by Fern Martin

Almonte is blessed with many people who make a difference. One of those is The Hub’s “get-er-done” Nancy Hall.

I was astonished when she told me she was 63 years of age, for some reason she has always seemed younger — maybe it’s her endless energy, bright smile and optimistic nature.

Nancy has achieved much in those 63 years. She was only 16 when she dropped out of school to raise her baby son. Marriage and three more children kept her busy. She was a frequent shopper at The Hub to keep her growing family clothed.

Hub volunteer Peggy Cameron invited Nancy to join the organization and soon she was sorting clothing in the basement of the old store. In 1985 she was hired to replace Elaine Madore as chief sorter.

Nancy was inspired in that basement to think of going back to school to get her high school diploma. Several Hub members provided tutoring and in 1988 she and her son Tony graduated together — Tony presented her with her diploma!

Julia Thomas recruited Nancy to work at the Edward Street Group Home and the two of them took mini courses to help them in their work with the residents. Nancy eventually graduated from Algonquin’s Developmental Social Worker program.

For the past 20 years Nancy has worked for the Upper Canada District School Board as an Educational Assistant. She says, “I love working with the students, helping them to learn and grow into young adults”.

Through all this time, Nancy continued to sort clothing at The Hub, in the evenings when she could fit it in to her very busy schedule – for many years seven nights a week – more recently four nights a week.

For years Nancy looked after the maintenance of the building as well as being head of the sorting team. She said, “I’ve painted the building at least four times (with others), got the floors done, new carpets put in, made sure repairs were done, garbage out, snow shovelling done. Because The Hub is located on a natural spring, sometimes the water in the basement would be ankle deep – especially during the spring or after heavy rains. This has only happened three or four times in 19 years. We had sump pumps installed.”

Nancy has decided to accept the severance package offered by The Hub’s Board of Directors. It is hard to imagine how the building and organization will operate without her dynamic direction.

I asked her what she will miss. She replied, with tears in her eyes, “The camaraderie of the staff. We know so much about each other – we’re family, we’ve cried together, we’ve laughed together. The caring and the sharing.”

Thank you Nancy, from the bottom of our hearts – you are a treasure, not only to The Hub, but to the community as a whole.

Nancy and other terminated staff will be honoured following The Hub’s meeting on Monday, October 30 at the Almonte Legion. The meeting starts at 7 pm.