My first interactions with Harold Jantz were peripheral. I was a young designer working at ChristianWeek. Harold, the newspaper’s founder, had retired from active involvement, so my understanding of who he was and what he stood for largely came from file photos and reputation. Occasionally, he would visit the ChristianWeek offices, and I’d see him chatting with editors and staff. Harold was gentle and soft-spoken, yet he delivered every word with conviction and purpose. Even from a distance, I could sense that about him.
Twenty-plus years later, I am in the MB Herald editor’s chair. I am no Harold Jantz, not even close. Still, I feel a kinship by role and lineage to him (and all past editors of the Herald). In recent years, I had precious opportunities to sit with Harold and learn from him. Most recently, I interviewed Harold for a feature story. We flipped through his books, compared notes on the role of editor, and he shared his life story. That hour spent with Harold was priceless; I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
“I’ve always been attracted to stories of people who have had struggles,” Harold said. He paraphrased New York Times writer David Brooks, noting that we are all bent wood. “The great drama of our lives is a quest for holiness. We all need redemption, and that only comes by grace.
Harold was my mentor and friend; our shared moments were impactful, and I owe him a great debt of gratitude. He will be missed.
Tim Wiebe was an accounting clerk for CCMBC Legacy Fund. When I arrived in 2014, he’d already been here a while. It didn’t take long to see that he was a fixture around the office. But that’s not a good description of Tim. He was more like a family member. In many ways, Tim brought us together.
Tim had bad arthritis; his hands and hip would bother him often. Sitting to type could be difficult. He may have occasionally griped about data entry, but Tim never complained of the pain. He worked hard, completing tasks made harder by his ailments. Tim had a servant’s heart.
Tim kept a Mr. Bean bobblehead on his desk. He enjoyed cracking jokes and never failed to announce my entry to the staff lounge as if it were my first time there. He had a way of making each of us smile.
I remember a few days before Tim left for treatment for Hodgkin’s lymphoma, some of the guys in the office planned to take Tim out for lunch. Other staff got wind of the idea, and an impromptu all-staff farewell lunch spang up. In no time, the entirety of 1310 Taylor Avenue crowded into the Chinese restaurant down the street, moving tables, shuffling chairs and bewildering serving staff. And the funny thing was most of us weren’t fond of the food there. But it was Tim’s favourite, so it was our favourite on that day because we loved Tim.
John and Linda, thank you for sharing Tim with us; we are better people for knowing him.