From the Desk of Brian Walker – The New Year is a Time for Reflecting on the Past
This Christmas will likely be remembered by many of us as the holiday that nearly wasn’t. While many found themselves without power, including Adrian, I was lucky and relatively unaffected. But seeing so many of my friend’s and family’s Christmas plans so greatly disrupted caused me to think on better years. It seemed appropriate that the theme of the Queens message this Christmas was “Reflection and Contemplation”, and after listening to the Queens speech I spent some time reflecting on my life and came to the conclusion that I have much to be thankful for and owe many for that good fortune.
It was exactly 21 years ago to the day that Damaris and I walked into the offices of The Financial Planning Group on Bloor Street to start my new career in financial services. After twenty three wonderful years at Wardair, several more years as a private consultant to major corporations, having owned a significant percentage of a major tour company and started two airlines, I knew it was time for another long term career. It took time to realise that I needed a role away from “travel” and it was friends and my lovely wife who convinced me to bring my skills to the burgeoning financial service industry.
Perhaps the most rewarding aspect of what we have accomplished since January of 1994 is that we still have many clients with us today who signed on with us that first year. To those clients and the many that have joined us since, I would like to extend an enormous “thank you” for your business, your understanding, and your support during both good and bad times. For example, I was amazed that while I was reaching out to our investors during the 2008 market meltdown how many of our clients who called to see if we were OK! Our clients rallied around us in 2010 when I had my heart attack and subsequent bypass surgery. And then in 2012 when Damaris passed, the outpour of grief and messages of love and support by those of you who had known her was unbelievable.
I am leaving for my winter holiday this week and I have asked Adrian and his family to join us in Barbados for a few days. We would not normally be both away at the same time but this is a special trip. Adrian has secured permission for us to take Damaris’s ashes to the island to be scattered. Barbados was a very special place for Damaris who I think visited annually since the early 1960’s and she and Adrian spent nearly six very happy months on the island when he was a baby while I flew down most weekends. Adrian was just nine months old on his first visit and he and Shraddha are thrilled to be taking little Sophie on her first visit at eleven months, hopefully one of many. Kimber, freshly returned from her sun vacation will be in the office and Adrian will be setting up a “virtual office” so business can carry on as usual.
In February we will be reminding all clients who need to make RRSP contributions for 2013 to do so but if you would like to get this chore out of the way you can do so with an electronic transfer to your B2B account or simply mail us a cheque.
In summary thank you again and my very best wishes for 2014.