Squamish has suffered a major loss this week with the death of Dr. LaVerne Kindree at the age of 88.
Dr. Kindree did more in one lifetime than most could accomplish in five all the while providing shining examples of the many ways we can all make a difference.
Being the first and for many years, the only resident doctor in Squamish and leading the charge to bring a hospital to the community would be enough for us to acclaim him today.
But that was just the opening act in his amazing life. Dr. Kindree had a hand in founding Squamish in many other ways, from helping to create the Squamish Board of Trade the forerunner to the Squamish Chamber of Commerce to founding the Squamish Rotary Club to serving in our first municipal government.
Even after retiring from active medical practice, he spent decades working tirelessly to improve medical care in our community through the Squamish Health Care Foundation.
Practically everything he did had an element of helping others even the tribute evening to Dr. Kindree's 60 years of service held by the Squamish Rotary Club two years ago raised more than $200,000 for the Squamish Health Care Foundation.
And at the same time as he was serving and shaping his community, he was working on other fronts to serve his profession and improve the lives of thousands through his medical research. From taking on the federal government to allow doctors to form professional corporations to helping confirm the presence of Lyme disease in B.C., Dr. Kindree dedicated his entire life to service.
And while his passing leaves us sorrowful, his example gives us inspiration and confidence. In an era where governments and businesses seem to be capable to doing less, Dr. Kindree's life of service is an example of what can be done by someone who just won't quit.
And he wasn't alone. Squamish was built by many dedicated people who didn't take "no" for an answer, who didn't simply stop trying and who, when others wouldn't help, simply rolled up their sleeves and got working. Their legacies live on here, from schools to hospitals to sports fields to the dikes that protect us. Many of the amenities that we see today as government-given were built with their hands.
The ability to build our own facilities may be from a by-gone era, but we can still emulate the spirit of service that fired Dr. Kindree and all those who built our community. That's the best way to honour their memory.
The next time you find yourself at Squamish General Hospital to visit a friend or for an emergency room visit, remember that you're in the house that Dr. Kindree built.
And while you're there, it wouldn't hurt to say "Thanks, Doc."