Man known for scootering around Kamloops helping homeless has died
A man, loved by the community and known for scooting around the Kamloops North Shore with water bottles and naloxone kits for those in need, has died.
Jim Newbery touched countless lives with his kindness in the years he spent living in an apartment on Tranquille Road on the North Shore.
“I live in Nanaimo and was in regular touch having sibling talks with Jim over the phone getting the details of his life in Kamloops,” said his sister Marlin McTavish.
Newbery rode a scooter and would get up every day to do a route around the North Shore business corridor in all kinds of weather, often carrying water bottles and naloxone kits.
He checked on people living rough and helped them access food and warmth whenever he could.
“He was doing checkups on people in the community and always gave a lot of his time and energy because he wanted to give back,” McTavish said. “He would come across overdoses and get help. He was great at it because he was street savvy and had the right personality to deal with the challenges.”
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In the past, Newbery loved volunteering at a JUMP kitchen, a non-profit that once operated a drop-in centre and meal program in Kamloops, and got his Food Safe Certificate, McTavish said.
“We came from a pack of nine kids,” she said. “We grew up making big meals out of what was in the fridge or out in the garden. During his time volunteering we would have great food and recipe talks.
"He would often open the kitchen up early to let people come in from the cold, then get the coffee on and start dealing with breakfast.”
Former operator at JUMP Glenn Hilke remembers Newbery working hard at the kitchen and always showing up early.
“We called Jimmy the Breakfast Captain,” Hilke said. “When it was cold and dark and people hadn’t had a good sleep he would welcome them in. People liked his big personality and breakfasts.”
McTavish said her brother had a great sense of humour. When he was relegated to a scooter for health reasons, he stayed positive.
“He loved riding motorcycles and used to ride a Harley,” she said. “So when he got his scooter he called it a ‘hardly.’ It was written on a license plate on the back of his scooter.”
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Members of the community recently poured out memories and condolences to the family for their loss, describing Newbery as a sweet, kind and generous person who was “a breath of fresh air.”
Jimmy was 66-years-old when he died on Sept. 29. His family is keeping anything surrounding his medical information and cause of death private.
— This article was updated at 10:49 a.m. Monday, Oct. 11, 2022, to correct the spelling of Jim Newbery's surname.
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