It’s after 7:00 now, and I am just finally recuperated from today’s events. It was a wonderful day.
Joannie and Bob picked us up and off we went downtown to City Hall. The lunch was being held in the Dynasty Building which has a beautiful pond and garden. As we were early, we spent some time admiring it.
Once inside we were ushered to one of the training rooms that they had outfitted for the party!!
People mingled until all were there.
Then the speeches – and gifts –
First Ashley …
Then Don. …
Then Rhonda (and Rhonda on behalf of Linda) …
Then it was my turn. I hope you notice the tiara says “Officially Retired”! A girl can never have too many tiaras! I started out very nervous and had to sit down to deliver it. I will put a copy of it at the very end. Anyhow, made it through, without hardly cracking, and then we had the delicious Greek food for lunch, followed by cake.
I received a gift card for Michaels YAY and a beautiful limited edition print of City Hall and Main Street back in the fifties. (I haven’t taken a pic of it yet – but I just love it). And a lovely flower arrangement from Karen B. (CUPE) along with a bouquet of daisies. How sweet is that!!
It was so great to see so many old friends!! So glad to retire with such wonderful memories. Thank you all. I am going to put some random pics of the day followed by my speech and call it a night. Thank you everyone!!
Welcome, and Thank you all for coming.
Two and a half years ago when I left the office I had no idea that would be the last time I would log off from my city computer. I thought I was going for a serious, yet fairly routine surgery and would be back in a few weeks. The nightmare of a second emergency surgery, was immediately followed by two years of chemotherapy. Eventually, my body adjusted and the numerous different chemos quit working on me. The last treatment almost killed me and I am now on the Manitoba Health’s palliative care program. Contrary to the way people think about it, it is a program geared for living, and that’s exactly what I plan on doing. In fact, after 26 years of living together, Ron and I finally wed on August 3 of this year. It was a joyous occasion celebrated with 16 bridesmaids, most of whom I have known since junior high school or longer. They flew in from all across North America, as we had planned a reunion, and then decided to kick it up a notch with a wedding. It was a great day!!
I remember when I started with the City in June of 1983, I was so nervous I broke out in hives the night before my first day. In an attempt to hide them, I wore a long sleeved turtleneck sweater and long pants to work on that very hot summer day. I remember feeling very inappropriatly dressed as I got on the bus and headed to my new job at City Hall. I was filled with excitement and fear – what would they think of me? The first person to befriend me that day was Deborah Cole. She made me feel very welcome and to this day is still my dear friend. Sometime during that first day, the hives disappeared and I settled in for what turned out to be an almost 30 year ride. Some days were better than others, but I stuck it out and it eventually turned into me being able to do what I loved. I never had to drag myself into work – you sometimes had to drag me out!! The City and my managers (David Laird, Rhonda Tone, Gerry LeBleu, Jeannette Kozun; and gone but NEVER forgotten Peter Bennett and Mike Bresch) allowed me the freedom to do what I loved and even paid for my education to learn how to do it better. For that I am eternally greatful.
I will always have very fond memories of my time at the city and all the wonderful, committed people I had the privilege of meeting and working with. Thank you so much for that opportunity, as it’s not one that everybody gets. Embrace it while you can.
I would like to thank Linda Burch for her graciousness and generosity, Brenda Auch and Karen Heidinger for organizing this event in record time and Don Schau, Ashley Sokal and Ken Nawolsky for their continued support. Let’s be sure to keep in touch as you never know what tomorrow might bring. I know I will think of you often.