He’s portrayed dozens of characters in a series of wacky commercials, but the star of those “made-in-Victoria” TV spots needs no introduction.

“I’m a pretty satisfied man,” said Gordy Dodd with a smile.

Yet all the lights and cameras over the years could never outshine Gordy Dodd’s greatest gift – his kindness spurred by his humble beginnings.

“All over the world people want to come to Canada,” Gordy explained.

Gordy grew up in a poor community at the foot of the Himalayas in India’s Punjab region.

One of seven children from a farming family, he was just two-years-old when India’s independence was declared in 1947.

His son, Love Dodd, praises his father’s brave decision to immigrate to Canada in 1967.

“I’m really appreciative of Dad for coming out this way to the West Coast,” Love said.

Dodd started a small furniture store in downtown Victoria in 1977.

42 years later, Dodd’s Furniture and Mattress is the largest independent furniture retailer on Vancouver Island with more than 70 employees.

“It’s giving me more energy, more happiness so I can give back to the community,” Gordy explained.

Even a health scare and life-saving surgery in 2007 wouldn’t stop Gordy from giving back.

Over the past 20 years, he’s served nearly 40,000 meals to those in need and has made 50 humanitarian trips to India.

All that work is being recognized with a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce.

“Gordy’s story deserves to be told. Anyone who has spent time in our city knows who Gordy is, has seen him on TV and recognized his talent for promotion,” said Al Hasham with the Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce.

“But there’s so much more to Gordy. He cares so much about his community and has taken action to improve the lives of many, many people.”

The Greater Victoria Chamber of Commerce has been awarding annual business awards since 2002.

This year, awards will be presented in 13 categories, including the Governors’ Lifetime Achievement Award.

Finalists will be announced for all other categories in February.

The 2019 Business Awards Gala will is May 16 at the Fairmont Empress.

From a child in the heart of the Punjab, to furniture pitchman, performer and philanthropist – Gordy says it’s the people of Vancouver Island who make it all worthwhile.

“God gave me the opportunity to come to this country and I’m thankful,” Gordy said.

Ceilidh Millar