Dianne Hawkins

Coffee with … Dianne Hawkins

Humanitarian issues important to Comox Valley Chamber of Commerce CEO

Terry Farrell

Record staff

 

 

 

Most people think of sandy beaches, or famous landmarks when planning a holiday.

Comox Valley Chamber of Commerce CEO Dianne Hawkins is not like most people.

When Dianne plans a day off, it may involve a short Island road trip on her vintage BMW motorbike, but when planning a holiday, more often than not, her “time off” surrounds helping those in need, in faraway places.

“I love doing humanitarian stuff. I’ve made two trips to the Dominican Republic with Live Different – they build houses,” she said. You go down for a week and you build homes for people in impoverished areas.”

Dianne said her giving spirit is a deep-seeded family characteristic.

“I think it comes from my grandfather,” she said. “My dad’s dad lived a life of service to others. He lived until he was 96 and he was, up until the day he died… he’d go to the gym three times a week, and the rest of the week he’d spend going to old folks’ homes. He’d play the piano and sing to them. He would go to Zellers, buy those two-for-one meals, eat one, get the other one packed up, then go visit shut-ins.

“My grandfather was very much about not drawing attention to the things we do, but doing them because we are called to. To you, much is given, and much is expected. That’s how my grandfather lived.”

Dianne has taken her grandfather’s ways to heart.

She has spent time in India, with the Dalits – the “untouchables” – against whom human rights abuses are a daily occurrence.

“Spending time at the Mercy Hospital, just feeding children, or visiting prostitutes and taking them food. It was … I cried every day I was in India.”

Those humanitarian ways continue to be passed along in Dianne’s family. Her son spent three months in Indonesia, working in the garbage slums. Her daughter was the one to introduce Dianne to Live Different.

“I think that life is all about making life less difficult for one another. That’s what it’s about.”

Dianne has made a difference in a lot of lives. She’s not done yet.

“My dream is to work one day with an organization that deals with social justice issues. Maybe human trafficking, rescuing young girls. I have a friend who is in Thailand right now, and he has raised enough money to make a film about the subject. He’s making a difference.”

 

Just Posted

Cycle tour for African Grandmothers coming through the Comox Valley

On Sept. 6, 35 women, aged between 56 and 75, will be… Continue reading

Ferries employees participating in Denman Island cleanup for plastic-shedding ferry

The cleanup comes a few weeks after one organized by residents of the Island

Gallery accepting applications for Youth Media Project

The Comox Valley Art Gallery is accepting applications for the Youth Media… Continue reading

Ribfest returning to the Comox Valley

It’s fast approaching—the fifth annual Comox Valley Ribfest takes place from Friday,… Continue reading

QUIZ: How much do you remember about Woodstock?

Weekend music festival in Bethel, New York, was held 50 years ago

PHOTOS: Cumberland Wild embraces diverse musical talents

Day 1 of the two-day music festival took place Saturday

Advocates ‘internationalize’ the fight to free Raif Badawi from Saudi prison

Raif Badawi was arrested on June 17, 2012, and was later sentenced to 1,000 lashes and 10 years in jail for his online criticism of Saudi clerics

RCMP, search crews hunt for 4-year-old boy missing near Mackenzie

George went missing early Saturday afternoon

Canadian entrepreneurs turning beer byproduct into bread, cookies and profits

Some breweries turn to entrepreneurs looking to turn spent grain into treats for people and their pets

Canada ‘disappointed’ terror suspect’s British citizenship revoked

Jack Letts, who was dubbed “Jihadi Jack” by the U.K. media, has been detained in a Kurdish prison for about two years

Chrystia Freeland condemns violence in Hong Kong, backs right to peaceful assembly

There have been months of protests in the semi-autonomous region

B.C. VIEWS: Log exports and my other errors so far in 2019

Plastic bags, legislature overspending turn out differently

Most Read