This photograph of the late Vic Matias doing some face painting with daughter Hannah was taken at the Discovery House Father’s Day celebration six years ago. A memorial dinner for Vic is taking place Saturday at the Penticton Royal Canadian Legion. Submitted photo

Memorial dinner for Vic Matias

Dinner in memory of much-loved Naramata resident

Hannah Matias remembers very well the special Father’s Day gift she received six years ago, it was her father.

And although Vic Matias passed away in 2016 at 51, what Discovery House men’s recovery centre gave Hannah during their final years together, will remain in her heart forever.

“They gave me my dad back,” said Hannah about that time when she was just 12. “He started his life out again and he was able to become a better version of himself, a healthier version, and we were able to spend time together rather than what it was like before. He was a better dad.

“He was struggling but once he started to get help our relationship was even better than it had been, I mean we always had a close relationship but that changed everything, we were able to spend more time – I was able to spend more time with the man he was not the person he was when he was drinking.”

The much-loved Naramata resident is being remembered July 29 with a special Victor Matias Memorial Dinner that is being billed as A Taste of Portugal in recognition of Vic’s heritage.

The three-course feast is at the Penticton branch of the Royal Canadian Legion with proceeds going to Discovery House.

Hannah, who now lives in Kelowna, will be one of the special guests.

“I think it is a way of giving back and I thank them (Discovery) for everything they’ve done and I know it was important to him so if I can help in anyway I am more than happy to,” said Hannah who has worked on a number of fundraising efforts over the years.

Because Vic was an avid reader she and her grandmother have donated money in Vic’s name to start a library in the new Discovery House facility.

Along with the meal will be a dedication ceremony, raffle, auction and prizes.

The memorial dinner is a partnership between the legion, Lisa Borba Hair Studio and Discovery house along with the Portuguese community.

“Vic came into our house as a client and he ended up actually volunteering there,” recalled Jerome Abraham, Discovery’s executive director. “He was just a very loving man and I think he touched a lot of people both in the recovery community and the community in general.”

He recalled the reaction of the staff member in a local store where Vic regularly shopped after she learned he had passed away.

“She just broke into tears, that was the kind of guy he was, he touched people just by going grocery shopping,” said Abraham.

Tickets are $25 and only 100 are available. To purchase tickets or for more information call Abraham at 250-462-1388 or Lisa at 778-476-4011.