The identity of the philanthropist known as “Mr. Bike Man” has been revealed following his death at the age of 93.
Avrum Morrow was given the name for his annual anonymous donations of bicycles, helmets, and equipment for Montreal’s disadvantaged youth.
“He allowed for many, many people to have a better lifestyle and a good living,” said Jean-Marc Girard. “And his generous heart just continued to expand.”
“He wanted to give back to the community.”
Morrow donated more than 1,700 bicycles over the 34 years of his close relationship with Sun Youth. His identity was unknown until his death. Morrow was never on-site for the presentation of his donations.
“He said he does things anonymously and he wants to be that way,” said Sun Youth co-founder Sid Stevens. “He said that true happiness is giving and when you give, you receive.”
He co-founded a professional cleaning products company called Avmor in 1948, where he committed to the health of his community by promoting sustainable cleaning solutions.
Through the years, Morrow’s passion for art became clear. He commissioned more than 400 paintings, sculptures, photographs and drawings for display in the Avmor Old Montreal headquarters.
He was a long-time contributor to Concordia University, where he started the Dora Morrow Fellowship for Excellent Achievement in Visual Arts, and was named to the Order of Canada in 2007 for his philanthropy and commitment to the arts.
Morrow’s family hopes to continue his legacy by encouraging Montrealers to donate to Sun Youth in his honour.
— With files from Global’s Billy Shields