Many things happen in life that can catch us by surprise and leave us feeling that there is suddenly a void that we can't fill, but perhaps none is more powerful than the loss of a friend. The Private...
Many things happen in life that can catch us by surprise and leave us feeling that there is suddenly a void that we can’t fill, but perhaps none is more powerful than the loss of a friend. The Private Motor Truck Council of Canada and the trucking community lost such a friend in May of this year when Gord Dennis of Molson Canada passed away.
Before he agreed to accept the role, he asked some pretty pointed questions about my expectations of him and of the future of PMTC. In particular, he wanted to know how he could help with our plans.
Gord was a particularly good friend to and valued member of the PMTC for many years. He first joined our Council in 1985 when he was with Sears and stayed with us through all his subsequent years with SLH and Molson.
When I became president of PMTC, Gord was one of the first people that I approached for help in re-organizing the Council and getting us back on the road to success. At that time I asked Gord to take on the role of chair of the Council.
I was well aware of his enthusiasm for new projects and felt certain that if he agreed to my request he would commit himself fully to the job.
Because he did most of this in the background, I’m sure many of our members don’t realize what a significant contribution he made, and I hope this article will help set the record straight.
Over the next few years as our chair, he certainly lived up to all my expectations. In fact, he did the job so well that I asked him to stay on for another term. That’s what happens of course when you do a good job…you get asked to do even more.
Gord’s was one of the cheerful voices that I heard on the telephone most mornings as my day was beginning. He would call me in the early hours two or three times a week just to see what was happening, to ask if I needed help with anything, or just to offer encouragement as we went about rebuilding the PMTC.
His enthusiasm for the task we faced overrode all of the many hurdles that we faced in those years and I remain grateful to him for that.
Working with Gord, I came to realize that perhaps first among his many admirable traits was that nothing seemed to faze him and no problem was seen as insurmountable.
He always seemed to have a smile whether we were discussing the world of trucking, the business of PMTC, or enjoying some time on the golf course. He had a way of sliding suggestions into a conversation that I would think about days later, and only then would I actually see the real value of his ideas.
The ability to make people think is a real asset to any manager and Gord could certainly do that.
I will remember Gord as being as supportive as anyone could be and I’m sure his co-workers would echo those feelings. One of Gord’s co-workers marveled that no matter who he spoke with, once it became known that he worked at Molson’s the first response was “How’s Gord?” That’s another indication of how well-known and respected Gord was in the trucking community. Gord’s passing left everyone who knew him feeling a little vulnerable. Here was a man in the prime of his career, in apparent good health, with a wonderful wife, a young family, and grandchildren that he adored.
Without any hint of there being anything wrong he was suddenly and most unexpectedly gone.
We at the PMTC will certainly miss Gord, as I’m sure will all of his peers, co-workers, industry acquaintances and friends.
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