As a retired Peterborough County OPP officer, David McNab is well acquainted with all things required to serve and protect. Beyond that, however, our Inductee committed himself to, and has acted upon in multiple ways, an obligation to help in any way possible.
McNab may have retired from policing in 2017 – but he hasn’t retired from a lifelong commitment to roll up his sleeves and get busy on behalf of someone else’s wellbeing. If you listen carefully, you can almost hear the wheels turning in McNab’s head as he answers the self-directed question of “What I can do?” with a knowing smile as the answer comes to him.
If anyone has earned the moniker of global citizen, it’s David McNab. As an example, his commitment to the Peterborough settlement and integration of Syrian refugees is deep, and life-changing.
When Syrian children new to Canada – sponsored by McNab and his wife Kristy Hiltz – tried tobogganing for the first time, McNab rolled in the snow alongside them.
When teen Syrian refugee Rashid Sheikh Hassan pleaded to come to Canada to escape the civil war ravishing his country, David and Kristy navigated the red tape to make that happen, bringing him to Peterborough where a small network of like-minded people, McNab among them, made his successful integration their mission.
When a Kenyan woman couldn’t come up with the money to send her young son to school, McNab monetized videos depicting their life and Kenyan wildlife, sharing them on YouTube and raising the money needed for not only her son’s school supplies, but also the medicine she needed.
Closer to home, McNab’s kindness has made life better for many, going back to his tenured involvement with Cops For Cancer. McNab’s zest for life and desire to have fun doing whatever he tackles, remains as infectious as it is uplifting. In 2021, McNab issued a Ghost Pepper Eating Challenge, tears welling in his eyes as he and his challenger raised money for One City Peterborough. The next year saw McNab knit toques that he donated to the same organization and also sold to help those seeking shelter from the cold.
Unsurprisingly, McNab’s compassion for others, and his related actions, have brought him significant recognition. In 2021, he was awarded the YMCA Peace Medal, and this past March, Rotary named McNab a Paul Harris Fellow – the highest honour awarded by the international service club. Rashid spoke during that presentation, capturing perfectly, in near perfect English, the essence of his benefactor.
“This is a man who saved my life. I have never met someone like him. He’s kind. He helps people and he respects people. The world needs people like Mr. David.”