Pius Oliver Gasper
Pius Oliver Gasper does not know his parents, nor does he know anything about them. Since childhood, he has been loved and cared for by the Thelma Vaughan Memorial Home’s family which comprises board members, staff, volunteers and the Home’s friends. His loved ones also included the church family at the Grace Bible Church, where he is a communicant.
In other words, Pius’ life story is a positive one; most of all, he is an achiever, a champion. He is the reigning ‘King of Posing” among people who use wheelchairs, after winning in that category in the Flex Body Building Championship held in March. He also represented Barbados in boccia during a competition in Connecticut, United States.
Reflecting on his early life, Pius said: “I attended the Challenor School where I learned to do woodwork which I really love. At the Home, I sometimes help to sandpaper furniture. A few years ago, we made cou-cou sticks which we sold. It was fun doing that job.” Today, Pius spends most of his time participating in activities coordinated by volunteers who visit the Home. He described them as very loving adding that it is fun to be in their company.
Volunteers are not only retired professionals or church groups. Individuals and school children are also among those who regularly spend time with the Home’s residents. During these visits, the residents and children who are in respite care construct craft items; sing and listen to stories which are read by these friends who are now part of the Home’s family.
Pius is also engaged in some of his favourite activities during these sessions. He plays indoor games such as dominoes and sings along with the others or provides the backing music on his mouth organ or guitar. Asked about the future, he said: “I would like to see more done to help people, who are differently-abled like me, have a better chance to fulfil their potential. As for me, I would like to become an entertainer.”