GORE BAY – Management and staff of the Manitoulin Lodge Nursing Home in Gore Bay have made a donation to the Gore Bay Fish and Game Club in memory of their beloved ex-co-worker and friend Dave Adamczak, who passed way in a tragic drowning in Kagawong this past May.
“We respected and loved Dave so much that we had to do something in his memory,” stated Nicole Middleton, a nurses’ aide at the Lodge, on Monday. “He was an amazing co-worker and person. He was so compassionate and so good with the residents (of the Lodge).” She noted Mr. Adamczak was also an avid fisherman.
Mamie Bowerman, a resident at the Lodge, wrote in a letter, “you never had to think about a subject to talk about when Dave was around… fishing. He was a great nurse who would show Millie and I his latest fishing adventure pictures. I don’t know my fish but never fear, Dave was there to explain what they were and what lake they had been caught from. Thanks for the memories, Dave! Keep on catching them in that ‘great fishing hole up yonder.’”
Mr. Adamczak, who was originally from Windsor, lost his life tragically at the age of 29 in a canoeing incident in Kagawong on Saturday, May 9. He and 31-year-old Kyle Jokinen from Whitefish had been fishing when their canoe capsized. Neither of the men had been wearing a lifejacket.
“We were all so heartbroken at what happened to Dave that we had to do something in his memory,” said Ms. Middleton. She pointed out,” it was in Gore Bay where he started his career. The (Manitoulin) Lodge was where he had his first nursing job.”
Mr. Adamczak had graduated as a registered nurse with a clinical-led major in 2014. At the time of his passing he was the assistant director of care at Espanola Long-Term Nursing Home, and lived in Espanola. He came to Northern Ontario in 2015, taking a position at the Manitoulin Lodge in Gore Bay, working there for almost three-and-a-half years. An avid fisherman, he spent most of his downtime on the water.
Ms. Middleton said that she had contacted Dave’s brother Arthur about the memorial the Lodge was undertaking and he wrote her, “that is awesome. We thank you all very much.”
Ms. Middleton pointed out that she and Dave went fishing in the Gore Bay harbour several times after work over the years. “We worked the night shift a lot and several times we would go fishing in Gore Bay at 6:30 am when our shifts were over. I caught my first salmon fishing with Dave, and I remember one time we were fishing out near the airport, Dave caught a bass. He always released the fish he caught because he was allergic to fish and he said he was going to put that one back…I said no you aren’t—I’m taking that fish home with me to eat.”
“I didn’t have a stringer but Dave let me use his, and it’s incorporated on the plaque (presented to the GBFGC),” said Ms. Middleton.
After mulling over ideas on how to keep Dave’s memory alive, “staff and management decided that we could made a donation to the fish and game club toward the hatchery.” Staff and management at the Lodge raised $250.
Ms. Middleton and Debbie Wright, co-director of care at the Lodge, presented a cheque in the amount of $250 and a plaque “In Memory of Super Dave Angler (which has lures attached at the bottom of it, donated by staff at the Lodge),” to Ches Witty, a member of the fish and game club on Tuesday.
“This is a really nice gesture,” stated Mr. Witty. “This is a wonderful gift. And on behalf of the Gore Bay Fish and Game Club we will display this plaque in our new club building in memory of Dave. And we will use the funds in our hatchery.”