Catherine Latimer appointed Executive Director of the John Howard Society of Canada
Catherine Latimer announcement 2011- February 25, 2011
Howard House Founder, W. Hesketh, fondly remembered.
Vernon Morning Star, November 9/10 – by Roger Knox
Hearts are heavy around the community and at Gateway Men's Shelter's 'Bill's Place' following the passing of the shelter's namesake.
Bill Hesketh passed away in Vernon Jubilee Hospital, Friday, November 5, 2010, at the age of 78 after battling both leukemia and Alzheimer's disease.
The longtime Executive Director with The John Howard Society and founder of Howard House and Howard Industries was honoured in 2008 for his society involvement by having the new men's shelter named for him.
"Bill Hesketh was a great guy", said Blair Peden, a John Howard Society board member for more than 30 years. "He was very bright and full of compassion, but he could be very tough when he needed to be. He and his family made great sacrifices in support of his life-long goal to provide shelter and programs to assist men in restoring their lives and feelings of self-worth.
"We in the John Howard family will miss him very much. I think everybody in the North Okanagan owes him a great bit of gratitude."
It was while working for the John Howard Society counselling death row inmates that Hesketh earned his diploma in social work from the University of British Columbia. In 1961, Hesketh and his family were assigned to Vernon as the John Howard Society landed in the Interior, and he never left.
He was well-known and well-liked in the community, having helped launch the Vernon Boys Club, North Okanagan and Kelowna Social Planning Councils, the Vernon Chapter of Big Brothers, Vernon Justice Council and People Place.
A Rotarian for more than 40 years, which included a stint as president of the Vernon Rotary Club and being honoured with Rotary's 'Paul Harris, Fellow Award, Hesketh served on 10 boards for various organizations. He was asked to represent B.C. on a federal prison review board that led to the closing of the B.C. Penitentiary.
Besides having the shelter named after him, Hesketh was given the John Howard Society's first national award for humanitarian service, and Parliament recognized him with a certificate of merit.
A celebration of Hesketh's life will be held Friday at 2 p.m. at the Trinity United Church.