I feel like I just won the lottery. For the last couple of years I’ve been engaged in an online search for certain information and I finally found it. But first a little background.
For as long as I can remember, local radio station CJOB 68 has been running a promo called It Feels Like Christmas. The promo, which starts at the beginning of December and runs through the holiday season, features a series of short 1-2 minute vignettes. The short stories are played throughout the day and night at various times.
I recall the first time I heard one of these vignettes I was mesmerized. There was something in the story teller’s voice that captivated me. As each Christmas season drew closer I looked forward to hearing those magical stories on the radio once again.
About three years ago I decided to research the man behind these short tales. It couldn’t be that difficult I thought. He concluded each tale with “I’m Gib Forrester, have a Merry Christmas.” A simple Google search should tell me everything I wanted to know. It didn’t. The problem was I misunderstood his name – it wasn’t Gib Forrester.
Each Christmas for the last three years I traveled the information highway on the internet looking for information on this elusive figure but I failed. I tried different variations of Gib Forrester to no avail. As the Christmas season ended so did my search – until next year.
Now here we are, Christmas 2010. Once again the It Feels Like Christmas series is playing on the radio. I thought to myself this is it. This is the year I’m going to find this remarkable orator if I have to sit at my computer all day. I hit a royal flush in about five minutes.
I thought to myself perhaps his last name is Forster and not Forrester. I’m sure I tried it last year but what the heck I mused. I’ll try it again. I typed Forster in to Google and the first hit on the page was this link http://newventures.ca/my-time/2007/11/24/gipp-forster. Home run!
It turns out the site NewVentures.ca is a treasure trove of information on the man known as Gipp Forster. I finally know his name. Amusingly, Rick of NewVentures.ca engaged in a similar search for a few years as he too couldn’t quite recall his name. In a post entitled Merry Christmas, Rick shares some of the links he has found on Mr.Forster. Great stuff.
As a little treat for readers of WPCanada, as well as those of you reading this at Planet WordPress Canada, here is a sample of It Feels Like Christmas with Gipp Forster.
Merry Christmas all.
Update 17 April 2013
As mentioned by Erica in the comments below Gipp Forster has passed on. This was confirmed in an email sent to me by a family member.
I never had the pleasure of meeting Gipp personally. I didn’t even know much about the man other than the wonderful stories he shared with everyone. Despite that, I felt like I knew him. While listening to his tales you could hear and feel the love and kindness in his voice.
According to an article in the Times Colonist, Gipp was an ordained minister who worked the streets of Victoria helping those down on their luck. He would go on to found the Mustard Street Church and then a food bank.
Being on the front lines he was well aware of the misery felt by the many he worked with but he was determined to make a positive impact on their lives. I think it’s safe to assume he did.
Gipp was also a regular contributor to Senior Living Magazine. You can read their announcement on his passing here.
You can visit Gipp’s personal website here.
I’ll also redirect you back to Rick’s site NewVentures.ca for it contains a wealth of info on the man known as Gipp Forster.
If the success of a person can be measured by how many people he positively touched and influenced Gipp Forster is an immensely wealthy man. This world is a better place because you were in it Gipp. Well done.