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‘Something that is so awesome’ earns Calgarian recognition as a good neighbour

Click to play video: 'Calgarian who’s ‘a huge asset for the community’ up for new award' Calgarian who’s ‘a huge asset for the community’ up for new award
WATCH ABOVE: Ending up with a great neighbour is a nice bonus anywhere you live. And as Gil Tucker shows us, people in one Calgary community are now paying tribute to a man with a long tradition of sharing with others – Feb 8, 2017

Ghaiss Hajj is always eager to give visitors a warm welcome at the workshop in his garage.

It’s something that’s helped earn him a nomination for a new Good Neighbour Award in Calgary’s Bankview community.

Hajj not only lets people use the space, he lends them tools and gives tips on their use.

“I just guide them. I get them going. I set them up” Hajj said.

Many residents of the inner-city neighbourhood don’t have room for a workshop, so they really appreciate Hajj’s hospitality.

Eliese Watson with Ghaiss Hajj. Gil Tucker

Eliese Watson was at his workshop Wednesday building honeybee boxes for beekeeping.

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”It’s amazing,” Watson said. “This is a huge asset for the community.”

“The neighbourhood is definitely brighter because of Ghaiss.”

Hajj also opens up his garage and backyard for neighbours to hold gardening workshops, and he lends a hand with community cleanups and block parties.

“It’s something I was taught as a kid, back in Lebanon,” Hajj said. “My grandfather was involved in the community a lot, and kept people together during the worst of times.”

Hajj is looking forward to passing on that family tradition of giving to his four-month-old son Nolan.

“The neighbours are what make this community,” Hajj said.

“It’s these sort of values that I don’t want to lose – something that is so awesome and so natural in us.”

Hajj is one of five people nominated so far as Good Neighbours in Bankview.

The area’s community association hopes to hand out the awards this summer.

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