PROVIDENCE BAY—People have many reasons for volunteering. For Jack White of Providence Bay, it is all about helping and supporting the community.
“Everyone has a different reason for volunteering. In my case, it’s giving back to my community,” Mr. White told The Expositor. “Volunteering and helping out has always been part of my family history.”
“I am currently the president of both the Providence Bay Agricultural Society and president of the Providence Bay Curling Club,” Mr. White told The Expositor. “Basically, I moved back to the Island in 2013 and I’ve been with the agricultural society ever since. I’m working on my fifth year as president.”
Mr. White, who manages both the Limestone Island Abattoir and the Limestone Island Butcher Shop in Little Current, was in the Canada military, the Navy, for 27 years. “I left the Island for the Navy in July, 1983. Part of work was helping as volunteers in different countries. We did a lot of volunteering. Our corporate sponsor was the United Way. I was part of helping with fundraising off and on for at least 18 years. Of my 27 years with the Navy, 18 of them were spent on a ship.”
“At various times the ship’s crew put on fundraisers, both on and off the ship,” said Mr. White. “I remember one time when Hurricane Juan hit Halifax in 2003. Power was out in most places and we had what they called ‘chem lights,’ that glow in the dark for 6-8 hours. Halifax was our second home. I lived there 25 years, and during the power outage I took one of these chem lights to my neighbour’s home. She was an elderly lady, and I knocked on her door and when she answered I handed her the chem light and told her what it was for. I told her she could use this so she could see in her house and wouldn’t stub her toes on furniture. She thought it was so cool and obviously appreciated it very much. It was heartwarming to see her reaction. Little things like this go a long way.”
“I actually took 20 years off at one point from curling,” Mr. White told The Expositor. “It wasn’t until later, in our latter years out on the east coast, that I got back into curling.”
With volunteering, “I’m giving back to my community, I left (Manitoulin Island) at such an early age,” continued Mr. White. “And volunteering has always been a big part of my family. When I was young my grandfather (John White) and I couldn’t wait until the fall; he was a director of the Providence Bay Fall Fair in charge of the food and vegetable display at the fair and I would help him out. And there was an expectation through my mother (Ella White) that I would be part of the agriculture society and to carry on the family tradition.”
Again in curling, “our family is full of curlers. My grandfather got me interested in curling, and I’ve never looked back,” said Mr. White.
As for how he became president of the Providence Bay Curling Club, Mr. White quipped, “I wouldn’t say that I drew the short stick, but everyone else in the club said, ‘you’re going to be the president.’
He is presently in his third year as president of the curling club and said volunteers do a lot of work behind the scenes to make sure curling clubs operate. “For many years I did the ice regularly, every week, and for bonspiels. “And I was one of the last members that painted the curling club red. Harold Dewar talked me into it.”