A retired principal and 40-year volunteer with Big Brothers Big Sisters was on hand when the group’s flag was raised Thursday at Langley City hall.
Rob Ross has had 13 matches during the 40 years he’s volunteered as a Big Brother.
“I grew up without a dad, my dad died when I was seven months,” said Ross.
He first thought of applying to be a Big Brother when he was as young as 20, but it wasn’t until he had finished college and began working as a teacher in Langley that he could commit to mentoring youngsters.
That was 40 years ago, and Ross has never given up on his volunteer vocation.
Ross, a retired principal, said his first Little Brother is now 50 years old and is a grandfather himself. They still get together for golf.
Ross is currently matched with a 17-year-old, “a wonderful kid,” he said.
“That’s not a commitment we see very often,” said Mary Reeves, the executive director of Big Brothers Big Sisters Langley.
Ross has been awarded the Sovereign’s Medal for Volunteers by the Governor General of Canada. Reeves joked that they are still waiting to hear when he’ll get the medal itself.
The flag raising at City hall is to mark September as Big Brothers Big Sisters month recognizing the good the volunteer organization does mentoring young people.
Mayor Ted Schaffer and several City councillors, along with staff and volunteers at Big Brothers Big Sisters were on hand for the flag raising.