One of my favourite people to run into is this guy right here:

It’s Brian!

I’ve known Brian and his family for over twenty years now.

How did THAT happen?

I met him when I was about 14 years old when he and his wife (and young baby) began attending First Baptist Church (present day Urban Abbey); Brian was the youth leader and led study/fellowship groups for 12-14 year olds and 15-18 year olds.

Brian was born in Thunder Bay but spent much of his childhood in India. Upon returning to Thunder Bay, Brian enjoyed stomping around town in his Doc Martens with a guitar slung over his shoulder.

Actually, I don’t know if he stomped or if he wore Doc Martens, that’s just how I’ve decided to picture it.

But he did have a guitar! He’s quite an accomplished guitar player and has been in several local bands over the years.

Shortly after the birth of their second child, Brian and Marla moved their little family to India: a pilgrimage to his childhood home! Brian had a great opportunity to work and teach and mentor at the Woodstock school in Mussoorie India, Asia’s oldest International boarding school.

Friends and family followed their adventures through email and then over Facebook. Two more children joined the family, there were trips back to Thunder Bay, and a couple years in England while Brian attended Oxford University, working on his doctorate of religious studies.

Several years ago, the family returned again to Thunder Bay; It’s been a more permanent move this time. For now. They’ve set down roots. Brian works for the Nokiiwin Tribal Council; they have a pets; the oldest daughter is off at University; the second oldest recently got married; the youngest two are coming up to the end of high school. The busy chaotic years are coming to an end, slowly being replaced by a more empty nest.

Just look at this happy dad, surrounded by his stunning wife and beautiful daughters. I know Brian has loved having four daughters and I know he and Marla are thrilled to watch them spread their wings and fly.

One of the most comforting experiences in life is running into Brian when he’s down town, making his rounds. He quietly gets his coffee then quietly buys and sells his vinyl: smiles and encouragement fall on the people he passes.

Brian isn’t officially a pastor or a teacher anymore, but he is incredibly wise, humble, approachable, and gifted in communication. Occasionally he still speaks at churches around town about a variety of different topics. If you get the chance, I highly recommend you have a listen. No matter what he’s talking about, it’s always interesting.

Tomorrow is his birthday. If you see him out and about, pass on a birthday wish.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY BRIAN! I’m so happy I met you and your family.


  1. Happy Birthday to one of my favourite people!!!!

  2. Amazing read! I enjoyed it to the end.

  3. Happy Birthday 🥳 Bri… what an awesome synopsis for Brian Dunn!

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