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History, 1967 - 1968


Once upon a time in 1967 or 68, I had a deep personal concern over the quality of care being given to a close friend. While the details of this concern are personal, the results are not and indeed were the beginning of that which you are now about to celebrate.

My search for a solution to my concern lead me to a Masters of Psychology student, Ron Walsh, who has become one of my closest and dearest friends. Ron needed a topic for a thesis, and I needed support and answers. At this time three other friends took an interest, namely Paul Hagarty, Bruce Lumdsen and Paul Wagner, and a committee was created.

Ron's research, which in itself could fill a book, (and it did) as well as a pail of tears, was sponsored in part by the fledgling Social Planning Council of Kitchener-Waterloo and revealed that if you were physically disabled, over 19 years old and unable to produce 50% normal work, as defined by the Ontario March of DImes Workshop, there was nothing for you to do. I still remember the response to the report by the Social Planning Council, "Fine, fine report - Now carry on and implement the findings".

Paul, Bruce, Paul, Ron and I set forth to work on creating recreational, vocational and residential programmes. Soon we had programmes for the first two areas. A socio-recreational programme was started at Zion United Church; the facilities and help were given by Fred Bender, a good friend from Mutual Life.

A craft programme was started at the old YWCA building at King and Allen Streets now the Red Cross offices. The residential programme was a committee which eventually after many years was realized in Participation House.

For a while my living room and my phone was K-W Services for the Physically Disabled. As others became involved and programmes grew and I decided to go back to school for a Masters degree in Social Work, the load became too heavy for me. I finally, like any parent reluctantly gave my control to Connie Cruickshank.

Well, thanks Connie for getting it through Childhood. Thanks to Chris you have survived rebellious adolescence and even a name change. Thanks to all who turned a concern into a response.

Happy 20th! You are now an adult, but don't stop growing and being concern for others.

Ric Woods


P. Wagner
B. Lumsden
P. Hagarty
R. Walsh
R. Woods
D. Efron