The many years of hard work and volunteerism Bill Pashby has devoted to the East York community was recognized when the Leasider was named the recipient of this year’s Agnes Macphail Award.
Pashby, 65, said he was unaware that he was nominated for the award, named after the first woman to both sit in the House of Commons and in the Ontario Legislature.
“I got a phone call a couple of weeks (before the ceremony), I was definitely not expecting it, but I was pleasantly surprised,” said the former chairman of the board for the Toronto East General Hospital. “I was very honoured to be in the same group as the previous winners.”
A lawyer by trade, Pashby said he had a very comfortable childhood growing up in Leaside and is keen on sharing his good fortune with others.
Pashby’s longtime friend Graham Lute, who nominated Pashby for the award, said he’s watched Pashby’s growth and development over the past 50 years.
“He has a real passion for helping kids, new Canadians as well as seniors,” said Lute. “He gets his own personal joy out of just watching others grow and build themselves, that’s where he gets his satisfaction. He exemplifies volunteer work and for me and others who had supported his nomination, we were thrilled and delighted and thought he was really a deserving candidate.
Lute said Pashby coached for the Leaside Baseball Adam League. Now, some of the kids he taught are professionals who now ask Pashby to work on their committees because “They see him as a mentor”, said Lute.
“He likes to help and mentor people because, quite frankly, he has a huge heart.”
Devoting time and effort to the community is a win-win situation for anyone, said Pashby.
“Hopefully the organization I volunteer for gains something for my involvement, and for certain, I gained a great deal with them … I gained knowledge, new friends and a nice, warm feeling.”
Pashby is also a volunteer committee member for several charities including the Salvation Army of Canada and Bermuda, The Canadian National Institute For The Blind.
He also serves as chairman of the board for the Thorncliffe Neighbourhood Office, and the Dr. Tom Pashby Sports Safety Fund.
Founded by his father, the latter organization promotes the prevention of injuries occurring in sports and recreational activities.
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