He’s a man of few words, who spends his retirement days giving back to the community.
For this week’s edition of People of Collingwood we spoke with Ed Ostermeier, 74, retiree and Salvation Army volunteer.
Q: For how long have you lived in Collingwood?
A: Six years.
Q: Where did you grow up originally?
A: Toronto, but I also lived near Feversham for 40 years.
I only got to Grade 12. In my career, I worked for A&P, and Lowe Variety Sales. I used to travel back and forth to Toronto with Lowes.
I worked as a custodian for 26 years in Bruce-Grey for the Bluewater District School Board.
Now, I’m retired.
Q: What brought you to Collingwood?
A: I moved to Collingwood because everything was there. My bank was there, my doctor was there.
We had lived out in “the boonies.”
We had decided to move into town when I retired.
I’ve been volunteering with the Salvation Army for 20 years or more, as a member of the church.
Q: Why has it been important to you to volunteer your time with the Salvation Army specifically?
A: It’s a mission of the Salvation Army to help people out. It comes naturally to me.
I’ve always liked to share my time to do things for others.
I’m a kettle volunteer, and I help out at the Collingwood Salvation Army food bank, too.
Q: There has been some difficulty for the Salvation Army in finding kettle volunteers this year in light of the pandemic. Why is the work of the Salvation Army so important?
A: It’s (about) thinking of others. I could put myself in their position, and I think I would (appreciate) if they did things for me.
Q: About two years ago, you ran the local efforts behind the kettle campaign. Can you tell me about those experiences?
A: It takes up a lot of time.
People will volunteer but then you’ll get a late call to cancel, so you’ll have to find someone to replace them.
But it’s a worthy thing to do. It makes you feel good when you’re doing it.
Q: Do you have any other interests you’d like to talk about?
A: No, I’m quite busy here. (laughs)
I also work with the food bank. Right now, I do pickups from Loblaws and Sobeys.
I have a wife, three children, nine grandchildren and 13 great-grandchildren.
Q: Is there anything else you’d like people in Collingwood to know about you?
A: Not really. I like to stay in the background.
Editor’s note: If you’d like to volunteer with the Salvation Army’s kettle campaign, call 705-607-8519. More information can be found here.
For our feature People of Collingwood, we’ll be speaking with interesting people who are either from or are contributing to the Collingwood community in some way, letting them tell their own stories in their own words. This feature will run on CollingwoodToday every weekend. If you’d like to nominate or suggest someone to be featured in People of Collingwood, email email@example.com.