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Murilo Torres receives Welcoming Ottawa Week Ambassador recognition

(PHOTO: Mayor Jim Watson with Murilo and Karla Torres and their family.)

(Editor’s note: Congratulations to Stittsville resident Murilo Torres, who this morning received a 2017 Welcoming Ottawa Week Ambassador Award.  I met him two years ago and was blown away by his energy, kindness, and drive to help his fellow citizens. You’ve probably read about Murilo and his wife Karla before on StittsvilleCentral.ca — most recently in stories about turtles and the blessing of a motorcycle. I’m honoured to count them as a friends and we are very lucky to have their family in Stittsville. -GG.)

LISTEN: CBC Ottawa interview with Murilo Torres and Sam Safari

Welcoming Ottawa Week is an annual festival that celebrates the contributions of all residents (old and new) in making our city a diverse and welcoming community. The WOW Ambassador award, now in its fourth year, recognizes Ottawa residents who go the extra mile to help newcomers feel at home in our city. Each Ambassador is nominated by an immigrant for his or her ability to exemplify important welcoming qualities, including respect, intercultural bridging and generosity of spirit. Continue reading


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LETTER: Bless this bike!

(ABOVE: Monsignor Joseph Muldoon, Pastor at Holy Spirit Catholic Parish, rides Murilo Torres’ Fatboy Harley Davidson.)

Since I was a kid my dream was this exact bike, a black Fatboy Harley Davidson.  I’m still new here, just three years in Stittsville, and since we moved from Brazil we have attended the Holy Spirit Parish Sunday Mass.

We fell in love with Stittsville, and it all started because of Luke Therrien from Stittsville Glass and Signs. He was the first “Canadian” I spoke to after we landed here in Canada and unpacked our belongings. We brought an old window frame from Brazil, a souvenir to make me and my family feel we are at home, but during the trip one of the panes of glass broke.  Luke fixed it.

Was a sunny Saturday day and he actually didn’t say welcome to Canada but he said “Welcome to Stittsville”. Since then our lives changed and we decided to move to Stittsville and be part of this amazing community. He helped us find a good house, helped us with our renovations, and all the help we needed about being new home owners in Canada, much different than in Brazil.

The Harley picture happened after my visit to Stittsville Glass and Sings to show Luke my new achievement. He told me he is a big Harley fan and he had his Harley stolen many years ago, and that I should take care and babysit mine.

So my best bet was to ask Father Joe his blessing and for “extra help” to protect me and my dream. I was not sure how he would react, but his reaction was the best ever.  He gave me a BIG smile and asked me to go for a ride him.  He is also a big Harley fan, and asked me for a picture with the Harley and to share this great moment with our community.

More people in our community need to know how much fun Father Joe is. He is an important character in Stittsville. This is just one small example!

Murilo Torres
Stittsville 

Monsignor Joseph Muldoon, Pastor at Holy Spirit Parish, rides a Harley.
Monsignor Joseph Muldoon, aka Father Joe.

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