Robin Campbell – Vocational Service Award

Posted By Ken Walker

Allan Gannon and President Deb Martin-Cox present a Paul Harris Vocational Service Award to Robin Campbell.


Photo courtesy of Lissa Alexander of the Parksville Qualicum Beach News


On April 24, 2014, at Eaglecrest Golf Club, we celebrated the contribution of Robin Campbell to our community with presentation of a Rotary Paul Harris Fellowship Award.

Those present included:

Robin and Sylvia Campbell, our guests of honour
Mayor Teunis Westbroeck, Town of Qualicum Beach
Councillor Bill Neufeld, City of Parksville
Coco Littlejohn, and Sandy Dunn Members of Oceanside Homeless Task Force
Stan and Del Kristalovich, and Kathleen Tolley from the North Island Wildlife Recovery Centre

Allan Gannon started off by explaining the award.  He said:

The Paul Harris Fellowship is named for Paul Harris, who founded Rotary with three Chicago business associates in 1905. The Fellowship was established in his honor to express appreciation for a contribution US$1,000 to the humanitarian programs of The Rotary Foundation. Foundation programs provide educational opportunities, food, potable water, health care, immunizations, and shelter for millions of persons. These activities are funded, implemented and managed by Rotary clubs around the globe. Rotarians may also sponsor a Paul Harris Fellow to recognize another person whose life demonstrates a shared purpose with the objectives and mission of The Rotary Foundation. Today we are honoring such a person through a $1,000. contribution to The Rotary Foundation on his behalf. By this contribution we are in effect extending Robin’s humanitarian work to a global level.

Allan then spoke about Robin Campbell saying:

Robin Campbell was born in England and raised with his siblings by a single mother. His 95 year young Mom, who Robin describes as a ”real trooper,” was to be with us today; however, she recently experienced a fall so was unable to attend. Robin has been married to Sylvia Campbell for 41 years. They had 3 children 1 now deceased, a 7 year old granddaughter and another grandchild arriving in February.

Robin began his humanitarian activities at a young age assisting at a homeless shelter and at the Calgary zoo. After some experience in the grocery business he and Sylvia started the North Island Wildlife Recovery centre more than 27 years ago. The centre, a non profit wildlife rescue shelter began in Buckley Bay. When the opportunity arose to build a suitable premises for the centre’s operation in Errington, it was moved there. The centre continues to develop and is known internationally for good the work it is doing. At about the same time as the animal shelter got under way the Glendale Institution was closed and its residents were moved to family homes. Robin and Sylvia took on that challenge and have had mentally challenged adults living with them since. In another helping role Robin spent 17 years as a volunteer assisting chaplains at the Nanaimo correctional centre where he provided individual and group support to those incarcerated. He has also been involved in coaching Special Olympics.

Robin began Manna Ministries with the help of other people and organizations about 4 years ago. Since then he has been gathering food, clothing, tents, sleeping bags portable stoves and other personal necessities for those living in the rough, then distributing them out of a van by the Legion in Parksville on a regular basis. Equally important, Robin’s support and advocacy for the homeless has raised Oceanside resident awareness of the magnitude of homelessness in our community and inspired others to take action. Robin says he enjoys helping people in need. In doing so he finds considerable pleasure in success stories, even small successes. Robin truly models the Rotary motto “Service above Self”.

In addition to the verbal review of the Campbell’s work, we had a video presentation that illustrates some of their healing activities and the heart that goes into them.  And then Allan said:

Robin, you were selected to receive this recognition because the members of the Rotary Club of Qualicum Beach Sunrise believe that your life exemplifies the humanitarian and educational objectives of Rotary. We honor you today for demonstrating in your life and vocation a commitment to helping persons and others of God’s creatures in need.

Robin is one of the founders of Manna Homeless Society.  The club also presented a donation of $1,000 to that organization to support its work in our community.

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