Our vendors: Richard (Megaphone, Victoria, British Columbia, Canada)

By Stefania Seccia, Megaphone

Richard Gerrand is a man of few words. He’s precise and says what he means. Richard is also one of those vendors who has an easy time talking to anyone. He makes friends quickly and he has an adventurer’s spirit.

Richard started selling Victoria’s newspaper Street Newz in October 2007, and has been selling Megaphone ever since it expanded to replace Street Newz a few years ago. His favourite part is selling newspapers to people in his busy downtown location: you can find him smiling and pitching to customers outside the Bay Centre.

Selling street papers has helped Richard out, he says, and it has also helped the people who buy them—by reading the stories, they learn more about the community they live in.

Photo by Priyanka Roy

In the summer, when Richard isn’t busy selling his papers, he takes full advantage of the nice weather—when it appears.

“I like to go outside,” he says. “I like going for walks. I walk to Wal-Mart because it’s close by. I am looking at the plants and stuff like that.”

Richard also likes to go down to the beach by himself, and maybe bring a towel to hang out on and enjoy the sun. “I just relax,” he smiles.

He recently made a friend that he met through his social worker, and together they drive out to different communities. “She has a car,” Richard tells me. “We go sight-seeing and to places to eat.”

When he isn’t out enjoying the warm weather, Richard is on his computer, checking out vintage photographs of the city he calls home. “I’m interested in history,” he explains. When not on the computer, Richard watches retro shows on his TV—particularly the Andy Griffiths Show, which ran from 1960–1968. “It’s just a good show, entertaining,” he says. “Makes me laugh!”

This year, Richard took photos for the Hope in Shadows calendar contest. He took advantage of some of the good weather in early June and took photos by a lake. “I took photos of the water, and the bridge, and a bunch of seagulls.” Last year, one of Richard’s photos made it into the contest’s Top 30.

If you get the chance, go down to the Bay Centre in Victoria and say hello to Richard. He’ll welcome you with a smile.