Made a difference

To the Journal editor:

The Janzen Hotel. Its very existence has been the focus of mystery and stories for as long as I can remember. It’s a very old building, and a landmark for the downtown area. Ask just about anyone where the Janzen Hotel is and most people will be able to tell you.

Do faces from bygone eras show up in the windows watching your every move as you pass by? Do the ghosts of past occupants roam the halls at night in search of their yesterdays? If they do, I haven’t seen them. But it’s not because I haven’t glanced at the windows hoping to experience that possibility.

In reality, the hotel is a warm and welcoming place for many people who have no place else to call home. It’s a place where they can feel a sense of camaraderie amongst themselves.

It’s a place where people can share their experiences, and where friendships are created. If you happen to walk by the front porch, it’s almost a certainty that you’ll receive a friendly greeting from someone sitting there.

I recently had a conversation with Dan Lancour who is not only the hotel’s manager, but in many ways a beacon of light for so many people whom have passed through its doors over the years. I was amazed when he shared that he has been the proverbial gatekeeper for the past seventeen years.

I can’t begin to imagine the people he’s met, and the conversations he’s shared with them over that period of time. After speaking with Dan, I walked away convinced that it’s been a very rewarding and enriching experience for him, as well as for those who for even a brief period of time have called the Janzen Hotel their temporary home.

I’m certain that there is a very large group of people whom are very grateful to Mr. Lancour for being there for them.

He certainly should be recognized and thanked for the difference he has made in so many people’s lives.

Bruce Gustafson