This month a long-time Calgary Meals on Wheels driver, Stu Orr, is retiring. For the past 14 years Stu has been the Depot Driver for our Southwood United Church Depot and has improved not only our clients lives but our staff and volunteers as well. Prior to joining Calgary Meals on Wheels Stu had many successful careers including being part of the Royal Canadian Airforce for three and a half years, the Calgary Police force for 25 years, and a school bus and shuttle bus driver for almost 10 years. Although he loved his role in all his previous positions, Stu says, “Calgary Meals on Wheels has been my favourite. I got to work with lots of great people and make a real difference.”
Stu joined Calgary Meals on Wheels after his wife saw a posting for a driver position. He recalls, “I always thought it was a neat organization, I saw your vehicles all the time. When my wife saw the positing,” she said, “Why don’t you apply? You talk about them all the time anyways. So, I did and I’ve been here since.” When Stu first started learning about our organization he recalls it being an eye opener. He says, “I remember discovering about how important the service is and how it really does keep people in their home. I didn’t realize how much of a difference it made in peoples live and I was so happy to be a part of it.”
Flash forward 14 years, and Stu has been the pinnacle for many amazing stories involving our staff, clients, and of course, volunteers. One of his most memorable experiences involves a volunteer who would bring him a themed hat for various holidays. Stu says, “They would always bring me an outrageous hat and I would wear it the day later and everyone would be laughing uncontrollably because of how silly I looked.” With all his amazing stories about his time with us it is no surprise that Stu’s favourite part of working with Calgary Meals on Wheels is seeing and getting to know our volunteers. He says, “The volunteers who come to my depot treat it as a social club. When I pull up in the morning everyone is out of the cars talking to one another with huge smiles on their faces. It’s great to see.”
Stu has lived an eventful life. Moving to Calgary from Nova Scotia in 1967 to join the Police force, he has always been a very dedicated individual. Living by the belief that if there is something worth doing then you should do it right. It is obvious that this moto extends to in every aspect of Stu’s life. This October he and his wife will celebrate their 50th anniversary. Together they have created a loving home for their two children and new grandson. Beyond this, Stu has always excelled in his various careers. Working from the age of 14, no task has been too difficult for Stu. Since he started with Calgary Meals on Wheels, he has never failed to bring a smile to people’s face. He has been an important member of our team and we are truly going to miss him.
What do you want the public to know about Calgary Meals on Wheels?
The misconception that we only serve seniors is wrong. We help anyone in need and really do allow people who may be struggling, for no matter the reason, to stay independent and stay in their homes. The service is very important.
In three words or less describe what Meals on Wheels means to you.
Caring, dedication, necessity.