An Interview with Dorothy Tapajna, Past President, Hamilton West Particular Council by Guido Kelly

Dorothy Tapajna

1. How long have you been a Vincentian?

I have been a Vincentian for 23 years, having joined Canadian Martyrs Conference in 1999. I have enjoyed most areas of Vincentian work as it gives me a chance to help people in whatever ways are possible through the Conference.

2. What motivated you to join the SSVP?

My Pastor, Father Gus Smith at the time, invited the President of Hamilton West Council, Liam Morris, to address the congregation about forming a Conference at our Parish. We had an initial meeting, and our Conference was started. That made me a founding member.

3. As Vincentians we serve with “Love, Respect, Justice and Joy. Which of these motivates you the most? Why?

While we serve with “love, respect, justice and joy”, I find that “love” motivates me the most. This love to help people, especially those in need triggers that “let me do that extra bit” effort that will help a lot in many situations.

4. What Leadership positions have you held with your Conference and/or Council? Of which are you most proud? Why?

I was President of our Parish Conference for 12 years from 2003 – 2015. I became Secretary of the Hamilton West Particular Council during that time, and this led to the Council Presidency from 2015 to 2021. I appreciated seeing the different activities of all of our Conferences and was instrumental in the expansion of our Vincent’s Value Store on Barton Street.

5. What aspect continues to motivate you in your Vincentian work?

The aspect that continues to motivate me is continuing to assist people in their time of need and introducing them to new ways of helping them to get back on their feet where possible. This includes making them aware of plans such as the Canada Learning Bond program for their children.

6. What advice do you wish to pass on to your fellow Vincentians?

My advice to fellow Vincentians is to always be open to new ways of offering assistance. They should always approach helping others with love, respect, justice, and joy.