David Laird – Story In A Nutshell

Stories in a Nutshell – David Laird

William David Laird, known as David, was born on March 14, 1939, in the charming coastal town of Newcastle, about 30 miles south of Belfast along the Irish Sea’s northeastern shore. With around 4,000 residents, this town became the backdrop for David’s early years. Thanks to his loving parents’ exceptional guidance and support, David found the experience smooth and fortunate as an only child.


His parents played a crucial role in shaping his character, instilling values that guided him throughout his life. Contrary to common stereotypes about only children, David was not spoiled. Instead, he expressed deep gratitude for his parents, who gave him valuable life lessons and set him on the right path. Despite having no close family ties in Newcastle, David made periodic visits to reconnect with the community and meet cousins born after his departure.


At the age of 18, David, along with his parents, made a life-changing decision to relocate to Canada. Motivated by the country’s opportunities, they arrived by boat on June 10th, 1957, starting their Canadian adventure in Montreal before settling in Toronto. The transition was exhilarating for David, who marvelled at the vastness of everything in his new surroundings. While he seamlessly adapted, his parents, particularly his father, found the move to be a profound and transformative experience.


A fortunate connection helped David quickly find employment in the T. Eaton Company’s hardware department. At that time, Toronto was a bustling hub with numerous immigrants, particularly from the British Isles, making the transition smoother for many. Reflecting on this period, David recalls Toronto’s exceptional opportunities and industrious atmosphere.


Despite initial aspirations to attend university, David chose a practical path due to the circumstances of starting a new life. He enrolled in Toronto Bible College, intending to enter the ministry. However, a different path unfolded, and he eventually dedicated 30 years to the Gideon organization, actively promoting their essential mission.


David’s career predominantly revolved around sales and marketing, fueled by his love for people and his natural ability to connect with them. His journey took him from retail sales at Eaton’s to working for an insurance company. Even in his travels across Canada as a Scripture Press representative, David’s sociable nature facilitated quick connections with people.


The most exciting aspects of his career included exploring new territories and mastering the art of salesmanship. Travelling across Canada, mainly his trip from Vancouver to Winnipeg, left a lasting impact on David. His ability to navigate challenging sales situations showcased his skills.


David’s most profound passion lies in embodying the essence of a true believer. He strives to live a life that reflects his genuine faith in Christ, emphasizing that actions speak louder than words. This commitment to faith has motivated him to represent the Lord in every aspect of his existence.


In June 2014, David and his wife Joan came to live at Shepherd Village. Their shared commitment is evident in their choice to reside in the Village, a community deeply connected to their families. David’s history with Shepherd Village dates back to his early days in Canada, where he formed close ties with the community through a church attended by fellow Irish individuals.


His involvement with Shepherd Village intensified over the years, leading him to work for Mario, a connection forged during his frequent visits. Eventually, moving to Shepherd Village felt like a natural progression for David and Joan. Their deep ties to the community, including his parent’s residence in the Manor and Joan’s mother’s legacy, made it a meaningful choice.


David’s experience on the Manor Council has been both challenging and fulfilling. It has deepened his understanding of people’s needs, allowing him to positively impact their lives by assisting with daily tasks. Despite initial reluctance, he found joy in the role, viewing it as an opportunity to enhance the quality of life for others.

Reflecting on significant accomplishments, David takes pride in shaping his sons into admirable men. His influence, guidance, and lessons contributed to their success in their marriages and families. He attributes his parenting approach to his father’s firm yet loving influence, emphasizing the values of acceptance and kindness instilled in him.


An adventurous spirit, David loves exploration and is curious, driving him to seek new experiences. One daring experience from his youth involved climbing Slieve Donard, a mountain range in Newcastle, where a close call near a treacherous edge left a lasting impression.


David’s ability to form quick connections, commitment to tasks, and persistence have remained steadfast throughout the years. Reflecting on his assertiveness, he acknowledges the importance of involving others in tasks and learning from their experiences.

As he looks back, David aspires to be remembered as a person who values friendship, appreciates individual uniqueness, and relishes the growth from knowing others. His legacy is rooted in the significance of learning from others and allowing them to be a part of his life, emphasizing the rarity and depth of genuine close friendships.