Flash Back Fridays

MICHEAL REWALD: REWALDO

A story by David Boulding

Rewaldo with his usual big smile

Rewaldo with his usual big smile

Michael Rewald was Jim’s favourite. He was so respected that some years after Mike left, and was running a development project in Papua New Guinea, Jim phoned in desperation because he could not fix the water system without Mike’s advice. Jim bellowed over the radiophone all the way to the South Pacific: “Mike? You know that line you put in from 14 over past the tee joint that runs down hill? Yeah. Yeah. That one. Where does the line go? Over to Nancy’s or straight down to one or over to Gurney’s?”

For some minutes they chatted, catching up. I cannot guess the cost of the phone call. To Jim it must have been worth it. All he learned was that Mike did not know as much about the water system as Jim believed Michael knew.

Mike went to Fordham University. An unusual choice for a chubby Jew- ish boy, but Mike made the most of his Jesuit education. After two years, he transferred to New York Ranger School, for one year, and did his last year of uni- versity at Friends World College at Strathcona in 1972. His first degree was then from Fordham and later he got a Master’s in International Development from York University. His first develop- ment job was in Mexico and then quickly transferred to running a logging/ community development program in New Guinea. Later, he was selected by C.A.R.E. to run the distribution of for- eign food aid in Ethiopia for 15 years. He was again promoted to be in charge of all Foreign Aid distribution in Bangla- desh. Today, he is the Vice President of C.A.R.E. living in Atlanta, Georgia. He married an Ethiopian beauty and has three children.

The fame and stories about Rewaldo are endless. Always pleasant and practical, never corrosive or even mildly upsetting: everyone loved Mike, including a list of the most delicious women ever to set foot on the property. Mike was an instructor, maintenance god, sage advisor, and good friend to everyone. He ran a marathon just to show he could do it. He was the main driver in the kayak trip up to Glacier Bay from Campbell River. In the grim dark days, Mike was a source of smiles and energy.