It has been reported this past week that the Canadian Cancer Society has decided to discontinue its cancer car service in the Victoria area.
However, on the rest of Vancouver Island, the Freemasons’ Cancer Car Program will continue. In part because of the support of people like Maureen Brinson and Harvey Hunter.
Since 2008 these two people have quietly done their part to help Freemasons in Campbell River continue with the Freemasons’ Cancer Car Program for the North Island. As many people who have had cancer or those who know someone who needed treatment each week, the Freemason’s Cancer Van drives them to Victoria and back home again without charge. In 2008, Harvey Hunter and Maureen Brinson both required this weekly service and saw the dedication of the Freemasons, their drivers, and dispatcher and decided to do something to support it. So each summer since then they have had a Beer & BBQ night in their garden by invitation and collected donations for the Freemasons’ Cancer Car Program.
Last year was a very special year in that Maureen and Harvey decided to be married at their Beer & BBQ affair (pictured above), but didn’t tell any of their invited guests that it would be any different than any other year. Only when everyone had been told that there was to be a speech did anyone take notice that a commissioner of marriage was there and Maureen and Harvey were standing in front of him. A one-year anniversary was held this summer with once again the donation being taken for the Freemasons’ Cancer Car. Over the years Maureen and Harvey have donated approximately $6,300 for this worthwhile program, which has been operating since 1991. The Freemasons purchase and insure the vans, pay for fuel, and pay for maintenance and repairs. The Canadian Cancer Society provides the initial patient contact and covers the telephone costs.
Each Freemason pays an annual levy to support the program, but bequests and donations like Maureen & Harvey Hunter’s help fund this service. With no paid staff and all of the volunteers and people like the Hunters’ efforts the Freemason’s Cancer Car Program makes life easier for Campbell River cancer patients.