How They Lived
Born on a dairy farm, Hubert Balcaen was only 13 when he left to go to boarding school and then university.
Balcaen, who died on Jan. 12, was hired by the University of Manitoba as coordinator of language laboratories. But it wasn’t long before he was offered a position as a French professor — and he took it.
But Balcaen didn’t just want to teach the language and the culture, he wanted to inspire his students. He must have because, during his 30-year teaching career, he was honoured with a Merit Award of Excellence in Teaching.
And for many of those years he volunteered at Development and Peace, serving as the first president of the local chapter in the Saint Boniface Diocese. Read more about Hubert.
Lucille Tolaini was a hairdresser who became a successful real estate agent.
Tolaini, who was 82 when she died on Jan. 27, was a realtor, first in Brandon, where she owned Dream Home Realty, then in Winnipeg for Qualico.
While living in Brandon she also loved to volunteer — you would have seen her at the Labatt Brier and the Jeux Canada Games.
She was also known for inviting people into her place for a glass of wine. Perhaps that’s why she later helped her daughter at her wine store, Jones and Company Wine Merchants. Read more about Lucille.
You might have bought furniture from Bob Faveri — and then had to stain it.
That’s because after Faveri, who was 93 when he died on Jan. 22, had a successful career as an entrepreneur across the country before he founded his namesake business, Faveri’s Unpainted Furniture, in Winnipeg.
But Faveri also volunteered, giving of his time with The Lion’s Club, Sales and Marketing Club, Camp Manitou, and the Winnipeg Winter Club to name a few. Read more about Bob.
Janet Baldwin was a champion of human rights.
Baldwin, who was 78 when she died on Jan. 23, was born in England, got her law degree there, and, after continuing her studies at other universities, came to the University of Manitoba to be a professor starting in 1967.
Baldwin stayed until retiring in 1998, in between serving four times as associate dean.
She was appointed to the Manitoba Human Rights Commission, first as a commissioner and then, in 2001, as chairwoman. She was there until retiring again in 2007. She then served on Winnipeg Harvest’s board. Read more about Janet.
Stanley Nickarz touched the lives of many students during his almost four decade career as a teacher.
Nickarz, who died on Jan. 24, at 79, taught at Pine Falls School, then Gordon Bell, before finishing at Sargent Park School.
How did Nickarz get to be a teacher? He went the University of Winnipeg to get his Bachelor’s Degree in Education. How did he pay for his education? He could play the trumpet and, in fact, he was so good at it he was able to play for bands and get paid while still going to school. Read more about Stanley.
A Life’s Story
John Hak was so enthusiastic about the local music scene that the musicians in bands became his fans.
Hak, who was 66 when he died Nov. 30 after a brain aneurysm, was known for losing himself in dancing to live music at venues across the city.
Hak, in one of his bright shirts, at the Winnipeg Folk Festival. (JSENFTPHOTOGRAPHY)
“There was a time about 10 years ago, if John didn’t show up to your show you knew you weren’t in a cool band,” recalled Jesse Millar, who drums with Roma Mayes and the Honeysliders, in a recent Passages feature.
“If John showed up that night it’s “Yes, I’m in a cool band!”
Read more about Hak’s life.
Until next time, I hope you continue to write your own life’s story.