DIGBY, N.S. - Life-long Digby resident Greg Turner is quite recognizable in the community having taught school for 31 years.
However, at the start of this month, there was a slight change in his appearance that created interesting conversations with his friends, family and neighbours. For the first time in 44 years, Turner had shaved his signature moustache, all in the name of a good cause.
“We made a bit of light about it…like, ‘Your lip must be cold?’ I guess when you’re in the school system and students recognize you based on the way you look and you have a moustache, and when you don’t have one, it becomes somewhat of a novelty. I had quite a few comments about it.”
The reason for Turner’s clean-shaven upper lip was in the name of the annual Movember fundraising campaign with the Digby chapter. Movember helps raise awareness of men's health issues, such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and men's suicide. Participants of the fundraiser seek out donations and funds go into the Movember Canada Foundation and used largely for research and awareness on men’s health.
The aspect of the fundraiser that grabs the most attention is participants grow a moustache during the month. Turner said he participated in the fundraiser previously, but he didn’t shave his moustache until this year.
“This year, I decided to take the big step and shave off the moustache – a bit out of curiosity to see what it would look like.”
Turner noted that after half a month of regrowing his moustache, he’s almost back to square one. As for next year, he said it’s a secret as to whether he’ll get rid of the stache again.
“I can’t divulge that information this early in the game,” he said with a laugh.
Jeff Sunderland is the team captain of the Digby Movember group. He said the group of about 10 has participated in the fundraising initiative for more than five years.
Sunderland said Movember is not just to fundraise and create awareness, but to also participate in activities that promote wellness. For example, the group went ice-skating at the Digby Arena on Nov. 17.
“This year we’ve done two small hikes,” said Sunderland. “We’re trying to squeeze in a canoe (trip) at some time this month and likely one more hike.”
Sunderland said the Digby chapter has had a lot of fun during the month and he added that fundraising is the best it’s ever been.
“This year is the biggest group and the most funds that have raised already and we’re not through the month."
Sunderland concluded jokingly that he has a theory why fundraising has gone so well this year.
“We credit it to Greg shaving his moustache where all the funds are coming from this year.”