Longtime Meals On Wheels volunteer Jack Hossie, seen delivering lunch with a smile to Nina Mackenzie in 2006
Photo Credit: Peace Arch News File Photo
We at Meals On Wheels are a fortunate lot. Our volunteers tend to be of the “salt of the earth” variety. A man who was the epitome of this passed away last month.
Jack Hossie joined our ranks in the early 1980s on the advice of his good friend, Percy Maggs, who was president at the time. He never looked back.
Jack took on the duties of driver, day captain and vice-president, and he brought honour, humour and dedication to all three positions.
He welded Monday’s team into a force to be reckoned with – be it bringing a hot meal with a smile, getting help in a needed area of a client’s life, making sure drivers had all they needed to complete their routes safely and informatively, and always coming to the rescue in the case of sudden car breakdowns.
He gained great trust on both sides of the meal box.
This was not without its moments.
One lady on receiving her meal one day presented him with a sandal with a broken strap and asked him to get it repaired. Jack did this for her and all was well for a while. Then a few months later, she told him she’d lost one of the sandals and she didn’t know how she was going to get another pair of the same type. Jack took the remaining one to every shoe store in the area until he found a matching size and design. She was thrilled.
For Jack, no step, in the aid of others, was ever too far.
We sometimes encounter great sadnesses along the way but Jack’s compassion and wisdom always helped restore balance and harmony. He had a deliciously wicked sense of humour and lived a full and well-rounded life. Tennis and swimming and travels to Hawaii were high on his list of joys but absolutely nothing could compare to his love for his wife and daughters.
All of us at Meals send our heartfelt condolences out to them.
Jack, if you asked him, would say he was an ordinary man. Yet to us who knew him and worked alongside him down through the years, he accomplished extraordinary things, bringing hope and smiles and comfort whereever he went.
He was not alone in this. Our volunteers as a whole are an incredible gift to this community and I thank each and every one of them from the bottom of my heart.
Jack may be a hard act to follow but in his honour we will follow his example and simply do our best, as he did, to make the world a gentler place to be.