Royal Hamel | Episode #63

Royal Hamel sitting with the green #ElderWisdom benchIn this heartfelt episode of #ElderWisdom | Stories from the Green Bench, Kathy Buckworth and Evelyn Brindle had the pleasure of conversing with the inspiring Royal Hamel from The Village of Winston Park in Kitchener. Royal, who we met at the Schlegel Village Operational Planning Conference in Niagara Falls (Bonus LIVE Episode), shared his journey of faith, positivity, and resilience in the face of life-altering paralysis.

Royal recounted the sudden onset of his condition, which left him paraplegic, and the subsequent challenges he faced. Despite the drastic change in his life, Royal’s unwavering faith in Jesus Christ and his 50-year experience as a pastor have been the bedrock of his positive outlook.

Throughout the episode, Royal spoke about the importance of compassion, the power of presence, and the significance of sharing personal experiences. He continues to minister to others at Winston Park long-term care, where he resides, through preaching, Bible studies, and simply being a comforting presence to fellow residents.

Royal also touched upon the importance of modeling compassion to children and the role of faith in fostering a compassionate society. He shared insights from his blog, which has touched the lives of many, and emphasized the importance of gentleness in our interactions with others.

As hosts, Evelyn and Kathy reflected on the wisdom Royal brings to the Green Bench, his ability to connect with others, and the joy he finds in daily interactions. His story is a testament to the power of optimism and the human spirit’s capacity to adapt and find purpose even in the most challenging circumstances.

*Link to Royal’s blog as mentioned in the episode:

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The Green Bench is a symbol of elder wisdom. Physically or virtually, the bench invites us all to sit alongside a senior, share a conversation, or give and offer advice.

It challenges the stigma seniors face; the ageism still so prevalent in society. It reminds us of the wealth of wisdom our elders offer and in doing so, helps restore them to a place of reverence.

”The greatest untapped resource in Canada, if not the world, is the collective wisdom of our elders.” -Ron Schlegel