Jim Watts Speech

I’m going to take a wild guess that everyone is here because we have all fallen victim to Chris’s personality.

I met Chris when Tonja and I opened our shop in 2016. We had a very pro community stance and Chris picked up on it because it didn’t take him long to make his way to us and make sure we became friends. Don’t say you are going to be an advocate of the community if you aren’t willing to be locked arm-in-arm with Chris Parkinson. He chose all of us to be in the ranks of his community champions.

He was mischief incarnate! I can guarantee that there are a few business owners here who are probably still finding chocolate eggs from Easter in their shops which he hid! How many of you still have Nerf bullets in your homes from his spontaneous Nerf gun attacks? He couldn’t get enough of making people laugh. As corny or punny as his jokes could be, you laughed because it was from him. And poor Patricia Glover never learned her lesson because she kept allowing the devil into her home where he would terrorize her washroom with her own toilet paper!

Now flip the Chris coin over. This was the Chris who tirelessly worked for his community and those in need. He wanted the Earth clean. He wanted the misinformed to be properly educated on the important issues. He wanted the hungry to be fed. Mental health was an issue he championed for. He did have his Kryptonite though. He could not attend the Suicide SafeTalk training or the We Give A Shit mental health group nights. He just couldn’t take on the feelings and sadness of those in attendance. He would contribute in other ways, though. He made sure if you needed food, he would bring you some. If you needed his wisdom, he was a call away. If you needed a shoulder, he had two and a couple of cups of Tims.

The lengths he would go through for his friends was just as much as he would go for people who didn’t even know he touched their lives. He would spend full days running donations from drop off locations to food pantries and Eva Rothwell. He would be like a kid on Christmas Morning when my shop would be on the last night of our holiday donation drive. A 50-year-old man rifling through all the toys with the same excitement as the children who would be getting them was a sight to see.

In my 43 years of adventures around the world, I have never met anyone quite like Chris. He was the most selfless and caring person. Chris walked the talk. Being friends with him made me strive to keep up with his stride. Now we have to carry on his legacy and the honour of his name.

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