At Big Brothers Big Sisters, we believe every child should have the opportunity to reach his or her full potential – both as individuals and citizens. We believe that by changing the course of young lives we can in turn be changing the course of a community’s future.
Start Talking is a place where we want to raise awareness of key issues that face today’s youth. We will sometimes advocate, sometimes educate, sometimes inform, sometimes ask questions and always invite discussion about the pressing concerns that involve the younger generations of today.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Over Four Decades of Friendship

by Omer J. Foisy

The year: 1971. The place: my barber shop in the little town of Thamesford, Ontario, about 20 kilometres east of London. One sunny afternoon, I am just sitting and reading the newspaper. A man pulls up in front of my shop. He comes in and I greet him. He sits and I cut his hair. He asks a few questions and the next twenty minutes pass. He pays me and leaves. About two weeks go by and this man comes in again. This time he has a purpose. He asks me if I have ever considered becoming a Big Brother. I tell him I’ll think about it, and leave it at that. He leaves.

My Little Brother, Jimmy, and I were matched on March 8, 1971. I can’t begin to tell you how much that relationship meant to me. You see, my wife and I had five girls during our life together. At that time we had two girls. Jimmy became part of our family, and so did his family. Jimmy had two sisters and an older brother.

In 1972, I was really involved; I was now on the board of directors. Jimmy and I enjoyed many hours together at his home, playing chess, which he taught me. I never beat him in over forty years. He spent many hours with our family, even camping in the northern parks of Ontario. We attended numerous hockey games at our favourite arena, Maple Leaf Gardens. We’ve been to a Tiger-Cats football game and on many fishing trips. We have been a very close-knit family and will always remain so. We have had sad experiences, such as the passing of Jimmy’s mother and my father, but we have had many —and I mean many — good times! Visits at his oldest sister’s cottage in Port Stanley with his family. We have always enjoyed golfing together and also with his brother and his son, Steven. Steven is also our godchild. They call me “the Godfather.” What an honour it has been to have known such a great family for such a long time.

We can be proud to say we’ve never had a bad word among us. My life as a Big Brother has kept our family close together, and today we still enjoy our everlasting friendship.

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