Amid an increase in cancer rates coming out of the pandemic, a group of Terrace public servants spent the month of ‘Movember’ raising awareness about the importance of men’s health through a friendly moustache competition. Movember is a yearly charity event involving the growing of moustaches during November to support men’s health issues, such as prostate cancer, testicular cancer, and mental health.
Northern Health administrator Chris Simms had the idea of involving top officials to bring attention to men’s health issues and encourage more men in the community to have regular health checkups and cancer screenings.
City of Terrace Manager Kris Boland, Terrace Fire Chief John Klie, Terrace RCMP Detachment Commander Staff Sergeant Terry Gillespie and Aaron Callaghan, Superintendent of Schools at the Coast Mountains School District, bristled with excitement at the idea. They kept each other mo-tivated through an increasingly prickly month in a spirit of healthy camaraderie and the trend grew across the city.
“At Northern Health we actually have a large number of men doing their own campaign. Certainly in my workplace and hopefully in the community — that’s really the goal,” said Simms.
“When you look at the social determinants of health; community connectedness comes up a lot as one of the things that makes a healthy community, a healthy neighbourhood, and I think if we can build these healthy communities as men and talk about challenges, I think we’re stronger as a whole.”
Klie said there was about a fifty-fifty ratio of mustaches at the department during the month.
It’s Movember all year round for Klie, who will be keeping the regrowth having sacrificed a well-established ‘stache to support the cause. Since cancer is an important cause for fire fighters due to occupational hazards, Klie said it’s a good reminder to visit your doctor, keep up your overall general fitness and well-being.
“I think there’s a big emphasis to get checked out and your family doctor is the best person to do that with. Early detection is the key.”
Sporting a stiff upper lip, Gillespie said there’s been lots of good-natured competition at the detachment, “which is good, because it gets people talking about it and going to their doctors, getting checked.”
“It was good to get the conversation going. It’s our first mandate is safety so it fits nicely into our mandate, and we recommend everybody get checked and maintain a good relationship with your doctor.”
Boland hasn’t decided if he’ll keep the new look, but “family pressure” is mounting for him to shave.
“The bottom line is we all know men are not always forthcoming with talking about stuff like this and sometimes the tendency is for men to wait until unfortunately it’s too late,” said Boland. “Just being open to discuss men’s health issues I think is something that all men need a little bit of motivation on.”
Callaghan said being new to the community it was a great way to build that community that Simms pointed to.
“I would say, it’s been a great way to pull men together… That’s what drove it.”
Terrace Standard readers who vote for best ‘stache in town now have a chance to win one of several prizes from the Terrace “Mo Bros”, donated to the cause by local businesses.
You could win one of three sets of Mr. Mikes gift cards, valued at $100, $75 or $25, depending on your luck.
Also up for grabs are a Canadian Tire Wahl Rechargeable Personal Grooming Kit, at a $60 value, and a gift bag from Kept Barber Shop and Supply, at a $50 value. Who grew it best? Click the link below to have your say!