Dave Baines has been named the Barriere Citizen of the Year for 2016 by acclamation.
This year’s nominations submitted for the 28th annual Citizen of the Year award all have the name of Dave Baines as the citizen of choice by the nominators.
Individual nominations naming Baines were received from Norm Johnson, Al Robinson, Jarek Kotlewski, and Julie Hall. All of the nominations made note of Baines ongoing sponsorship for the first New Year’s baby of the year, and for his philanthropy in helping those in the community who were in need.
“He’s a fabulous fellow!”, wrote Hall, “He employs locals who struggle to find work, and he has an apartment full of renters and he keeps them happy and comfortable; new flooring, paint, etc.”
Kotlewski wrote, “Dave has lived in Barriere for almost 40 years and during that time has helped many needy local people in hardship with no interest for himself.”
Johnson wrote, “He has given the equivalent of the baby’s weight in loonies to the Barriere New Year’s baby for many years, and he has helped many people in need,”
Robinson wrote, “In the past years Dave has given many a ‘leg up’, myself included. The company I worked for (Esket Wood Products) went belly up and I was selling my car to put food on the table. Dave ‘made’ part-time work for me, and later it was full-time with Results Realty until he sold it. We still have a part-time work arrangement. I have seen him repeat this kindness over and over again in one form or another for more than 20 years.”
Since selling his real estate business (Results Realty) in the early 1990’s, Baines says he has had a fairly low public profile in the community.
However, he is well known for annual gifting the first New Year’s baby of the area with its weight in loonies, and giving parents an opportunity to immediately start a bank account for the child to assist in educational opportunities later in life. He did this for approximately 15 years, and although finally stopping in 2016, he still couldn’t resist making a donation to the New Year’s baby gift basket for 2017.
Moving to Barriere from Edmonton in the fall of 1979 with wife Sheila (“I married the prettiest girl in Red Deer”) and four children, the family came to stay. Baines drove school bus for two years and then moved into the real estate market, opened his own Results Realty within the community of Barriere, and stayed in the business for over a decade.
Baines says he never forgets the helping hand he received from two folks (Vera and Jack) over 40 years ago in Edmonton when he was struggling financially to make ends meet for his family.
“I’d gone broke. Was too proud for welfare, and ended up picking up bottles to survive.”
Baines says, “Vera and Jack gave me a reason to get out of bed, and a reason to try. That’s why I give other folks a hand, give them a job, help them move on.”
Baines says he hasn’t been one to join clubs and organizations, but he did enjoy singing in the North Thompson Choir for a number of years. Now he manages his small family farm, and oversees his apartment building in Barriere under his company name ‘Elim Enterprises Inc.’
“I keep the rates reasonable so it is affordable for people and especially seniors, with a limited income – that is important to me,” said Baines, “The name ‘Elim’ in Hebrew means ‘a place of rest’, and that is what it is for our seniors.”
What does Baines think about being named Barriere’s latest Citizen of the Year?
“I think it is a real good honour,” said the recipient, “I think it’s really neat.”
Watch for the date of the Citizen of the Year Banquet in an upcoming issue of this newspaper.
The Citizen of the Year Award is sponsored by the Star/Journal and supported by the North Thompson Volunteer and Information Centre.