By Chad Ingram
Alnoor Gowani was a 13-year-old Grade 8 student when he was given a Junior Citizen of the Year Award from the Ontario Community Newspaper Association in 2009 for saving a drowning man from the Gull River.
Gowani and a friend had been swimming along the river in Minden on a Friday night when Gowani noticed a man struggling in the water. Swimming out to meet the 30-year old Gowani grabbed his hands told him to kick his feet and swam him safely back to shore.
Today Gowani is a 19-year-old marketing student at Toronto’s George Brown College.
“I’m in my co-op for school” Gowani says explaining that he is a marketing and events assistant for the college.
He’s in his second year of a four-year business administration program also working two part-time retail jobs.
Gowani’s family left the Haliburton Highlands when he was partway through his Grade 10 year with him finishing his high school career in Mississauga.
He was the recipient of a scholarship from the Port Credit Alumni Association.
Having lived in Minden since he was a Grade 2 student at Archie Stouffer Elementary School it was a major transition moving to a much much larger centre.
“There was a much higher degree of diversity” Gowani says referencing Haliburton County’s homogenous demographics. “It was a bit strange at first but I got accustomed to it.”
It was a Grade 11 marketing course that steered Gowani toward the program he’s in. He also points out that he comes from a family of businesspeople so it was a natural choice.
The Gowanis were the franchisees of the Pioneer station along Highway 35 in Minden.
Marketing is a multifaceted industry and Gowani says he gravitates toward the project management end of things but isn’t certain yet what his dream job would be.
“I’m not sure where I want to go specifically” he says.
He lives in North York with his mother and older sister Reema.
He says Reema used to return to Haliburton County for the annual Relay for Life and that he has been back a couple of times.
“I went to Kinark once for a camping trip” he says but has little connection to the Highlands at this point in time.
As for what he does in his spare time?
“Right now it’s just mainly work.” Gowani says.