Paul LeJeune Volunteer Service Award

2009 Award: Robert Granke

What follows is Susan Roe-Finlay’s presentation of the 2009 Paul LeJeune Volunteer Service Award.

It is a pleasure to present this year’s Paul LeJeune Volunteer Service Award. This is the ninth year that MCIC is recognizing a volunteer that has contributed greatly to MCIC.

Before telling you about this year’s winner, I’d like to provide a brief background to this award. The award is named for Paul LeJeune. Paul was a valued member of MCIC’s Overseas Projects Committee 1992 until his death in 1997. It was in large part due to Paul’s insight and persistence that MCIC’s guiding principles include a strong commitment to the inclusion of people with disabilities. (or if short on time - refer people to the yellow sheet in their AGM kits)

Paul was a powerful advocate for people with disabilities in Canada and internationally. He maintained a strong vision of what it means to live independently. In addition to his work with MCIC, he volunteered with many other organizations, which you can find in listed on the yellow sheet in your AGM folder.

Paul’s love of life was contagious and his work ethic simple. He used to say, “If you want to make a difference, you have to get out there and do it yourself.”

Besides his numerous involvements and achievements, Paul was devoted to his family and friends, and to all in need no matter what race, religion or social standing.

This year’s recipient of the Paul LeJeune Volunteer Service Award is a long serving and dedicated volunteer to MCIC.

This year’s recipient was raised in Winnipeg, and his involvement with MCIC has spanned all 4 decades of MCIC’s existence! He has served on the board from 1978 - 1986 and then again 1988-1992 and then again 2006-2008. He was President in 1990-1992 and again in 2007-2008. He also served on the Overseas Projects Committee in the 80’s and 90’s. This year’s recipient of the Paul LeJeune Volunteer Service Award is Robert Granke.

Bob is currently the Executive Director of the Canadian Lutheran World Relief. He previously worked for CLWR from 1977 - 1992, first as Development Education Manager, and then Project Manager.

Bob left CLWR in 1992 to work for the Canadian Hunger Foundation in Ottawa, where he worked for 5 years. He returned to Winnipeg and worked as General Secretary of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Canada for 5 years, at which time he moved to Geneva to work for the Lutheran World Federation as their World Service Director. Bob returned to Winnipeg in 2005 to lead the Canadian Lutheran World Relief as their Executive Director.

Bob is a little bit like the cat that came back. He just could not stay away and MCIC has benefited greatly from his long involvement over the years.

We have come to learn that Bob is also a very dedicated fan of another organization based here in Winnipeg besides CLWR and MCIC. Now over the course of Bob’s work, he has to travel a lot. Many, many international trips, and apparently, and we have witnesses - Bob has been known to wake up in the middle of the night and listen to Winnipeg Blue Bomber games on the internet. Yes Bob is a long time Bomber Fan.

Each year when we present this award we try to think of a gift that would have meaning to the recipient. This year’s gift is a little different than previous years, but we think Paul would have approved, given Paul’s love of sports and his involvement in the development of Quad Rugby.

On behalf of the Board of MCIC it is my great honour to present the 2009 Paul LeJeune Volunteer Service Award to Robert Granke.