A Secondary 5 student at Howard S. Billings High School made a special gesture to thank the personnel of Anna Laberge Hospital who took care of his grandfather at the end of his life.
In the framework of the international baccalaureat program in which he is registered, Andrew Laperriere had to realize a personal project. He organized a bowlathon for the benefit of the Anna Laberge Foundation, more precisely for the department of palliative care where his grandfather ended his life. ‘’He was touched by work and the support of the nurses and by Dr. Parent,’’ indicates Caroline Guay, mother of the 16-year-old boy. ‘’He wanted to do something special in the memory of his grandfather and his fund-raising enabled him to give the sum of $1,500 to the Foundation,’’ she explains. ‘’We are very, very proud of him. He worked very hard.’’
To promote his benefit activity which was held last August, Andrew produced a flyer. In it he gave information about the Anna Laberge Foundation, on Anna Laberge herself, on the CISSSMO, on the department of palliative care and on his grandfather Allen Newbold.
‘’Allen (grandpa) was not my biological grandfather. When my father was a young man, Allen saw in my father a good man who could use some fatherly guidance and he took it upon himself to be there and present for my father for over 30 years. Through this relationship, Allen gained a son and two more grandchildren,’’ Andrew writes.
He described his grandfather as an affable man. ‘’Allen was a welcoming man. His nickname pretty much indicated the type of person he was. Everybody called him Big Daddy.’’
Allen Newbold was a fireman for 26 years in the service of the Montreal fire department, where he moved all the way up to the post of assistant director. ‘’Allen was very dedicated and took great pride in being a firefighter. He thought being a firefighter was the best job in the world,’’ his grandson emphasized.
He says that one day, his grandfather liberated a young neighbour whose finger was caught in a cash register. ‘’Little did he know that his action would influence a young boy to become a firefighter. On the day of Allen’s funeral, this boy who had become a man felt the need to come dressed in his firefighter’s uniform and said he had to come to pay his respects to the man who had changed his life. He said he wasn’t necessarily on the right path in life, but Allen guided him in the right direction.’’
Allen Newbold died of cancer of the pancreas on June 27, 2018.