Megaphone News: Remembering a gentle and gracious Megaphone vendor
Patrick Yacyshen, 1953 – 2016
On Aug. 5th, much-loved Megaphone vendor Patrick Yacyshen passed away from complications related to cancer.
For the past six years, Patrick had been a fixture in Kerrisdale, selling Megaphone and the Hope in Shadows calendar—most commonly at the corner of West 41st Avenue and Yew Street.
Over that time, Patrick developed deep and strong friendships with his customers, who always looked out and cared for him. At a memorial for Patrick in late August, a number of his customers remembered him fondly for his kind presence in the neighbourhood.
“The whole community loved him,” says Gregg Garbe, a longtime customer, who recounted how much it meant to be able to talk to Patrick over the years. “He was a gracious and gentle soul, and a really classy guy.”
Born in 1953, Patrick was from a small farming town in Saskatchewan, before moving to Alberta with his family. After graduating from the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology in 1977, he worked for many years as a designer and draftsperson in the province’s oil sands.
However, after a string of different jobs, including running a bowling alley for three years with his then-wife, he came to Vancouver in 1993, where he ended up selling Spare Change, Vancouver’s original street paper. After selling the paper for a few years, he returned to Alberta for 10 years, before coming back to Vancouver in 2010 and selling Megaphone.
Over his two stints with this paper, Megaphone vendors remember him for both his great kindness and abilities.
“I really appreciated his intelligence,” says Megaphone vendor and longtime friend Ray Soucy. “He was one of the smartest people I knew.”
Patrick wrote two articles for Megaphone, one about a homeless binner he developed a relationship with, and the other about how proud he was to be selling Megaphone with some of the original Spare Change vendors.
When he came to Vancouver the second time, he was living in his van in Kerrisdale, and he struggled with homelessness. But thanks to the love and support of his customers, one of whom let him take showers in their house, he was able to eventually get into housing.
Patrick spent the last four years of his life at the Sanford Apartments at Fir and West 7th, which is run by the MPA Resource Centre. He was very thankful and proud to have such safe and secure housing.
His neighours at the Sanford remember him for being a great friend.
“He really cared about other people more than himself,” says Danny Cottie.
“I’m a binner and he would help me out from time to time by giving me a buck and just talk to me about what was going on that day. It warmed my heart.”
Patrick was a very private and proud person who showed his appreciation and love to others through his kindness and time. He had a subtle sense of humour and was very thoughtful toward others.
Patrick will be deeply missed by his customers in Kerrisdale, his neighbours and friends at the Sanford Apartments, and by the entire Megaphone community.