R.I.P. Philip Wilkin. You gave so much to so many and asked for so little in return

Saying such sad farewells today to our Board Member, Phil Wilkin, who passed away unexpectedly on Saturday, Nov. 24th. Phil also was the Chair of the Prison Outreach Committee which started the Colouring Book project. Phil, if we’d known how short our time with you would be, we would have made far better use of it. With love and tears, rest in peace you dear man. We’re going to miss you so much. – Cheryl Reitz.

It’s been a very difficult day. Our friend and colleague, Phil Wilkin, passed away over the weekend and the reception area at our Victoria office will never be the same. Phil joined the AVI Victoria staff team in 2014 and was the person who welcomed each and every individual who walked off the elevator onto the 3rd floor of the Access Health Centre. He played many other roles in the community. For now, we’ll just say that we miss him already. Sending love to all who loved him. Rest in peace, Phil, with all of the books, – AVI.

I am a friend of Phil’s that lives in Victoria. We went through some very difficult medical treatment together over almost a year and he was always there as a peer support. He leaves some pretty big boots to fill, both in HepCBC and especially at his job at AVI as a front line worker. Phil was easy to like and he was always doing things that were underappreciated, out of his way. He rolled up his sleeves and did the dirty work without complaint. The last time we chatted he was offering solid advice around issues of self advocacy. He knew how to work with sensitivity and with a healthy sense of assertiveness. There is so much more to Phil than I can tell. But one thing for sure, he will be missed. His passion for equity based, trauma informed care is something we would all do well to recognize as a societal need. He would most love to know that he had raised the awareness of the need; that we all are more aware and motivated to continue in the style of his persuasive nature to care for those in marginalized communities without bias. For that Phil, “my gratitude speaks.” It is with gratitude that Phil helped many without being a pushover, particularly those who thought that nobody else really cared. – Douglas Laird.

Phil, my friend. You have touched many. You have stepped up and given support and help when anyone asked. Not only were you my mentor, but also a dear friend.  It will never be the same. You made a difference. Safe journey, my brother. Gone, But NEVER Forgotten. – Ron Larsen.

On November 24, 2018, my brother Phil died from sudden cardiac arrest.  61 years ago my dear brother was born. My parents adopted him at the age of 6 weeks. I was not impressed as l too was adopted and thought l was the only person that should have mom and dad’s attention.

I soon came to love this sweet blue eyed blond haired boy.

We were adopted into a minister’s home. Phil’s early years were troubled as he was bullied for being different.

Phil would have been so embarrassed by people wanting to have a celebration of his life or to write something about him. He always thought he was nothing. He had great remorse for the mistake he had made so many years ago and the goal he had when he got out of prison was to give back to the community. And that he did.

He always had time to listen to anybody. He was a helper, a mentor, a friend, an uncle to Lilly, Art, Danielle, and great great uncle to Dawson. And he was my rock and my bro.

Phil will be coming home to Ontario to be laid to rest by his mom and dad in Peterborough Ont.

So thanks for remembering my brother, and l am so glad he could make a difference in your lives as he cared for everyone and never expected anything in return. RIP my dear little bro. – Mary Ann Lazenby.

Word is that AVI will be holding a Memorial for Phil on Dec 14, 2018 in the afternoon.  We will keep you posted.