Town Crier, former municipal councillor, wedding practitioner and general man-about-town Kenny Podmore’s volunteering dates back to when he first came to Canada.
His first visit was in 1997 when he came to Sidney for the World Town Crying Championship. Podmore was a town crier where he was from in England at that time and had never been to Canada before.
“I came and I just fell in love with Sidney and I decided I wanted to come back and decided I wanted to settle here…”
In late 1998, he began to settle here and got his landed immigrant status in 2001. Prior to that he began volunteering with what was then Peninsula Community Services, now known as Beacon Community Services, starting out as a volunteer driver and peer counsellor.
Podmore currently does a lot of fundraising and is always there if something comes up. He’s the co-ordinator for the community barbecue held for the Sidney Canada Day celebrations and is also involved with a project in South Africa, helping to fundraise for children orphaned by AIDS. He has also been involved in many town crier events — acting as an ambassador for Sidney.
Podmore currently works at the Sidney Pier Hotel and has done so since the hotel opened.
“So life is good. I took the philosophy that Canada was very good to accept me so my volunteering is really a thank you,” he said, adding he likes to give back and loves people.
Podmore had volunteered as well in England and after coming to Canada, branched out. He has helped run or contribute to other fundraising efforts for people around the country — including for the people of Lac Megantic, Quebec, following a disastrous train explosion.
“It’s just ongoing. I have to say it’s all self-inflicted but I just love doing it.”
“I don’t golf, I don’t fish — I volunteer,” he added
He said being a nominee for a Hearts of the Community award feels very special.
“All I do I couldn’t do without the people out there because I come up with the ideas and people support me.”