4K Community Cup winner for May 2021
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Dave Byers is a long time Deux-Montagnes resident and current editor of Community Connections
, a community information magazine published in English every two months. Its volunteer writers cover what is happening in the English-speaking and related communities from Kanehsatake to Rosemere. Dave has been the editor since around 2009. Trying to nail down specifics while speaking with Dave is delightfully challenging, with expressions such as “on the committee since God knows when,” and “Well, that was quite a few years back,” peppered generously through our conversation. I confess I had a big smile on my face when I heard him rustling through papers trying to find the oldest back copy he has of Community Connections. “2004! 2004! Here it is I found it!” he happily shouts through the phone. Near as I can tell, Dave has been giving back to his community through volunteerism since the late 70s. He was a volunteer firefighter for the City of Deux-Montages and became involved in the organization of the Santa Claus Parade and the famous Canada Day Celebrations around the same time. Dave has also served as Treasurer of the Lions Club for over 15 years.
The story of how he came to be the editor at Community Connections reflects a quality I have noticed most devoted volunteers possess. He saw a way to improve something and jumped right in. His wife was doing content editing of the paper at the time, while he was sitting on its board of directors. Dave saw the time lag between her receiving the copy, sending it to an outside copy editor to be assembled and then having it returned 3-4 days later for printing. “It would be much easier to just do it in one place,” he said, and when the copy editor stepped down Dave took over and moved the entire process to one place. Dave is a problem solver. Many of us could relate to his lo-tech solution to the nightmare of installing Windows 10. With his editing software unable to run on the new operating system, Dave simply bought an old laptop and re-installed Windows 7 so that he could continue to use the editing program he is comfortable with. As somewhat of a luddite myself, this is the kind of outside-the-box thinking I can get behind.
Never one to “put a feather in his cap,” Dave does enjoy overhearing people talk about how they are looking forward to the next issue of Community Connections, especially when they do not realize who they are standing next to. When I ask how we get more people to step up and volunteer, he reached back to his many years of experience in organizing the Santa Claus parade and Canada Day celebrations. “As soon as someone says ‘Gee I’d like to help out,’ you don’t give them a chance to say no. Just throw an apron on them and put them to work.” For tying up the apron strings going on 50 years now, Dave Byers is our 4Korners Community Cup winner for May!