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Social Work Community Mourns the Loss of Mel Basbaum

Mel Basbaum spent most of his career as a social worker with Hamilton Health Sciences Corporation and continued working after retiring in private practice and as an Employee Assistance Counsellor. Throughout his life, Mel was also very active as a volunteer with many community organizations, committees and boards. Mel passed away suddenly on May 29 in his 75th year. He will be very missed in the local social work community.

Jun 05, 2017

Melvyn (Mel) Basbaum spent most of his career as a social worker with Hamilton Health Sciences Corporation and continued working after retiring in private practice and as an Employee Assistance Counsellor. Throughout his life, Mel was also very active as a volunteer with many community organizations, committees and boards. Mel passed away suddenly on May 29 in his 75th year. He will be very missed in the local social work community.

Many thanks to Sally Palmer for drawing these tributes together:

“I am truly sad at Mel's passing. He was a gentle giant in our social work world, and my mentor.  Though he never taught me, he was a mentor to me when I joined OASW in 2009. My life was better for spending time with Mel.” - David Angus, Board Member, OASW Hamilton Branch

“Sympathy to the family of Mel! He will be missed.” - Marg Harris, Member of HOPE (Hamilton Organizing for Poverty Elimination) and Volunteer with the Good Food Box for OW Singles

“Mel will be missed terribly by his family and friends and by the many activist and volunteer activities he has been engaged in and supported. His death will be a great loss for his wife especially given her own medical problems.” - Sharon McKay, Member of the SAC (Social Action Committee, OASW, Hamilton Branch

“What a loss for us all. He was a lovely person with wit and charm as well as a tireless worker for social justice. We will miss him.” - Anne Newbigging, Chair for meetings of the SAC

“Mel was a leader on the Social Action Committee of the OASW, a long-time supporter of HOPE, and a true believer in social assistance reform. Mel was always on his feet at government consultations demanding fairness for those who have been left behind! In the last few months, he had been active calling MPPs across Ontario pushing for Paul Miller's Bill 6 to be sent to committee. The last email I received from Mel included the following closing: ‘Don't lose heart’ ... We won't...” - Tom Cooper, Director of the Hamilton Roundtable for Poverty Reduction

Donations to the Hamilton Health Sciences Foundation or The Good Food Box Program c/o Grace Lutheran Church in Hamilton would be appreciated by the family. The full obituary can be found at: http://www.lifenews.ca/announcement/7351040-basbaum-melvyn-mel-