Debling finds passion in his volunteer time

For Graham Debling, volunteering has been about matching his skills with what he is passionate about

Graham Debling sits at one of the heritage school desks on display at the Sidney Museum and Archives on Beacon Avenue. Debling is being honoured with a Hearts Award this year for his years of service to the museum.

For Graham Debling, volunteering has been about matching his skills with what he is passionate about.

Those two things, he says, are the key to good work as a volunteer for anybody who wishes to give of their time to any local organization.

For the last seven years, Debling has volunteered with the Sidney Museum and Archives (Society for Saanich Peninsula Museums). He has been on its board as treasurer, president and now sits as immediate past-president.

Debling has also branched out into the community, volunteering for the Saanich Peninsula Chamber of Commerce, Sidney Sister Cities Association, North Saanich Heritage Committee and the Town of Sidney’s Community Development Commission.

He is being recognized this year with a Hearts of the Community Award after being nominated by Kathy and Rodger Hargreaves.

“I have found it important to balance volunteer time with the organizations I have been with,” Debling said. “To be a successful volunteer, you need to have a skill set that’s appropriate to the volunteer work and you need to be engaged.”

Debling said he has always had an interest in local history, which led him straight to the Sidney Museum.

His own career background includes a great deal of financial work, so he found being the treasurer of the society board fit his skills well and allowed him to be engaged enough to continue on to the president’s chair.

In that time, Debling said he’s most proud of his involvement in the museum’s improvement and expansion plans — not to mention helping create a new direction for the facility in how it tells the story of the Saanich Peninsula.

Debling added there is a need for more volunteers throughout the community.

He encourages others to find out what’s out there and what fits in with their lives.