Editorial — Cliff was a breath of fresh air
At a time when political leaders seem to keep reaching for our wallets, and when cynicism about the motives of many people is at a very high level, Cliff Steele was a breath of fresh air.
The 93-year-old contacted The Times several months ago. He wanted to get the word out to the community about his work in repairing old scooters and giving them to people who needed them to get around.
He wasn’t asking for anything other than donations of old scooters and the names of people who could use them. Times readers responded enthusiastically to his request.
He was a handyman who liked to work on the scooters and get them running again, and then pass them on to people in need.
His work didn’t require a government grant, an expensive study or a political photo-op. It was done in his workshop next to his home, and he did it for the satisfaction of helping others.
Cliff kept working on the scooters until last Friday. He left his workshop and went to his home, but collapsed with an aneurism and died later in hospital.
It was exactly the way he wanted to go, his daughter Darlene said. He put in a day’s work, and was at home. He had even got a hole in one playing golf earlier in the week.
There may be economic doom and gloom in Europe, and uncertainty here in Canada. There may be concerns about the environment, the health system and unemployment.
Politicians at all levels may be demanding more pay, as are unionized government workers. They may be more interested in keeping their wallets fat than in serving the public.
But there are still people like Cliff too. While he has now departed this world, for the 93 years that he was part of it, he was a contributor who worked hard and gave back what he was able to.
Langley has a lot of people like Cliff. They give back in all kinds of ways. They are involved in community groups, do stream clean-ups, volunteer to raise funds for worthy causes and work together on many projects. For most of them, politics and religion don’t matter — they are interested in doing what they can for the community and the people who live in it.
Cliff Steele epitomized those people. His service to others set a worthy example that we would all do well to follow.