Bob Jackson: A President's President

Winter 2001 CSANews Issue 41  |  Posted date : Apr 03, 2007.Back to list

If ever there was a person to live by the words honesty and integrity, that man is Bob Jackson.

On January 30, 2002, the Canadian Snowbird Association bids farewell to a president who has spent his entire life serving others. As a town councillor, mayor and cabinet minister in Richard Hatfield's New Brunswick government, Bob has dedicated his career to making life better for those around him. He was a respected businessman in the town of St. Stephen, and he is still recognized and greeted warmly everywhere he goes.

In 1993, Bob had made the decision to retire. He had paid his dues and he was going to start taking things easy. His wife Joyce was looking forward to some time together, without the nightly meetings Bob had attended for 20 years. If it weren't for the government of New Brunswick proposing to limit residency to 90 consecutive days, Joyce might have gotten her wish, and Bob might not have made his call to the CSA head office. But this action by his own provincial government struck too close to home. Like many of their colleagues, Bob and Joyce Jackson had worked far too hard to have the government step in at this late date and start making changes that were detrimental to travelling retirees.

With the blessing of the CSA board of directors, he immediately arranged meetings with New Brunswick Health Minister, Dr. Russell King and, when no reasonable outcome was reached, met with Premier Frank McKenna. Thanks to Bob Jackson's intervention, the proposed residency restrictions never came to fruition and New Brunswickers are allowed to travel182 days out of province .

He was hooked. Moving onto the CSA board in 1993, to the position of second vice-president, he quickly took hold of the Government Relations Committee.

As president, he continued providing astute advice and guidance to committee members.

There are many aspects to the Canadian Snowbird Association that are in place because of Bob's influence. The Special Action Fund, our "war chest," which enables us to tackle the provincial and federal governments regarding the Canada Health Act and other issues, the Western Extravaganzas, the Ontario Performing Arts Centre presentations ­ all have proceeded with his full support. He has been an integral part of each CSA committee, and has personally guided the Government Relations Committee to its many successes.

Perhaps what makes Bob most successful is his unfailing willingness to listen to both sides of a story. When discussing various provincial issues, he's made his stand quite clear ­ never take on a fight unless you feel totally justified. Never create an issue that doesn't exist and, if you're wrong, be big enough to admit it.

Bob Jackson has always made time for CSA members. He's always been more than willing to return a phone call, answer an e-mail or do some investigation when a member calls with a concern regarding seniors. At the Extravaganzas and Winter Information Meetings, two of the hardest-working people in attendance are Bob and Joyce Jackson. Each winter, the CSA receives an influx of memberships and they are directly tied to Bob's keynote addresses at these events.

Although he's stepping down as president, Bob will remain on the board for another two years as immediate past president and New Brunswick director. We will have two more years to enjoy his humour, his honesty and the warmth that we've grown to cherish.

To Bob and "Saint" Joyce, our heartfelt thanks for the truly remarkable years that you've given us. 

Pic 1: Bob takes a "hands-on" approach to the kick-off of the CSA/Branson partnership

Pic 2: Bob and Joyce at a press conference in California, 1999

Pic 3: Bob with the Canadian Tourist Commission at Extravaganza 2001