On February 9th I received a tearful call from a UBC student. The voice on the other end of the line was clearly upset and emotional; she had phoned to tell me that, Trevor, the man in the SUB passed away. I was moved by this student’s compassion and mercy. Trevor was a homeless man who had a regular spot in the UBC Student Union Building.
I couldn’t help wonder how many students walked passed him every day and didn’t even know his name. How many of them would even notice his absence. I was so surprised at what I witnessed in the days that followed. Within minutes of the news becoming public a bouquet of flowers were left in his chair along with a copy of The Globe and Mail, which he would read daily. As the days went by students continued to offer tribute with flowers, candles and coffees all around the chair that was his spot. Students are also already trying to arrange for a permanent memorial to be made for him.
Sitting in the cafeteria that week I heard many people say did you hear about that homeless man that was always in the SUB. I saw students post photos and messages on their Facebook pages in honor of him. I heard many students say how they wish they’d taken the time to hear his story or to bring him a coffee.
The Ubyssey has had a few great articles about this man, one read, “He didn’t have a home, but he had a community.” I wonder if he knew while he was alive that he mattered to so many, did he know he was really welcome in our community? Would he have ever anticipated this outpouring from the community? His story reminds us that every life, every soul is precious and valued by God. It reminds us to open our eyes to those in our midst that all too often go unnoticed.
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
You can read the full article about Trevor at http://ubyssey.ca/news/travers-roy-wimble-1928-2012-778/