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Volunteering second nature for N.K. resident
After more than 40 years of service, Al Rouse has retired from the board of the Manitoba Medical Service Foundation.
The North Kildonan resident was one of the founding members of MMSF in 1971, and served as a board member for 41 years. His tenure included 36 years as chairman of the board.
The MMSF is a charitable organization which has provided $18 million since 1971 for health-related research and education in Manitoba, and is supported by Manitoba Blue Cross.
Giving time to charitable organizations and community groups is nothing new to Rouse.
"As a young man growing up, people did things for us. People volunteered for us, so I’m returning it today," said Rouse, a Second World War veteran who served in Europe and the South Pacific.
"I enjoyed it all these years and one thing led to another."
In addition to his numerous volunteer efforts, the 86 -year-old retiree served the province for 43 years in the Department of Justice.
Rouse also spent 25 years as a school trustee for the former East Kildonan District and later the River East School Division, including 12 years as board chairman. He is also a past president and life member of the Manitoba Association of School Trustees.
His volunteer resume includes a stint as a member of the Elmwood-East Kildonan YMCA’s board of directors and he remains an active board member with Kiwanis Club of East Kildonan.
Rouse has received a number of awards for his volunteer efforts. Most recently he was recognized by the faculty of medicine at the University of Manitoba for his efforts in supporting health research and education in Manitoba through the MMSF.
While the attention is flattering, Rouse said it isn’t the reason he gives back to the community.
"It’s wonderful that it happens, but it’s not for the awards. I didn’t expect them," he said.
Dr. Lindsay Du Val, the current chairwoman of the board for the MMSF who succeeded Rouse, said it would be difficult to find someone who has given as much of their time as Rouse.
"I’m the third generation to work with him. This man has given outstanding service over decades to the city, and the province," Du Val said.
"He’s an extraordinary man who has done extraordinary things."
Rouse said it was a difficult decision to step down from the MMSF, but felt it was the right time to do so.
"It was hard to step away. They wanted me to stay on, but I looked at my age and it was time," he said.
"At my age I look back and I’m happy with everything I was involved with."
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(1 of 15 articles for this week)05/22/2013 1:00 AM 0
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