Kimberley lost a great man this week. Stan Salikin passed away Wednesday, August 10 after a battle with cancer.
Every community has volunteers. But then there was Stan Salikin. Every community has people who care; who go the extra mile for their fellow man. But then there was Stan Salikin.
A man of humour and kindness and amazing energy; a man who embodied all the good things the world thinks of as Canadian, Stan Salikin will be deeply missed by all of Kimberley.
“Stan Salikin is my hero,” said Kimberley Mayor Don McCormick. “He has done more good for Kimberley and groups in Kimberley than almost anyone in the city. Stan, perhaps more broadly than anyone, has represented the volunteer spirit in Kimberley. He has been selfless in his volunteerism on behalf of so many groups. Quite honestly, he was too young. It’s just terrible news.”
McCormick went on to say that he couldn’t think of enough positive things to say about Stan.
“Stan gave back a ton more than he received, which made our community a much better place; he avoided recognition, never feeling what he was doing as a big deal.”
Earlier this year, Salikin was awarded the Governor General’s Caring Canadian Medal and McCormick says he is so pleased that happened when Stan was still healthy.
“He was so proud of his Governor General medal ..he had tears in his eyes when he showed slides of his trip to Ottawa at a Rotary meeting when he returned. It was a great moment. He was a true Rotarian who epitomized ‘service above self’. , Stan touched a lot of people and will be missed by the entire community. It is a sad day.”
Most recently Stan was known to Kimberley for his tireless work for the Helping Hands Food Bank and as Kimberley Rotary’s best ticket seller. But he has been involved in so many organizations and causes, it’s hard to keep track of them all. He worked with KIOTAC for years, with the Kimberley and District Chamber of Commerce, the float committee and so many other groups. With all of them, he gave everything he had.
He spoke eloquently of those in need of the assistance of the Food Bank, with great empathy and great understanding. Stan saw those in need as people first, not statistics.
He had an amazingly sharp mind and he knew if you had purchased a duck ticket or not, though he sold thousands of them every year. He’d call your name from his favourite perch outside the Liquor Store, invite you over to talk with a smile, and you did not leave until you’d purchased at least one ticket.
Personally, I’ve know him since I began at the Bulletin 16 years ago. He stopped by my office often, but it was never just to chat, though he did love to gossip about what was going on as much as I did. But he always had a plan that he was trying to execute, an event he was trying to orchestrate, somebody he was trying to help.
It is best to sum up the man, Stan Salikin, with the words of Governor General David Johnston when presenting the Caring Canadian medal.
“Because volunteering is what you do.
You do it superbly.
Why do you do it? What drives you?
I have a theory. It’s very old, yet revolutionary. It’s called love.
That’s what drives you.
Love for people. For your communities. For this country and for a better world.
And service is love made visible. As the saying goes, “Service is the rent we pay for our space on Earth.”
Stan Salikin more than paid his rent.