Appreciating John Gill

 

John Gill stepped down as a Member of Haven Foundation at the July 2015 AGM and he will be greatly missed. Much of his contribution has been in the background, and it is time to shine a light on all that he has achieved.

John has played a pivotal role in The Haven’s transition to Haven Foundation, a federally registered educational charity which officially came into being on January 1 2004. Many years of work went into the transition, and John was at the forefront of this, serving on advisory boards, meeting with lawyers and providing guidance and advice to Ben and Jock and their families as they created their legacy and ensured The Haven’s future existence. Most organizations that go through this kind of transition do not succeed. It is no exaggeration to say that the same fate may have befallen The Haven had John not been involved.

Those who worked most closely with John recognize the magnitude of his contribution, so I would like to quote from the messages written by his fellow members Dick Sass and Randy Wong, and from Jock McKeen.

“On behalf of your fellow colleague Members, we wish to extend our deepest gratitude for your service and friendship over these past 12 years in our capacity as Haven Members. I find it extraordinary and gratifying that we three have joined together in sharing our different points of view and backgrounds in service to that which we have lovingly known as The Haven. I am so very pleased to have had the opportunity to connect with you and Randy on a project as worthwhile as that provided by a learning institution like Haven Foundation.

We wish you well in what you may consider full retirement … you will be missed but not forgotten.

Dick and Randy”

“On behalf of Ben and myself, I want to write some words to formally acknowledge our deepest gratitude for all you have contributed to us as friends, and to Haven as our shared project.

Indeed I don’t believe we could have done this magical transformation from for-profit to charity without your sage perspectives and your tireless dedication to the Haven project. You have helped us realize our dream of a place/space/ ethos for the future.

For me, I feel a great privilege to work alongside you, to know you and to call you my friend. I wish you and Carolyn much joy and reward in your well-earned retirement.

Love always, Jock (and Ben)”

In addition to the service that John has given to The Haven, he has also been, together with his wife Carolyn, a consistent and generous donor, ensuring the success of a variety of projects and programs. As we wish John all the best for his next great adventure, we also warmly welcome Gerry Owen, who replaces John as a Member of Haven Foundation.