“Port Alberni has been our home for over 31 years and I feel blessed to be part of such a caring community with a heart,” says Dewayne Parfitt, an active volunteer in the community since his arrival in Port Alberni.
Born in Victoria, Dewayne was the eldest of three boys raised by their parents, Norman and Lorraine.
“We lived modestly, but never lacked for any necessities,” said Dewayne. “My father worked for the E&N Railway for some 36 years and my mother was a homemaker.”
His grandfather and grandfather’s four brothers were early pioneers in Victoria in the construction business, under the name of Parfitt Construction. They built many of the early buildings in Victoria such as the Christ Church Cathedral, Bay St. Armories and James Bay Inn.
From an early age, Dewayne and his family were active members of the United Church, which he is active in today. That proved to be the start of his volunteerism.
Young Dewayne joined Scotiabank in 1967 soon after graduating from Victoria High School and after one year at UVic. His banking career took him from Victoria to other provincial communities, including Lumby, Penticton, Vancouver, Prince George and to his last stop in Port Alberni in 1989.
In 1971, Dewayne met Elizabeth, whom he married two years later. They had two sons. Unfortunately, Robin, their older son, passed away unexpectedly last year.
Dewayne and Elizabeth are celebrating the recent arrival of their first grandchild.
After their transfer to the Alberni Valley, the Parfitts knew that this was going to be where they were going to settle for the rest of their lives. “It wasn’t long before we got involved in our new home base!” said Dewayne.
For him, volunteering started with community events which he was able to participate in as manager at the local Scotiabank team, followed by his support to a number of organizations throughout the years.
When asked about the highlights of his volunteer activities during his time here, he says, “I was blessed with the opportunity to become involved with the 2004 B.C. Winter Games. As president of the games society, I learned so much about the backbone of our community spirit and commitment to volunteerism. It was the most memorable and challenging role of my life, for which I am forever grateful. I also have been a volunteer with the Alberni Valley Bulldogs hockey organization, which has brought me into the world of hockey—something I was never interested in before.”
Dewayne was awarded the Citizen of the Year Award in 2018, presented at the Chamber of Commerce’s community excellence awards ceremony.
Dewayne has been active in other organizations, including Scouts Canada, the Rotary Club of Port Alberni, the McLean Mill Society and the Alberni Valley Chamber of Commerce.
When asked about the other aspects of his life, he said, “I like to be able to get outdoors and around our beautiful community. I love to play a little golf, go hiking on local trails, travelling, time at our cottage and geocaching. We have so much to offer in Port Alberni and I want to enjoy it all.”
No doubt that Dewayne Parfitt represents this community’s spirit by giving his time and knowledge to various worthwhile causes.
“From an early age I learned the need to not only enjoy my community, but to volunteer as a way of giving back,” said Dewayne. “This was instilled in me by my parents and grandparents. Through all my life I have been an active community volunteer, always wanting to give back to my community for all the good things my community gave me.”