If you play pickle ball, Bill has probably beaten you many times. If you’re on the Ships Point Fire Department, you’ve spent a lot of time with Bill at training sessions and callouts. If you’ve had any involvement with the SPVFFA (the volunteer association that raises money for the Ships Point Fire Department), you’ve worked with Bill. The popular Chipping Day events that are run by the SPVFFA wouldn’t happen without Bill. If you’ve attended an event at the Fanny Bay Hall, most likely Bill, flashlight in hand, has directed you to an open spot in the parking lot. If you are on the Area Planning Commission for Comox Valley, you’ve attended meetings with Bill. If you’re a key staff member at the CVRD, you most certainly know Bill!
In addition to all of the above, Bill is also a member and director of BWS. Though in BWS, he flies under the radar. He doesn’t tromp about in the creeks with us. He doesn’t help staff our display tables at community events. He keeps an uncharacteristically low profile. But he’s our secret weapon, our ace-in-the-hole. He gathers pertinent bits of information from his extensive network of connections and drops them, like tiny info-bombs, at our board meetings. He pushes us to consider things like getting charity status, despite our fears about the amount of work involved. Then he connects us with the resources (like the irrepressible Ingrid Welch at Antelope Bookkeeping) to help make it happen.
He works the back channels to get access to resources we had given up on. He wends his way through the Byzantine maze of corporate philanthropy to get us a generous gift from a former employer. For much of, the “Zoom era”, when most meetings, including ours, were held online, Bill had problems with the camera on his computer. We saw him simply as a bright square of hazy light. When he spoke, we said it was a “voice from above”. We’re back to meeting in person now and what a joy that is! Bill has lost that hazy halo but he’s still our elder statesman extraordinaire. He will likely object to this characterization, being the humble soul that he is. You know Bill!