October 2018 – Rick Haas
Richard Haas is a salt-of-the earth kind of guy. He’s the type of man that anyone would like for a friend–handy, down-to-earth, always willing to lend a hand. He also dispenses quickly with formalities, preferring a more casual approach in conversation. “Nobody calls me Richard,” he says. “Just call me Rick.”
So, no wonder that when his wife, Shari Haas, joined the Board of Friends of the Central Experimental Farm in 2015, Rick cheerfully signed onboard to volunteer too. Since then, he has gained the reputation of a sort of jack-of-all-trades. He’s there to assist whatever any handyman jobs need to be done.
It’s hard to compile the list of to-dos from his volunteer job jar– it’s just too long. He helps with the physical set-up for the spring lecture series carried out over four Tuesdays each spring in partnership with the Master Gardeners. He arranges stalls for the big plant sale held annually by the Friends on the Mother’s Day long weekend, then stays for the day and helps with cleanup too. He directs traffic for the Victorian Tea and Art on the Farm, with profits going to support the work of the Friends. He assists with drop offs for the big book sale held by the Friends. He’s on call for errands, whenever needed. The list goes on.
Apart from being married to an enthusiastic spouse on the Board, what spurs him to work so hard to help the Friends? “I like the Farm,” he says. “We went there with the kids for years.” His roots are in Saskatchewan and he’s used to farm life. His wife grew up on a dairy farm. He likes meeting folks at the Farm, talking about Canadian history, old farm tools and stories about growing up on a farm.
He’s also a modest man. “I’d like to give credit to the ladies who work so hard at the Farm. They just keep doing it,” he says. He plans to continue helping the Friends too, even after he retires. Spring and fall, that is, whenever he’s not doing renovations on his cottage.
Text Credit: Julianne Labreche
Photo Credit: Polly McColl