Gerrit de Boer, Gerald’s brother-in-law

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It has not been easy for Gerry in the last years. Sometimes in conversation he would tap the side of his head to get that thought out. But even with that, Gerald was still phoning politicians, involved with social advocacy groups, helping family.

Gerald was driven by His God, driven by social responsibility.

But social responsibility sometimes meant that he was not there with his family, even when he wanted to, especially in the early years when Gerry was criss-crossing the country building an organization. And for that we thank you Wynne, Janice and Karen.

He had the courage of his convictions, even if you disagreed with him.

It is only with Gerald’s special optimism that he saw growth in early years, even when he went to cities and towns where some meetings only started with 7 or 17 people.

There is a strong minority here that have the same values as Gerry, and I want to emphasize a strong minority.

But the majority of us here really don’t care.

Most of us really don’t give a damn about the homeless and the struggles of single mothers,

We really don’t give a damn about child poverty, educational rights, and social policy,

We really don’t give a damn about helping those in need in our extended families, and about famine and people dying in other countries.

Gerald did. Gerald did.

We are more concerned about tucking our own sons and daughters in bed, rather than appearing before the Economic and Development Committee of this City and speaking out about the 2000 daycare spaces being cut.

We are more concerned about our careers than asking for time off to appear before a legislative committee to give our views on child poverty,

We are more concerned about our relationship to money rather than seeing the need and funding of responsible charities. With Gerry’s limited income, his yearly giving and donations puts all of us to shame.

When was the last time you met, spoke or wrote with your local MP or MPP on social policy?  When was the last time you emailed Stevie Harper?

When was the last time you made your views known about our foreign policy and that we formulate, as much as we can, solutions in advance so that corrupt governments and corrupt rebels do not dump their own people over borders to die?

Gerald is lying in this box embraced by His Maker.

And if I was His Maker, I would say “a job well done Gerald.”

Will you have the values of Gerald when it is your turn to lie in this box, or when reflecting on your life?

In the stillness, ask yourself what have I done for the people outside of my box in this room?

Ask yourself, what have I done for my family, what have I done for my extended family?

Ask yourself what have I done for my community, what have I done for my province, what have I done for my country.

Gerald doesn’t have to ask.

Goodbye, Gerry.

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