steve, as they discuss the Oilers woes and triumphs throughout the hockey season and branch off into political discussion of how best to run the world or at least Canada. Barbara says that she really looks forward to these calls. While they have never met in person Barbara feels she has a good friend in Steve. Throughout Covid Barbara has greatly appreciated the Friendship Calls program through Saanich Volunteers and says that talking to Steve is the highlight of her week.
Although the Oilers were ousted from this year’s hockey finals, hope springs eternal in Barbara’s belief that the Oilers will succeed in bring home the Stanley Cup sometime soon. In the meantime, as the weather warms, Barbara has retired her team jersey until the games start in the fall. Telephone calls with Steve will continue as they discuss how to better run the world.
“When life throws you lemons, you make lemonade.”
This is exactly what Steve did when an accident required him to change course. Steve was not sure about volunteering at first but says that since he became a committed member of Saanich Volunteer Services in 2019 it has been ‘a joy’ and helped him with his confidence and he has found a different way to approach things. Steve loves talking to Barbara and says that she brightens his day, and he always looks forward to their conversations – ‘it feels good to give back’.
Steve sees that talking with Barbara enriches both of their lives. They discuss their favourite hockey teams and there is a lot of fun, teasing and camaraderie as they dissect the plays and the teams. Steve admits that Barbara is better informed on the political news as she follows it quite closely, but they still have engaging conversations.
Steve looks forward to meeting Barbara in person one day and to introduce her to his best new puppy friend.