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     At that time funds were raised by placing milk cans in stores and banks to collect donations. The funds were used to send shipments of milk powder to Korean orphanages in the aftermath of the Korean War.
Also around this time, an organization called M2W2 was starting to work in Canada and Tony was asked to become a local board member. He decided to become a volunteer as well, so he could better understand the needs. Along with other men from his church, Tony began visiting prisons. He has continued to do this for over 50 years, being paired with many inmates during this time, mentoring and encouraging them towards their release and return to the community. Tony explains, “Helping people has always appealed to me, and it still does. I think of one inmate who was sentenced to 20 years. His mom and dad were very poor and he wasn’t even 20 when I got to know him. I would visit him and when he got out into a halfway house in Vancouver there was a college right across the street.” Tony helped him enroll in the college and the two remained friends as he started a family and got married. Tony even served as best man at the wedding. “We got him started with a half-ton pickup truck going to the Vancouver airport in the morning to pick up parcels and deliver them,” Tony says. “Today he has a five-ton truck. So he’s done very well. He’s got two boys and one has just graduated from law school at UBC. I don’t travel as much these days but I still talk to him and a few others on the phone.”
Remarkably, Tony also became involved in assisting the people of Vietnam in the 1980’s. He was first convinced to travel there by a Vietnamese-Canadian friend of his brother who still owned land in Vietnam, and wanted Tony to advise him on starting up a dairy farm there. Resistant at first, Tony finally travelled to Vietnam to assess the situation. Due to a lack of electricity and
other factors, he directed a shift towards horticulture instead. He was there for several weeks and began to visit a local church in Saigon on Sundays. There, Tony soon made friends and quickly became aware of the great needs of this country. He began to raise funds to assist and educate handicapped and orphaned children who received little or no help from the Vietnamese government. Many of these young people’s lives had been negatively affected by Agent Orange, the carcinogenic defoliant used by the US during the Vietnam War. Tony travelled to Vietnam 21 times, finding tremendous fulfillment working hand-in-hand with the people there. He helped coordinate computers and school supplies through Global Aid Network (GAiN) and the Abbotsford Rotary Club, reporting back to these organizations on the efforts to boost the livelihoods and well-being of this disadvantaged group. Tony’s travels to Vietnam finally ended in 2010 when age-related flight insurance costs became prohibitive.
Throughout their farming years and beyond, Tony and Nicky were both engaged in fund-raising and volunteer work through their local church and Christian school with Tony serving many terms as a board member for these organizations as well. Tony also helped for a while at Hidden Treasures, a thrift shop that operates in support of the M2W2 Association. Since 2016, Tony has volunteered as a server and dishwasher at the local Salvation Army shelter. He steadily put in three shifts/ week, only scaling back to twice a week this year before coronavirus restrictions finally made it inadvisable for him to do so. Tony says, “I enjoyed this immensely, I have gotten to meet so many people and it has been very satisfying to help those who are in need.”
Nicky still makes it a priority to connect with people in hospital or care homes. She found much reward in serving for several years at a local hospice providing care and empathy for individuals in their last days. She would have gladly continued were it not for an increased transition to computer reporting. Since 2017 she has assisted at the local Food Bank every Tuesday, before her involvement also ended with the precautions of Covid-19.
Tony and Nicky are now fully retired from the daily operations of the farm. Of course, they maintain great interest in events at the dairy as well as keeping an eye on the crops. There was a long transition period where Tony continued to raise veal, haul cattle, and run errands for the farm. Nicky continued to provide book-keeping and payroll support for the company until handing that responsibility off to a granddaughter a few years ago. Until 2012 Tony and Nicky fed 90-100 calves and about 100 young stock together most mornings. For over 25 years, they transported countless five gallon pails of milk to several locations. They remember the long shifts and additional challenges of some severe winter days, but Tony only grins, “They made the job easier since we retired, now they use a Milk Taxi that dispenses warm milk in exact amounts from a nozzle.”
Nicky becomes serious as she says, “Yes, the farm has grown but it is not that we planned everything, we look back at and see how God guided us along the way. We never tried to keep up with anyone, it all happened in stages. And no, it wasn’t easy, I can remember days feeling like the mother of eight children, the hired man and the bookkeeper all at the same time.” Then Nicky smiles, “Farming is a beautiful life, but you have to love it to keep doing it.” While always feeling blessed and thankful to have her family around her, she now enjoys watching their married grandchildren parenting the next generation. “Although some live further away, we are so proud of each of them and the different careers they have chosen.”
With obvious amazement, Tony thinks back how he was able to serve on many boards despite his lack of education. Twice he was selected as a BC delegate to his church denomination’s North American-wide annual conference. He felt humbled to consider current issues along with pastors and professionals with many years of seminary and university. Tony says like King Solomon, he always prayed for wisdom. He says his prayers were answered many times as he was given the intellect and talents to turn certain situations around. “So, I feel that I had to use my time and resources to help others. And I’ve gotten blessed over again by making friends wherever I’ve gone and received such a feeling of personal satisfaction.”
Not everyone can understand Tony’s drive to assist the down-and-out. His retired friends have often suggested alternative ways to spend time, such as golfing or fishing. Tony merely laughs at the idea of “chasing a little ball around the field or sitting around waiting for a fish that never bites.” Only determined hard work over many years enabled Tony and Nicky to prosper, but they have never forgotten their beginnings. Along with the joys there were hardships, setbacks and tragedy, but they were able to maintain a positive outlook through it all, anchored by their Christian faith.
As I leave, I glance back to see Tony and Nicky looking healthy, relaxed and contented. As we visited, both conveyed quiet and grateful attitudes. But the years spent on extending care and compassion to those in need speak loudly. Thinking more about others than themselves became Tony and Nicky’s way of life. And it is this that seems to have given them an inner peace and happiness which often eludes those who focus mostly on themselves.
1.800.563.5603
CHERRY BOOTMAKER
17* was an outlier in
her day, with both extreme production
and transmitting ability. With the help of the new reproductive technology – Embryo Transfer – Cedarwal registered 77 progeny in Canada.
 A dairy-feasibility project first took Tony to Vietnam, but the real mission
became helping the many disadvantaged children.
Nicky and Tony haying in 1958 before balers – with the kids ‘helping.’
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 FALL 2020 a BC HOLSTEIN NEWS 7
 













































































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