The McLaren Story

The McLaren Family
The McLaren Family

Ted McLaren grew up on the family farm in rural Saskatchewan along with his siblings. In his early twenties he travelled to Vancouver and attended a UBC meeting, met other individual activists and became a founding member of what is now AIDS Vancouver. Ted became HIV+ early in the epidemic. When he developed AIDS his parents travelled to the city to advocate and care for him at a time when the stigma surrounding this disease was at its height. Ted passed away in October 1986.

McLaren Housing Society of BC was founded a year later in Ted’s memory. Staff and The Board of Directors are honoured for the continuing support of our work and the ongoing contact with Ted’s family. In September 2015, Ted’s Mum, brother, sister, nephew and their partners visited us for the day and were momentarily overwhelmed by the work of this organization and the legacy that is growing.

After Thirty Years

Blood red, the colour of dusky Okanagan orchards in fall
(where you gathered fruit when you were young)
mixed with the green of a highland hillside swept by fog
and crossed by strands of sunlight

These are the colours of our tartan and with them
I raise a glass of well-aged wine to you, my Brother
and give thanks for your resolve of those years ago

Your Boar’s Rock rally cry reverberates today
at Helmcken House and Howe Street
You brought honour to our ancestral past
and we thank you

The shadow of an eagle’s wing blesses us today
and we rejoice
Your example has been our teacher
that we care and honour each and every one
with gay abandon and with one love
and we thank you

– Rod McLaren, Ted McLaren’s brother
September 2015

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