My Volunteer Story – Mark Boothby

CHAPS is looking for volunteers. We have a role for people with any type of time commitment. I’ve read that may non-profits attract people by existing members explaining their experience. Given that, I want to share what I gain by volunteering.

The above photo is one of our Grand Father at the time of the opening of the Legion. My volunteer experience has turned up several photos of family I’d not seen before.

I grew up in this area but pursued careers away for several decades. My wife and I returned just a couple of years ago to a town much different. We wanted to meet people and renew acquaintances so we looked for opportunities.

When I was young my parents and brothers went on many drives through the area. Both parents grew up here and we heard many stories. I’ve come regret that I didn’t really pay attention and forgot most of the details.

I heard about CHAPS and the Cochrane Historical Museum from a teacher and coach Gordon Davies. That convinced me I should get involved.

 

One of my jobs has been to refresh our website whose style and content had become dated.  Since one of my careers had been in Information Technology, I was happy to take on the task and develop the site with alot of help from contractors, photographers and volunteers.

Just recently, I came across this display about our grand parents in the Museum. It contains a very nice write up and photos. Many, if not most of the details I’d not been aware of.

 

One of my projects has been to electronically scan CHAPS albums. I’ve come across many photos of family that I’d not seen prior, like this one of our dad on the right, next to life time friend Bob Beynon.

I’ve gotten involved in research for this blog and for an article series for the Cochrane Times. While looking for and researching those articles I came across this drawing my dad did for my aunt Audrey Brown. I’d had an idea Dad had drawn but I’d never seen him do it. I was delighted at his talent and sense of humour. I’d only heard him called Billy by one person my whole life, yet that was how he signed it.

During the development of our social media presence on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube I’ve met people that I would not have without this volunteer opportunity.

I’m very happy to have been involved in a project on our YouTube channel that CHAPS sponsored years ago called 100 Stories for 100 Years.  The idea of that program was to capture some of the historical and simply people stories about Cochrane and area. Those videos have been in our archives for years but are now visible to people on YouTube. The videos contain many interesting and historical stories.

As time flies by, I’m very happy to be involved in the culture and history of the area. I believe that no matter how long you’ve been in Cochrane, have some extra energy, ideas and want to get involved we have a role for you

Get in touch

We have a role for you.

What is our Why?

We want to share our “Why” with you.  I prefer to have other peoples perspectives but I’ll share a couple of my own first.

  • 20 years ago,  a volunteer group of people concerned with saving the history of Cochrane started the Cochrane Historical & Archival Preservation Society. 
  • 5 years ago,  CHAPS opened the Cochrane Historical Museum. This scope of this one project amazes and motivates me. CHAPS saved a historic building, fund raised, co-ordinated with several levels of government , had it moved to a wonderful location and had the building restored as a Museum. Truly Inspiring.
  • A dedicated, core group of volunteers has been keeping CHAPS active for 20 years. We are in need of help. We need to expand our membership, our influence and our volunteers.

In the next year, I want to interview a number of our volunteers and get their perspective on being involved in CHAPS. Stay tuned.

I hope you are asking yourself how I can help. I have a few ideas that don’t cost a lot of your time or money.

  • share and comment on our social media posts with your friends. We want to share our core message of saving and educating about our history to be spread widely. We’re seeing a massive swing lately. Help us keep it going!
  • Like our pages. CHAPS Cochrane and Cochrane Historical Museum have pages on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & Youtube. I’ll be adding social media icons to our webpage soon to help you find and like our feeds.
  • Become a member. It’s super inexpensive. $10.00 a year for an individual, $15.00 for a family. Here’s a link to our Member page.
  •  Attend one of our meetings. We are having more and more educational meetings. Stay tuned to our events webpage for updates. 
  • Donate to CHAPS to help us fund our projects. We have a Donate button on the top right side and bottom of our webpages. Our CHAPS Facebook page is running a fundraising campaign until the end of March. They have been hugely successful so far and we can always go over the top.
  • Lastly, most importantly, become a volunteer. We have a core group but they can’t do it forever. We can use your help however you want to become involved. A couple of my own ideas are:
    • Membership. Help us find new members and stay in touch with existing members.
    • Become a Director. Volunteer now and let your name stand at the September A.G.M. I did, scared me to death but I’m sure glad I did.
    • Research. Get in touch to hear the topics we’re planning.
    • Volunteer at the museum during the summer.
    • Attend or help with our summer time guided tours of Historic Cochrane.

5 years ago,  CHAPS opened the Cochrane Historical Museum. This scope of this one project amazes and motivates me. CHAPS saved a historic building, fund raised, co-ordinated with several levels of government , had it moved to a wonderful location and had the building restored as a Museum. Truly Inspiring.

We have to say thanks:

  • to everyone that came out to our Photo Archive opening. Both members who shared stories and 15 excited, interested guests.
  • the support of the local media who have helped us share our message.
  • local admins of Facebook pages who provide a means for us to share.
  • everyone that has shared our message on any of our social media feeds.
  • to our existing members and volunteers.

Those other perspectives I spoke of:

  • an editorial in the Cochrane Eagle about maintaining our Heritage.
  • an article on CochraneNow about our Photo Archive.
  • an article in the Cochrane Times about a new exhibit in the Cochrane Historical Museum
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