David Truman was one of several Rotarians working to fundraise for and build the Rotary Interpretive Centre in Langley. It was, in fact his idea, and for at least two years he volunteered several days a week to the project, before getting sick. (Langley Advance Times files)

Trees pay tribute to Langley Rotarian, volunteer

A Celebration of life set for March 16 for David Truman

David Truman was known to his family, friends, and colleagues – as well as the community and a few other around the globe – as a giving man.

He was the guy you put in charge of a project, to ensure its timely completion – whether that be countless volunteer undertakings in his hometown of Langley or outreach efforts helping orphans and single mothers in a rural area of Mexico.

A celebration of life is being held later this month for Truman, and he will be remembered for many different things he’s done in his life.

Among them, one of his most recent projects was the Rotary Interpretative Centre near completion in Langley’s Derek Doubleday Arboretum.

In fact, a grove of trees is expected to be planted in the park in Truman’s memory – a meaningful tribute to the community volunteer, said his wife, Nora. She said that as an avid birder, he would have loved the planting in his honour, and friend and fellow Rotarian Les Clay said he’s hunting down certain types of trees. “Anyhting that would attract birds. Afterall, hew as a true blood birder. He’d do anything for the birds.”

Truman not only conceived of the idea for the local interpretative centre – with his wife of 42 years –but he fundraised for, and literally swung a hammer and threw a shovel to help the Rotary team ensure the dream was realized.

READ: Volunteers keep costs down on new Langley interpretive centre – With Video

Sadly, in the midst of the project, Truman was diagnosed with a brain tumor last April. He passed away at the end of January – at the age of 68.

But, up until he got sick, he remained active on that project, as well as in pursuing his passion for golf, and travelling with his wife – especially on bird watching trips, a hobby the couple embraced about a decade ago.

Active in Rotary since the late 1990s, Truman served as president and treasurer of his club, as well as assistant district governor. Among some of his endeavours, Truman supported several medical, food, and educational initiatives to help kids and adults in rural Mexico – again an idea he pitched to the club after visiting the area with Nora, and realizing the “great need.”

Clay, a fellow Rotarian and fellow member of the arboretum society, was impressed with Truman’s tenatious nature and willingness to give back to his community, saying “If he committed to a project, he put everything he had into it.”

Truman was also involved with the Langley Field Naturalists and the Nicomekl Enhancement Society.

And he was also an adamant supporter of the Liberal Party of Canada – as he had been since he was in secondary school, quick to explain to anyone who would listen that Lester B. Pearson was his hero.

A father of two (Doug and Greg), Truman was born in Toronto, graduated with a bachelor of science from the University of Guelph, and moved to B.C. with his young family to pursue a job with the telephone company. Much of his career he spent working for different telecommunication and finance companies as a project manager – combining his passions for computers and finance.

Later, he would start his own tax company – a service his eldest son, Doug, will be continuing.

Truman’s celebration of life is being held on Saturday, March 16, at 2 p.m. at the George Preston Recreation Centre, in his neighbourhood of Brookswood, starting at 2 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, the family ask that donations be made in Truman’s memory to another project he supported, the Rotary’s end polio initiative: https://www.endpolio.org/donate.

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