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Spring Gillard
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Friend of Distinction

I met Megan in a first year French class at the University of Victoria. We sat in the front row together and inhaled our professor’s Gitanes weekly. We soon became friends outside of class, partly through taking lifeguarding courses together. One November weekend in preparation for our National Lifeguard test, we rented a cabin on Salt Spring Island. The rain was torrential, so we stayed inside the whole time. Mostly drinking Megan says, but I do remember diving onto the bed in a rescue simulation. I was probably drunk, mind you. We both passed and went on to jobs as lifeguards and swim instructors. Since then, Megan has taken our active lifestyles to a whole new level, she has now completed three Iron Mans. I have just cheered from the sidelines.

Megan taught me a lot about serving others. She got me to my first blood donor clinic. Then I joined her at George Pearkes where we did swim therapy with special needs children. Although we both moved around a lot, we managed to stay in touch over the years. When she moved back to Vancouver a few years ago, she called and suggested we get together for coffee. I said, “How about we go to Tofino for the weekend instead?” She said, “What if we don’t like each other?” We went, and we did, still like each other. We’ve shared a lot over the years, besides second hand smoke, French, swimming and a taste for pirates.

The other day we were sitting on the beach trying to remember if we’d taken the Award of Merit swim course together. I was pretty sure we had and that she then went on to do the highest level, Award of Distinction. Megan wasn’t sure. Nevertheless, she has certainly achieved friend of distinction in my books. Happy Happy Birthday Megan!

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