Aug 28, 2020
Local Hero Frank Hagar
It began with a conversation that Frank Hagar had late last year with an old high school buddy. Wouldn’t it be cool to fix up some old guitars and donate them to children?
An electrician currently working at the LNG Canada site in Kitimat, Frank has noodled around with guitars—mostly electric, naturally–since childhood. He likes to discover older instruments, refurbish them and play them. Since that discussion with his pal last year, he now he gives them away, via his registered non-profit organization, Guitars For Kids.
His efforts have been so successful that he’s now restoring all kinds of other instruments, including violins and harmonicas. Frank has even patched up and gifted an old didgeridoo, a long wind instrument invented thousands of years ago by Indigenous peoples in Australia.
At last count, he’d delivered 50 musical instruments to children, all free of charge. Frank gives credit to the dozens of people who have sent him guitars they no longer use, or parts such as strings, or cash that he then uses to buy whatever is needed to make a neglected instrument sing again.
In most cases, he hears from a parent who has learned about his efforts and requests an instrument for their child. It’s Frank’s wish that the instruments go to kids from lower-income families–kids who could use a hand-up. All he asks in return is a thank you. A photo of a smiling girl or boy clutching one of his restoration projects is icing on the cake. He’s received a number of these, and they always make him smile.
“I grew up playing a guitar that someone gave to me as a child, and it put me on the path to music,” Frank says. “I’m just happy to return the favour and to see my hard work paying off.”