By Christopher Gooding
SPRINGHILL - Another of Springhill's finest added his name to CTV's list of Maritimers of the Week and none were more surprised than recipient Bill Ward.
A lifetime of selfless volunteering, Ward's award was shrouded in a cloak of secrecy to get all of his friends and supporters into the same room as Ward without him finding out something was up.
Meeting at the Dr. Carson and Marion Murray Community Centre, friends mixed and mingled at a supposed 'volunteers interview' with CTV as Doug Dobson took Ward on an extended tour of the community centre. Soon Ward was introduced into the room for his own volunteer interview and then joined the company of his good friends.
It wasn't until a group shot of the supposed volunteers was taken that Ward was let in on the secret. With Ward front and centre, Clarence Falconer announced the real reason everyone was there.
"For all the special work you do...you've been named CTV's Maritimer of the Week," Falconer said.
Speechless, Ward gazed on as he was presented with the award.
"I'm shocked. Very shocked," Ward would say after regaining his bearings. "I like to help people out. I live to help people, that's why I'm here."
As a child Ward was struck and dragged two blocks by a car. Just five-years old, Ward defied the odds and survived and rather than let that incident define him he overcame the challenges to become what Falconer and Elaine Falconer call a homespun hero.
Ward maintains minor hockey-league statistics, looks after the time clock and helps with equipment. Away from the ink he can be found shoveling snow for seniors and contributing to the Santa Clause Parade and annual winter carnival. He has been church deacon and past-chair of the Baptist Brotherhood and at one time spent his springs and summers coaching minor girl's softball, earning the respect and admiration of his friends and coworkers.
"He's reliable," Doug Embree said. "He's there when you need him."
"People don't realize how much he does," Cumberland South MLA Murray Scott said. "We had the Brotherhood's annual breakfast and there was always one more dish to wash or one more chair to put out and when the doors opened Bill had us ready to go."