Statement Banner

Andrew Swan, MLA Minto
May 8, 2013

Remembering Bob Gingras

Mr. Speaker, I rise to pay tribute to a man who meant a lot to many people in the West End of Winnipeg.

For more than three decades of his life, Bob Gingras was dedicated to bringing people in the West End together. He passed away last year far too soon at the age of 53. A celebration of his life at Valour Community Centre brought together a remarkable collection of people impacted by Bob and his work.

Part of a military family, Bob was born in France and lived in several places in Canada before settling in Winnipeg in 1981. As a devoted husband and father, he began volunteering with the Isaac Brock Community Centre as his children became involved in club activities. Over the years he became more and more involved with the club, eventually serving as president before taking on the position as club manager.

Bob worked hard to improve the opportunities for young people in the West End. He was instrumental in the amalgamation of Isaac Brock, Clifton, Orioles into the current Valour Community Centre, to provide better governance and greater recreation. He was a patient yet firm force supporting the renovation and expansion of the Isaac Brock site through the Building Communities Initiative. The expansion included a new gymnasium which has been a hub for activity ever since it opened.

Bob's strengths did not go unnoticed. He was hired as program director of the General Council of Winnipeg Community Centres to help strengthen community ties in neighbourhoods across the city, while he continued to support Valour Community Centre.

The inscription on the grave of architect Christopher Wren in St. Paul's Cathedral in London says: Reader, if you seek his monument, look around you. I know that for many years to come, young people in the West End will do just that when they visit the Bob Gingras Memorial Gymnasium at Valour Community Centre.

Thank you, Mr. Speaker.