Meet John Brenders.
Born in Holland, John moved to Canada in 1951 with his family when he was 16. Growing up on the family farm, John had a strong connection to agriculture and a love for his community. This translated into the many jobs he held and the volunteer commitments he has made throughout his life.
With over 27 years of dedicated volunteer service with WSPS (legacy IAPA), John is one of our longest serving - and oldest - volunteers.
Unlike many others, John's passion for health and safety came from a positive health and safety experience. In 1973, John became Manager of the Grain Terminal in Sarnia, Ontario. In this role, John helped them celebrate 25 years of no lost-time accidents, receiving a Safety Award from legacy IAPA in the 1980s.
Not having a health and safety background prior to this role, John began to take interest and became Manager of Safety at Topnotch Feeds in Seaforth, Ontario in 1989. Shortly after, John began volunteering with legacy IAPA and he is still going strong today.
John's volunteer experience with us is extensive. His contributions have included being Chairman of the Perth Huron Section in the early nineties, a member of the Grain and Feed Section, a volunteer at the London and Kitchener regional conferences, an annual volunteer at our national health and safety conference, assistant at Ridgetown College's Special Agricultural Safety Days for four years in a row, and a steady participant in the Network & Knowledge Exchange meetings in the London area.
With his impressive volunteer tenure, John could tell you a thing or two about health and safety. He has witnessed many changes and been alongside WSPS as it has grown and evolved over the years. Of his time with us, John says that he "enjoyed every day to the fullest." And the positive experience has inspired him to continue giving back to his community in other capacities too. In addition to sharing his time and expertise with us, John volunteers with a Community Policing Committee in Port Stanley, focused on educating elementary school students about safety on the water, the road and railways. He also sits on the board of directors at the Port Stanley & Community 55+ Club; a social club with a membership of over 200 individuals, boasting an average age of 76.