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If you’ve only lived in Aldershot for two decades, old-timers may still consider you a newcomer. Seldom, however, has a newcomer emersed himself more into the community that Edwin Broadus. In the last twenty years this now ninety-year-old former preacher has helped just about everyone with whom he has come in contact.

Edwin (Ed) Broadus is an Aldershot hero having volunteered to assist many community organizations that help people in need living in and around Aldershot.

“There’s nothing really phenomenal about what I’ve done”, said Ed during a recent interview.

Others however would disagree.

“He’s been a major contributor to the neighbourhood. He’s worked tirelessly. He’s always done it with kindness, compassion and empathy”, according to Janine Hersey, Chair of the Warwick Surrey Community Association.

In the summer of 2001 Ed walked in to what was the office of the Aldershot Community Council and asked how he could help. Since then, he has been a continual contributor to the Compassion Society, the Partnering Aldershot group of social service agencies, the Warwick Surrey Community Association and others.

He helped organize clean-up days, wrote a booklet on the history of Aldershot, volunteered for the annual Alderfest community picnic committee and wrote nearly two dozen stories for the Partnering Aldershot Press.

Along the way he found time to help refugees being housed at Aldershot motels. “That was a strange situation. Some would arrive in the middle of the night sometimes”, said Ed.

Ed particularly enjoys his ongoing role with the Compassion Society. “There’s a tremendous group of volunteers there. They’re kinda like a family. It’s been a very meaningful experience for me”.

His desire to help people came naturally. Ed realized at age 16 that he wanted to be a Minister like his uncle and great grandfather. “You’ll never be rich and you’ll never be poor”, responded his father. Ed ended up serving in three different churches in three U.S. states where he also volunteered with Boy Scouts troops, Parent-Teacher Associations and the local Kiwanis Clubs.

Ed was recruited to Canada in 1975 to teach at the Great Lakes Christian College in Beamsville where he worked for fifteen years, helped at the local food bank and the Heart and Stroke Association before retiring.

He has no regrets about coming to Canada. “I don’t mind telling people I prefer living here. I find it a kinder, gentler place, especially in recent years”.

Ed and his wife Junie moved to Aldershot in 2000 to be closer to family. He was very impressed with what he discovered.

“I found it remarkable when I came to Aldershot…..all the things that were going on here in the way of volunteer work and helping people. I was amazed at what I found”.

Always interested in history, Ed obtained a Master’s Degree and wrote four books about the history of his denomination and later another book about the history of his family going as far back as 1699.

To this date, his Christian faith remains the cornerstone of Ed’s life and identity as well as his main motivation for volunteering.

In 2018 Edwin Broadus was named to the Aldershot Community Honour roll in recognition of his significant contributions to Aldershot, “his humbleness, longevity, faith and passion for community”.

By Rick Craven

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