Harvey Hanson, 22 August 1936 – 4 June 2012: The Essence of a Rotarian

Editor’s Note: The following is the eulogy for Harvey Hanson, read by his daughter, Deanna Hanson who has kindly consented to share it with Harvey’s fellow Rotarians at my request because I think she captures beautifully the ideal characteristics of a Rotarian.

Harvey Hanson
District Governor 2010 – 2011

Are You a Bridge Builder?

When I think of my dad, I immediately think of his beliefs about building bridges, both literally and figuratively.  He always believed in the power and strength of building bridges. I believe Dad would have said it like this…

When you get right down to it, there are really only two types of people in this world, those who build bridges and those who don’t.

Bridge builders are team players and go out of their way to render support and encouragement to people they meet along the road of life.

Dad…was very good at getting people on his side.  He had a way about him where he could gently persuade people to do the right thing.  Guess what? He was usually right.  Most of us were always on his team, or if we weren’t we wished we were.

Bridge builders make outstanding mentors because of their eagerness to share and nurture. They are terrific role models and leaders in every sense of the word.

Dad… was my mentor, confidant, and friend…he taught me a lot of things in life, moral values, respect for elders, I could go on and on.  He was such a terrific role model because of his willingness to help others.  There aren’t many decisions I made in life that were not influenced in some way by him.

Bridge builders unselfishly invest their time and energy helping others to reach their full potential.

Dad was so unselfish with his time, helping me at the cabin one weekend and driving to Winnipeg or Selkirk the next.  He gave everything to others, rarely thinking of himself.  His contributions to his family and friends were, for us, overwhelming, but to him no big deal.  He gave of himself so freely, it’s simply… who he was!

Bridge builders are always quick to praise people who have mentored them on their journey. They’re extremely grateful that someone recognized their talent and helped them develop their potential.

Dad……..was very quick to praise people who helped him along the way.  Just recently, he was so thrilled to be asked to be district governor!  He was truly grateful for the opportunity.  Through his year of service in Rotary, he met many people who influenced him and provided him with the desire to learn and do more.  When he came home, he was so enthused by what he had learned that he couldn’t wait to share stories.  I now realize that he also influenced many others along his travels as well.  This was very apparent by the number of visitors he received in the hospital.

Bridge builders help others not for personal gain or credit, but simply because it’s the right thing to do. They don’t build bridges for the sake of mere recognition; they build because it’s in their very nature to do so.

Dad…………was always willing to help others for no personal gain whatsoever; it was really just in him to do so.  He would be the first person to say…”let me help you with that” or “not a problem”.  He doesn’t realize what he left behind.  I can’t tell you how many times I would say to him…dad, what do you think about this(showing him a  picture of something in a magazine) and the next day, the plans would be made and the lumber bought!

Bridge builders care more than others think is wise, risk more than others think is safe and expect more than others believe is possible!

Dad….was definitely a risk taker.  I mean, how many people would move to Thompson Manitoba not really knowing what the future would hold?  This quality made him who he was.  He instilled this in all of us and we all have a small dose of risk-taking in us because of him.  I think he really believed in the motto…”do something every day that scares you!”
My Dad showed me the how, the why, and the where,
No matter what, he was always there.
Years may come and go, but his memory will never be erased.
I once knew a man, who gave love at his best,
And no one can ever take your place. I miss you so much DAD!

Eulogy for Harvey Hanson

Read by daughter…Deanna Hanson

About John Borst

John Borst’s career in education spans the years 1960 to 1996. During those 36 years, he spent an equal amount of time working int he English language, Public and Catholic school boards. Borst taught in both elementary and high school environments. Positions of responsibilities held included department head in Geography, curriculum coordinator of Social and Environmental Studies, Principal, Education Officer with the Ministry of Education, Superintendent of Schools, and Superintendent of Student Services. Borst retired in 1996 as Director of Education for the legacy Dryden Board of Education. During this time, Borst has lived in the Ontario communities of Brampton, Toronto, Newmarket, Thunder Bay, Aurora and Dryden. Currently, Borst splits his time between Dryden and Toronto. Since retirement, Borst has served as a Supervisory Officer with a remote School Authority; been a freelance writer of articles on education in particular for Education Today, the magazine of the Ontario Public School Boards’ Association (OPSBA); founded and edited from 2006 - 2010 the Education blog Tomorrow’s Trust: A Review of Catholic Education; and from 2003-2010 was a trustee of the Northwest Catholic District School Board.
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