December 18, 1945 – April 3, 2006
Ray Chambers was born in Gimli, Manitoba at the Johnson Memorial Hospital on December 18, 1945 to Robert Henry Chambers and Ethel Isabel Anton. He married Susan Joan Jackson on March 9, 1968 in St. James, Manitoba. During their thirty-eight years together they raised two daughters, four adopted children and many, many foster children. He was also the proud Grandfather of eight grandchildren.
With over fifteen years of dedicated service, Ray Chambers embodied the spirit of the Friendship Centre Movement. He believed in the work of Friendship Centres and he believed in the people working for and utilizing the services at Friendship Centres.
Ray first started with the Friendship Centre Movement as the Executive Director of the St. Paul Friendship Centre, now known as the Mannawannis Native Friendship Centre in St. Paul, Alberta. During that time, he was instrumental in creating Camp Mannawannis and always advocated on behalf of the Friendship Centre youth in Alberta.
From there he moved on to become the Provincial Coordinator for the Alberta Native Friendship Centres Association (ANFCA) in Edmonton, Alberta. In his typical “Ray Way”, he inspired his staff, colleagues and touched the hearts of issues in Friendship Centres across Alberta and the country. Through his life, his work and his love, he inspired the lives of many people and made everyone feel like they all belonged.
At the NAFC 35th Annual General Meeting held July 11-14, 2006 in Saskatoon, SK, the membership unanimously agreed to honour Ray posthumously as a Life-time member of the NAFC. Life-time membership in the NAFC was established to recognize and acknowledge the invaluable contribution of those individuals whose commitment to the Friendship Centre Movement has been paramount at all levels of our Association.
Ray’s efforts have not gone unnoticed and it is with this in mind that we honour and remember him for his work in improving the quality of life for Aboriginal people that reside in urban communities nationwide.
Ray Chambers was a Son, Brother, Husband, Father, Grandfather, Uncle, Mentor, Colleague and Friend. He made a difference in our world, he will be missed and fondly remembered.