Rick Preston, chair of WinnipegREALTORS® Citizens Hall of Fame, is proud to announce the selection of R.A. Sam Fabro as this year’s inductee. He is the 40th inductee since the unique program’s inception in 1986. He joins previous inductees who represent a wide cross-section of outstanding citizens who made a positive difference and contribution to Winnipeg’s quality of life.
Where do you start to describe such a prolific and exemplar citizen? It seems there was no end or hesitation to his unwavering commitment to help others achieve success in whatever they pursued.
Using a sports cliché to describe his life is fitting, given how he did so much as an athlete and builder. “Never give up” has to be one and “winning isn’t everything” is another because his uncanny ability and intestinal fortitude to get the task done is a running theme throughout his life.
Did Winnipeg benefit as a result? You bet! Here are just some of the places and events that Fabro put his indelible footprint on.
FortWhyte Alive, Misericordia Health Centre, Villa Rosa, Manitoba Marathon, Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame, Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame, Manitoba Games, 1967 Pan American Games and Pan Am Games Advisory Committee (1999), Winnipeg Enterprises -Winnipeg Stadium Expansion, Kiwanis Club of Winnipeg, Knights of Columbus, Recreation and Parks Board, Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, McMahon Carpets (1937 -1987), Manitoba Club and other Manitoba health organizations.
His efforts and invaluable contributions did not go unnoticed. Some of the awards Fabro has received include the Order of Canada (1974), Order of Buffalo (1986), City of Winnipeg Proclamation (1986), inducted in Manitoba Hockey Hall of Fame (1990), inducted in Manitoba Sports Hall of Fame as Builder member (1988), Award of Merit, Winnipeg Blue Bombers (1988), “R.A. Fabro Scholarship” University of Manitoba – sponsored by Manitoba Hockey Foundation and Hockey Hall of Fame & Museum and C.A. Barbour Award from the City of Winnipeg Recreation & Parks Board.
A running theme from many prominent Winnipeggers who wrote in support of Fabro’s nomination was that he is a pillar within the community. Vern Simonsen said, “During fifty years or so, I have known Sam Fabro and have watched him achieve remarkable success and respect as a businessman. At the same time he has expended a significant contribution of his time, talent and money for numerous charitable, cultural and athletic organizations. He is truly a community renaissance man and most worthy to be selected to the Citizens Hall of Fame.”One of Fabro’s most notable contributions and the host location for the Citizens Hall of Fame induction ceremony and reception is FortWhyte Alive.
“It was through Sam’s membership in the Kiwanis Club of Winnipeg and his persuasive savvy and tenacity that he secured sufficient funding in 1973 from the Kiwanis Club of Winnipeg Foundation to build FortWhyte’s first Reception Centre on McGillivray Blvd. He has unwittingly and unselfishly launched FortWhyte Alive’s dynamic evolution into Canada’s premier, privately-owned environmental education and outdoor recreation facility,” said Bill Elliott, President and CEO, FortWhyte Alive.
Preston says he never ceases to be amazed at the extraordinary contributions citizens such as Sam Fabro make and continue to give back throughout their entire lives. “When you go through his accomplishments during his many years of leadership and service at the Misericordia Health Centre it reads like how he built his business into a real going concern,” said Preston. “These citizens have a real sense of mission in their make-up and are determined to see their time and efforts reach a successful conclusion.”