Like every community, Thompson has many volunteers, without whom sports leagues, community events and various non-profit organizations wouldn’t exist, and all of their efforts are deserving of applause and recognition.
But among those volunteers are some whose capacity to give does not seem to know any limits, who are a part of so many organizations that it is difficult for others to remember how many organizations they play a vital role in. Keith MacDonald, who died March 2, shortly before he was due to leave Thompson bound for his native New Brunswick, was one of these super-volunteers, though so much that he did was behind the scenes that the greater public may not be too familiar with his efforts.
MacDonald donated his time to organizations including the Thompson Chamber of Commerce, which he served as president more than once, his first stint coming more than 10 years ago, after which he took a hiatus before taking over the top job again later in 2015. In addition to that, and in addition to the demanding jobs he held as manager of two hotels, then manager of the City Centre Mall and, finally, executive director of the Thompson Hotel Association, MacDonald was also a long-timemember of Spirit Way, the Lions Club, the Boreal Discovery Centre , the Rotary Club and the Thompson Regional Airport Authority. These organizations knew they would have to do without his services in the future, as he had begun resigning his many board positions in preparation for saying good-bye to Thompson after more than a decade, but his death will still leave a huge hole to fill. It is unlikely that any one person can step into all of the roles that MacDonald held, and guaranteed that not having him around to pass on his accumulated knowledge will make doing those jobs the way that he performed them a very tall task indeed.
MacDonald was featured in the pages of the Thompson Citizen many times during his days in this city and very many people will miss having him to serve alongside or bounce ideas off or seek advice from.
There are many ways to measure success in life, be they money, admiration, family or awards. But perhaps the best measure of all is how much you will be missed when you are gone. Even if MacDonald had not passed away and had moved back east to his native province, his life in Thompson would have been judged a tremendous success based on the number of people whose lives he impacted and the sheer number of hours he dedicated to trying to improve his adopted community.
May Keith MacDonald rest in peace. If anyone has earned some rest, it is definitely him and the city of Thompson is a poorer place in terms of selflessness as a result of his death.