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Page added on September 24, 2017

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A tribute to a friend……

RENE DINO

By: Tigs Tidalgo

When we were younger and Calgary was not yet big, I met a man named Rene Dino. He was an acquaintance the same as anyone in what then was a small Filipino community. Few more years later and he became a friend. And farther more in time, he was a brother.  I mourned the passing of an acquaintance, a friend and a brother.

The existence of Rene in life revolved around three things. First and foremost was to his family, then to business and to the community. His love for the Filipino community was where our lives met. We had common ground in dreams and the willingness to involve in it. He was with me amongst a number of good people in putting up the Filipino Seniors Structure in Calgary. It took us ten years to build it.

Rene was an extra ordinary fellow. While we were scrambling for better job and pay at work during our early years in the city, Rene went the other way. He didn’t want to be an employee working under the whims of superiors. He was an independent minded individual who doesn’t want to be told what to do or what not to do. He chose to be self employed by having his own business and lived a rewarding lifestyle from it.

It was through casual conversation when I told him that the Filipino Seniors Structure that we worked to existence could possibly face problems. The revenues from government entitlement had been constantly going down. It may have serious problem in few years. It could not afford to undertake their designed program of activities.

His reply was foxy but with substance. He said that if income from government incentives are going down, down and down, we should look for ways where association’s earning by themselves goes up, up and up. He further stated that if we were to merge both our experiences together, we could possibly make it work.

It was practical logic. I knew that it was one of these ‘easier said than done’ thing. But what was there to lose? Maybe we were just day dreaming that we put our heads together. We nourished a thought which later gave birth to a serious idea of a United Seniors Initiatives.

Under it was Phase 1, Phase 2 and on. Under Phase 1 was the Grandma’s Delicatessen at the center lobby accross the food court of Marlborough Mall which was long vacant at that time. It was indeed an excellent location. What we needed was a business plan and five share holders to start it. We talked about this almost every morning after my morning walk at the mall.

Rene was in Vegas on a business trip when I called him that I managed to secure the five share holders. They were from the old timers group and were   willing to put up their capital investment. I also added that I had at hand the final 15-page business plan made by Elvie Valeroso’s group. I did sense in his voice that he was excited. He said that we would finalize everything the next day.

The plan was for fifty percent of net profit goes to five shares holders and the other fifty percent to the program for senior citizens. It was indeed a helpful initiative to supplement the declining revenues of seniors associations.

It was Friday morning, March 22, 2013 when Rene and I smoothed out all details. We were to finally sign an agreement with Marlborough Mall management on Monday morning and put the grand opening date on the 3rd Saturday in May. We talked for about two hours. Tten hours after at two o’clock in the morning, my phone rang. It was his wife Myra. With intermittent crying voice she said, “Rene is gone.” He had heart attack. He passed away.

His funeral wake was with record high attendance in our community. It goes to reason that he did touch the hearts of people. I had the honour to deliver his eulogy. His legacy is deeply carved in the hearts and minds of many. He was a kind hearted man.

Rest well, my friend.









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