Last Updated: Friday - 09/24/2010
Week of May 6, 2002
Injured worker a rock in council programs
By GLEN ARGAN
"I love people and I love working with people."
- Daniel Fortin
The award was inaugurated to honour an unsung hero among the Albert Knights.
"I'm not a quitter and I don't expect anybody to be a quitter," Fortin said in receiving the award. "I love people and I love working with people."
Fortin took an unusual path to joining the Knights three years ago. His brother-in-law, a knight, invited him to a K of C function as a guest. But some members failed to show up to perform their duties and Fortin ended up working in the kitchen.
After helping out at a couple more events, he decided to join the order.
A cousin to the Dionne quintuplets, Fortin was born and raised in Calander, Ont. But by age 12, his academic achievements were unimpressive. "My dad told if I didn't want to go to school, I should go to work," he told the WCR.
So he headed south to work for the circus for four years. Eventually, he returned to Canada and became a gourmet cook. After that job lost its appeal, he spent 16 years in the stucco and drywalling business.
That career came to a crashing end eight years ago when he fell off a building, and the steel corner beam of the building went through his chest. In the fall, he also broke his wrist, suffered a concussion, smashed his left knee apart and blew his right foot apart.
"It bummed the heck out of my dancing," Fortin joked.
Last fall, in his 12th surgery since the fall, he had his right leg amputated. Now, he's on the waiting list for surgery number 13.
"My wife Wendy has been my rock," he said. "She works to support us and then comes home and looks after me."
As for the Knights, he said, "I got so used to the guys at the church, they won't let me go."
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