About John

About John

Canada World Youth: Ontario, Canada – Trad, Thailand

When I left high school, I wanted to do something different and challenging. That’s how I found myself on a plane to southern Asia with Canada World Youth (CWY) doing international development work. That experience showed me the importance of families working together for the success of the community. The tiny remote village of BoRia, Thailand wasn’t successful because of government programs or aid workers like myself, they were successful because they worked together as one big family and shared the rewards of the hard work.

Becoming a Paramedic

My grandfather, J. Albert Walker, came to Nova Scotia with $5.00 in his pocket and started his own funeral home and ambulance service which became the largest pre-hospital Emergency Health System east of Montreal. Joining the family business seemed like a natural fit for me. I wanted to help people and my experience as a lifeguard and as a firefighter gave me the edge to attend Holland College and take the Advanced Care Paramedic program. For the last 21 years I have worked in our community helping our residents through their health care challenges during some of their most difficult times. During my career I have been recognized with the EHS Long Service Medal and the Certificate of Commendation from the Governor General of Canada.

Sheldrake Lake Maple Sugar Festival

Our homeowner’s association wanted a winter activity that would connect us during the dark days of winter. With so many maple trees in our community, we decided to tap our maple trees and boil our own maple syrup, finishing with a community pancake breakfast hosted by Acadian Maple in Tantallon. Each year we have been able to collect about 200 litres of sap for the families involved to enjoy. Each winter, the families look forward to the sap running and the friendly competition to see who has the most productive maple trees.

Why I support madd Canada

As a paramedic, I see all too often the effects of drinking and driving and have zero tolerance for anyone that chooses to get behind the wheel of a motor vehicle while impaired. The number of people that have been charged this summer alone tells me that there is more work that needs to be done in our community through education and awareness programs. With the help of the Halifax Chapter of madd, EHS, and Halifax Regional Police, we had a madd road stop in the Spring to hand out red ribbons to passengers traveling through Lakeside.

It’s in you to give

I don’t need a special reason to give blood. Ever since I was old enough to donate, I have taken the time to give life, but it wasn’t until I entered the healthcare field that I started reflecting on who would benefit from my blood donation. A mother? A father? A son or daughter? A baby? An adult? A person battling cancer, sickle cell disease or maybe a person involved in a car accident? I am reminded every day about the life saving power that blood donations have for people who need transfusions.

Bayers Lake Mystery Walls are now protected

In 2013, I watched an historic site in our community being subjected vandalism and no civic leaders had a plan or concerns to protect it. With the help of a small group of concerned citizens, we formed a committee to protect and better understand the site. We were able to get better signs to let people know that the site is protected under the Nova Scotia Special Places Act and also get Saint Mary’s University, Nova Scotia Archaeology Society and City Hall to fund further research into the site. After sitting abandoned for almost twenty years, we are excited to learn more about this site in the spring of 2017.

BLT Today – Keeping families in our community!

Why do we need to leave our community for Canada Day? The Canada Day committee was started by a small group of us that felt that there was enough community spirit in BLT that we could hold our own event, so we did just that. Through hard work and determination, we have been able to host a family friendly Canada Day event in our community for two years. As a founding member of the BLT Today committee, I am the proud of the work that is being done in Beechville, Lakeside and Timberlea.

Peer Nominated Volunteer awards and community support

In 2014, MLA Iain Rankin in RESOLUTION NO. 871, shared with the Nova Scotia legislature that I am “…a community leader, actively engaged as a proud resident…enjoys family life to the fullest, teaching their children by example and being a role model for community service in his chosen career as a paramedic.”
In 2016, I have been honored to receive the Nova Scotia Provincial Volunteer Award and the Halifax Municipal Volunteer Award to recognize my the work I have done in the community over the last 20 years.