Doug Whyte’s outgoing nature and enthusiastic greeting “Well……how are ya my friend?” have endeared him to many in Grande Prairie. His mother, Isabelle Whyte, is amazed at the number of people Doug knows, so many of whom she doesn’t. Doug was the first person Jan Paton met when she arrived in Grande Prairie. She and Doug started up a conversation while they were standing side by side watching a hockey game and Jan soon learned from Doug about the Association. She is now a supervisor in Residential Services.
Doug was a student at the Peace School of Hope, starting classes at seven years old. On graduation, staff wrote the following note to mark the occasion.
Douglas Whyte is the friendliest, most enthusiastic person one could meet. He has a real concern for people and would make a wonderful helper in a day nursery. He has comforted many a small one in tears in our school. He likes to be active and do things for others. We hope that Doug will find lots of things to keep him busy and concerned in the workshop.
When Doug was eighteen, he moved into one of the Association group homes and began working at Swan Industries. Doug visits his mom regularly and she is pleased that he tells her he is “always coming home.”
Residential worker Mariann Watson has known Doug for many years and works with him at the 101 Ave group home. She says he reminds her of an old soul in a young man’s body and calls him her “shadow,” due to the fact that he is never far away from her when she is working in the residence. “Doug can be quick to temper, but is also quick to be talked out of it.”
Isabelle says that Doug is much quieter now than when he was young, although he is just as friendly as ever. Doug is the youngest of seven children and with lots of older brothers and sisters to help take care of him, Isabelle says that it was never a problem. However, the family had quite a job on their hands keeping track of Doug in the neighbourhood when he was young. Isabelle remembers how he knew all the neighbours so well that they would keep an eye out for him. Doug was always accepted by the neighbourhood kids and he has always been able to communicate well.