Brother reminisces about John Boich, the man chosen as Burlington’s Citizen of the Year.

By Pepper Parr

BURLINGTON ON May 26, 2010 They were born 15 months apart and as boys they were inseparable. They grew into young men who were taught to serve their communities and this evening Eli Boich will sit with his brother’s widow as she prepares to receive the Burlington Citizen of the Year Award on behalf of her husband, John Boich who passed away in March.

John Boich<br>Burlington Citizen of the Year 2012

John BoichBurlington Citizen of the Year 2012

“We were taught that serving was not just a responsibility for the privileged but a responsibility for all of us”, said Elijah Boich. “John would be so honoured to know that he was being given this award by his community.”

John, said Eli, believed that if a problem was man made then there was a solution for men to bring to the problem and he used that principle to guide his life. He was a teacher who expected you to arrive at your own conclusions and then to use those conclusions as you went about your work.

We did everything together. We played ball together, we had a small dance band and many people may not know it but John directed a student musical while he was at Trafalgar in Oakville. For those who knew John Boich, the thought of his directing a production of Oklahoma will gladden their hearts. We can just imagine him directing those students. Eli will quickly tell you tat there is a 78 rpm vinyl disc of that production.

John Boich wanted people to be publicly useful and privately happy and he lived his life that way. The school in Burlington named in his honour while it is under construction will have close to 1000 students enrolled; there are already 200 registered for kindergarten explains Elijah. Imagine a couple of hundred students being educated as little Boichs

The Civic recognition event will celebrate and remember a man who had an impression on everyone he met. You may not have liked John Boich but you certainly remembered him and he would be very quick to tell you that he didn’t want or need to be liked but you were going to respect him. You will be with us forever John.

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