Larry Shareski kicks back in his former Semiahmoo Foundation office March 8. He retired last year after 40 years with the society. (Tracy Holmes photo)

Larry Shareski kicks back in his former Semiahmoo Foundation office March 8. He retired last year after 40 years with the society. (Tracy Holmes photo)

Semiahmoo House ‘ambassador’ celebrated

Larry Shareski retired from South Surrey-based society after 40-plus years

It’s fair to say Larry Shareski has made quite an impression on the Semiahmoo Peninsula.

And the declaration shouldn’t come as a surprise – after all, his involvement in the community dates back more than 40 years.

“It’s kind of neat to get involved, get to know the people in your community,” Shareski said Friday (March 5). “I really enjoy that.”

The outgoing senior was celebrated March 3, during a virtual retirement party hosted by Semiahmoo House Society (SHS). Nearly 60 people ‘attended,’ showering Shareski with thanks and well wishes for all he’s done as the society’s ambassador.

“You were the connector,” Doug Tennant, chief executive officer of UNITI (a partnership of SHS, The Semiahmoo Foundation and Peninsula Estates Housing Society) told the 68-year-old. “You connected us with important people in the community that you know.

“You have made the world a more inclusive and friendly place.”

Tennant, who has known Shareski since 2001, said “a lot of big decisions were made during his time.”

Shareski, who was born in Saskatchewan, was on hand when, in 1983, Semiahmoo House Society purchased the old Surrey fire hall on 24 Avenue, pitched in when it had to be torn down in the early 2000s and was a key member of the team that built the society’s current ‘Treehouse’ building.

Fast-forward to 2016, and he had opportunity to drive the bobcat on the site of the Chorus development – a 71-unit building at 2358 153 St. that opened in November of that year with a combination of independent-living units for people with developmental disabilities and units of affordable housing.

READ MORE: ‘Inclusive, affordable’ South Surrey project aims to meet ‘desperate’ housing need

Many retirement-party guests described Shareski as “always welcoming” to visitors at Semiahmoo House, someone who brought out the best in everyone that came to the building. He shared that positive presence at numerous events over the years, including galas, fundraisers and golf tournaments.

Retired MP Gordie Hogg lauded Shareski’s “enormous gift of making everybody feel better.”

“You’ve made a big difference to so many lives,” Hogg said.

Jillian Glennie, associate director of development for The Semiahmoo Foundation, couldn’t put a figure on the number of relationships Shareski developed at SHS and in the community over the years. Put simply, he is “the most talked about person when I mention I am a part of Semiahmoo House Society,” she said.

In addition to contributing at Semiahmoo House, Shareski volunteered for nine years at Centennial Arena, with the Surrey Eagles, and was guest conductor at Southridge School for 13 years. His very presence at the school, with his friendly demeanour and getting to know the students, allowed Southridge to become more inclusive, Tennant said.

Shareski – also active at Peace Portal Alliance Church – contributed on the SHS board, as well, and worked with The Semiahmoo Foundation. He hung up his hat last year, he said, because “it’s time to move on a bit.”

(Celebrating his retirement was delayed in the hopes of being able to hold an in-person event, but with no end to the restriction on large gatherings in sight, a virtual event was organized.)

Shareski said he’s looking forward to going to hockey games and getting back involved with music. He described his years with the society and foundation as “so fantastic.”

“I’ve been everywhere, I’m just, like, famous,” he said.
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter


Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

South Surrey’s Paul Cottrell, who works with the DFO, tows a grey whale out of Semiahmoo Bay Sunday. (Contributed photo)
Dead whale floating near White Rock towed to shore for necropsy

Animal has been dead since at least April 15

Dr. Bonnie Henry gives her daily media briefing regarding Covid-19 for the province of British Columbia in Victoria, B.C, Monday, December 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
BREAKING: Toddler marks youngest British Columbian to die related to COVID-19

Child one of eight people to die from virus this weekend

Vehicles line up for the Greater Vancouver Drive-Thru Food Truck Festival at the Chilliwack Coliseum parking lot on March 27. The touring event comes to Cloverdale this weekend, April 24-25 (Photo: Jenna Hauck/Chilliwack Progress)
Here are the food trucks coming to Cloverdale for a drive-thru festival this weekend

Nine trucks will be parked Saturday, nine Sunday during event at fairgrounds

Pharmacist Barbara Violo arranges all the empty vials of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccines that she has provided to customers at the Junction Chemist which is a independent pharmacy during the COVID-19 pandemic in Toronto, on Monday, April 19, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Parts of Surrey, North Delta to get AstraZeneca vaccines for people ages 40+

A total of seven communities in Surrey and Delta will be targeted

The Braidwood Band performs for the seniors at Zion Park Manor in Surrey, as part of a music program planned by Rick’s Heart Foundation. (submitted photo)
VIDEO: Surrey charity brings distanced concerts to care homes, with prop pink firetruck

Familiar tunes performed for seniors during pandemic-era ‘Heart for Music’ program

Public health restrictions on non-essential travel and vacation bookings are being increased in B.C. (B.C. government)
Out-of-region B.C. vacation bookings, RV ferry reservations to be refused, Horgan says

B.C. extends COVID-19 indoor dining, group fitness ban until May 25

(New Westminster Police)
4 youth arrested after 30-person brawl in New Westminster leaves 1 seriously injured

Police are looking for witnesses who saw the incident take place

Sunday’s storm rocked one of the ferries crossing Kootenay Lake. Photo: Dirk Jonker
VIDEO: Storm makes for wild ferry ride across Kootenay Lake

The video was captured by ferry employee Dirk Jonker

Chakalaka Bar & Grill remains open in defiance of orders from Island Health to close. (Cole Schisler photo)
B.C. health authority seeks injunction against restaurant defying COVID-19 orders

Chakalaka Bar and Grill plans to continue serving customers without public health compliance

The Abbotsford Centre has the ability to host AHL level games if the Vancouver Canucks or any other NHL team chose to move its affiliate to the arena. (File photo)
Abbotsford Centre ready for AHL if right opportunity presents itself

Building recently upgraded glass and boards, schedule would allow for AHL tenant

A defeat Sunday in Kamloops tied up the Giants and Blazers for the most wins this season. Each team has notched seven victories in the B.C. division play unfolding this season on ice in Kamloops and Kelowna. (Allen Douglas/Special to Black Press Media)
VIDEO: Giants record fifth shutout of the season

Vancouver G-Men take down Kamloops Blazers on home ice Sunday, 4-0

Carver Ken Sheen had almost finished work on a large cowboy carving commissioned by the City of Williams Lake to replace the original overlooking the Stampede Grounds when fire broke out Friday, April 18 at his property between Williams Lake and Quesnel. (Pine River Carving Facebook photos)
Cow boss statue destined for Williams Lake Stampede Grounds goes up in flames

Carver Ken Sheen lost the statue, all his tools and his shop in the blaze

B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains. (Hansard TV)
B.C. moves to protect employee pay for COVID-19 vaccination

Most won’t need to take time off work, labour minister says

Most Read