“My three wives”

                “I’m here this morning to tell you about my life and my three wives,” said Eric Sukkel, as he started his classification talk on Thursday morning.
                Eric had previous told us a little bit about his life when, as a six-year-old boy in Holland, he witnessed the Canadian soldiers arriving to end the six-year German occupation of his country. That first impression of generosity and kindness (especially with chocolate bars) later influenced his choice of Canada as a country to which he wanted to immigrate
                Oh, yes, and the three wives. The first decided motherhood was not for her. “I think I was the first man in Alberta to be granted full custody of my children,” Eric told us.
                The second died of colon cancer. It was a devastating experience. Eric used the phrase, “touch me and I cry.” He took part in grief counselling groups, where, eventually, he met his third wife. She also had two children by a previous marriage. This year, Eric and Beverly have been married 15 years. Together, they now have seven children; 31 members of their multigenerational family.
                Both are, naturally, strong supporters of grief counselling groups, and have themselves led some groups.
                Various jobs over the years led Eric to become a certified professional welding instructor at the Vancouver Vocational Institute, which later became the B.C. Institute of Technology. He retired in 1999, at the age of 60. He now lives out a study on retirement which found that, on average, those who retire at 65 collect only 18 pension cheques; those who retire at 60 collect their pensions for 18 years.

Tracking our Shelterbox

                Back in June, our club donated a ShelterBox to assist the victims of disasters around the world. Nepal had had two earthquakes; Malawi in Africa had had devastating floods; Vanuatu in the Pacific had been hit by typhoons….
                ShelterBox International has added a feature to its home page that enables donors to track where their relief kit has gone, or is going. President Monika explains, “Members can track our ShelterBox by going to: www.shelterboxcanada.org and clicking on the “Track a Sponsored Box” link. Enter our box number (11543) into the search feature for more information on when and where the box will be deployed.”
                The site says that our box is still “to be deployed.”
                It may not actually be a “box.” After Typhoon Haiphan in the Philippines, a ShelterBox speaker told us in a previous meeting, the organization realized that the people there didn’t particularly need housing (a tent) when the country was littered with building materials. So they now sometimes send shelter kits instead – basically, a huge sack that includes tarpaulins and other necessities for getting started again.