Bob Wyborn shows off one of the wooden doves he creates each year for the White Rock South Surrey Hospice Society.

Bob Wyborn shows off one of the wooden doves he creates each year for the White Rock South Surrey Hospice Society.

Doves born from a ‘passion’ to help

Bob Wyborn helps hospice each year with their holiday project

When the season begins to shift from fall to winter, that’s Bob Wyborn’s cue to head up to his cabin in the Cariboo Mountains and get to work.

For hours, he uses a scroll saw to carve out hundreds of wooden doves, sanding them down and making a little hole for a ribbon to go through.

His final task is to get them to the White Rock South Surrey Hospice Society in time to be painted by local artists before they are given to Peninsula residents for their trees.

Each little dove will then represent a person who has passed away, and will help loved ones honour their memory during the holiday season.

While the doves are fun to make, it is no easy task to make dozens of the wooden decorations. But for Wyborn the decision to help out hospice was a simple one.

“They were looking for someone to make the little doves and I volunteered. The rest is history,” Wyborn laughed.

That was more than 20 years ago. Now, at the age of 81, while Wyborn admits his memory may not be what it used to be, his carpentry skill and his dedication to volunteering has not faltered.

For as long as he can remember, the longtime Peninsula resident has been giving back – whether it’s helping to repartition the bottom section of the hospice building or helping with various handyman tasks at First United Church.

“I guess you could call it my passion. My mom and dad grew up in the Prairies and they always said if you have two shirts, give one away,” Wyborn said. “It gives me satisfaction doing something people appreciate so much.”

This year, Wyborn has cut and sanded down 250 of the birds for the annual event, which kicked off Saturday at Semiahmoo Shopping Centre.

Until Dec. 23, visitors can write the names of loved ones who have passed away on a paper dove and hang them on the hospice’s Memorial Tree in the mall.

For donations of $20 or more, visitors can take one of Wyborn’s wooden doves home.

All funds raised will go to services provided by the White Rock South Surrey Hospice Society’s Support Care Centre.

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