Visioning, leadership, committee work, connecting with the Hospice movement regionally, provincially and nationally, communicating clearly with the community and each other, being administratively efficient and fiscally responsible, entering the data, writing the cheques, staying current with issues and training… As an organization we are a multitude of talents. While each of us has done some of this work some of the time, I do believe that Bev Ker has pretty much ‘done it all’ over the years.
Bev started her married life in Quebec working as an R.N. and then spent time at home with her kids. Re-entry into the work world of nursing, in Montreal, was complicated. Of course, with her talents and indomitable spirit she prevailed, but found herself in the world of banking. Bev was busy with family life, work and active involvement in her church community. She eventually came to discover that her real passion was finding efficiency in getting good things done well, by networking, taking care of the details and clear decision making. In my interview time with her, Bev joked that her husband says she likes to take control. Well Bev, here at BPH we can celebrate that quality because you have made so much happen.
Bev arrived on the Peninsula in 2000. New to the community she was open to local opportunities that would give meaning and help her make friendly contact. When Marjorie Farrell needed a volunteer in the office of Bruce Peninsula Hospice, Bev was “pulled right in”. She found a place for her talents and dove in with her heart. She has contributed to and enhanced our administrative capacity, held every office (except for treasurer), and then held them again, served as chair for three terms, brought us visioning and accountability through strategic planning, participated in local and regional committees, spoke up and spoke out in the interests of palliative care in our region…All done with great heart, generosity of spirit and enthusiasm.
Bev sheds a tear when asked what she has gained from her tireless work. “Close friendships and deep community” is her quick response. Some of us offer our time and talent to BPH as client care volunteers. We are the visible face of visiting hospice in our community; the front line workers. We do so with care and attention to the needs of our clients. I must admit I sometimes lose sight of the depth and breadth of our organization, I forget about those hard working volunteers who bring efficiency and keep the whole thing together. Our effectiveness as an organization and our ability to provide a compassionate presence to our clients depends so much on what is going on behind the scenes. Bev has been our heart beat, our pulse, and at times, our pain in the… A constant force that has driven us to a place of great respect in our community. Her passionate commitment to BPH has been a gift that has deepened us as an organization and brought strength and continuity of service to the Peninsula. Hats off to you, Bev, and a reverent bow.Christina Mereu