A pair of Procter area residents have been swept up in the Many in Motion tour.
When locals mark the 25th anniversary of Rick Hansen’s Man in Motion Tour on April 19, Charlie Zinkan and Norma Lock will be part of the medal relay that will eventually touch more than 7,000 Canadian hands.
“I was very honoured and I am very excited,” says Procter resident Lock.
A few months back Lock applied to be part of the medal relay which began on the east coast of Newfoundland in August. In total, the special silver medal that was produced by the Royal Canadian Mint will travel 12,000 kilometres and visit more than 600 communities.
Lock put her name forward because she has been struggling with serious health issues for more than seven years where she was in and out of the hospital. She has been healthy now for a year, but looked to people like Rick Hansen to provide hope during dark periods.
“He is an inspiring individual,” says Lock.
“I have not been very well and when you look at people like him, it makes each day a lot easier.”
Lock is 46 and says she didn’t pay very close attention when Hansen first wheeled around the globe to bring awareness to spinal cord injuries.
“I don’t really remember much of the original tour… the way that we were and the times in our lives back then. I remember the commotion about it, but I didn’t participate in it or think about it much. Then we all grow up, right?” she says with a laugh.
Lock grew up in Nelson and moved to Procter 14 years ago. A mother of four children — 17, 19, 25 and 26 — Lock says she is pouncing at the chance to educate her kids about Hansen.
“Not realizing and remembering what that experience was 25 years ago, now being a grown up and looking at my children… I am taking this opportunity to educate them about these types of activities,” she says.
Zinkan’s participation in the Many in Motion relay actually came as a surprise. He didn’t personally submit his name and to this day still does not know who did.
“I’m looking forward to it… it will be a fun tour,” he says.
Zinkan lives between Harrop and Procter where he retired in 2003. The 63-year-old former Parks Canada employee says being picked to carry the medal has brought back memories.
“I hadn’t thought too much about the current tour, but I was certainly very familiar with the original Man in Motion tour,” he says.
The message of the Many In Motion Tour is something Zinkan really finds value in.
“I’ve been reading about what Rick Hansen has been trying to do with the current tour,” he says.
“I really like the idea of increasing awareness about people volunteering and making changes in other people’s lives. It’s all very positive.”
All medal bearers along the relay will receive a replica of the silver medal to remember the day and the event.
Lock says the lead up to next month’s stop in Balfour and Nelson will give locals an opportunity to reflect on the massive accomplishment Hansen made to not only Canada but the world a quarter century ago.
“He is a Canadian hero and we need to say that a little more often,” says Lock.