HAAM recently received this letter from one of our members, Janine Guinn. It’s a heartwarming story about our community, the friendships we make within it, and the bonds we form with our fellow HAAMsters.

If you live within driving distance of Winnipeg (HAAM) or Steinbach (Eastman Humanist Community), make the effort to attend local events and meet your fellow Humanists in person. You’ll be glad you did!

I’m not sure if you are aware, but Jan Guinn (a former HAAM member) was my cousin. In fact, we met for the first time at a HAAM meeting in 2010. I will never forget that day because I wore her name tag, thinking someone had just spelled my name wrong. She and Brian arrived late, and I heard her mention her name to someone, and immediately flipped my name tag over from embarrassment. The guest speaker started right away, which gave me time to compose myself, and as soon as it ended, I introduced myself: “Hi – I heard you say you’re Jan Guinn. Well, my name is Janine Guinn and apparently I have your name tag!” It turns out that Jan’s grandfather and my great-grandfather were brothers, and it was the start of a lovely friendship.

Unfortunately, Jan passed away in 2013, shortly after she and Brian moved to Kelowna. Brian and I still keep in touch, and on a recent visit he took Greg and me on a hike to see the memorial bench that he had made in Jan’s honour. In case it’s hard to read, the plaque says:


“Breathe Deep and Listen”

Jan Guinn

Lovingly Remembered








Our story is a testament to HAAM bringing people together. I’m grateful to have met Jan, if only for a few short years, and to have Brian as a member of my extended family.

You are welcome to share the photo in the newsletter if you like, and say hello to the HAAM members from Brian Fairbanks.

Janine Guinn  🙂

Brian sent a photo from that summer party in 2010, which he and Jan hosted at their home in Stonewall.

And a photo of the two couples:

Left to Right, Greg Nykiforuk, Janine Guinn, Jan Guinn, Brian Fairbanks