“This is nursing, but it’s nursing of the soul.”
A retired nurse with 40 years in her profession, Mary Malerby has long tended to the needs of her community even after her retirement.
Among her many roles, she is a director with the Vernon and District Performing Arts Centre Society, involved with the Trefoil Guild (Girl Guiders either active or retired who are 30 years old and over who wish to maintain a contact and association with Girl Guides), president of the Catholic Women’s League, Community Dental Access Centre board of directors (proactive in bringing dental programs to residential care facilities), BCNU union executive for seven years including four years as vice-president, councillor for the District of Coldstream and a member of the Crown Jewels of Canada Society.
To top that list off, Malerby has spent nearly 12 years with the Family Resource Centre, mostly as the board chairwoman.
After leading the social agency through ups, and bringing it up from downs, Malerby chaired her final AGM recently.
But not before the centre board and staff could pay their own honour to this woman who has done so much for her community.
“Mary has been not only our biggest advocate for the centre, she has been a steady and passionate leader for the Family Resource Centre,” executive director Scott Manjak said.
“She has kept the agency focused in its mission to serve community members that have mental health issues and kept the board focused on what its role is as a board.
“Her leadership over the past years has been instrumental in the success of FRC.”
To recognize Malerby’s valuable contribution, board members (present and past), staff and volunteers contributed towards an original oil painting by local award winning artist Linda Hunt.
Hunt’s work, including Malerby’s gift (a painting of Kalamalka Lake including the Okanagan Rail Trail), is inspired by the natural landscape and diverse beauty of the Okanagan.
“Because you’re a long-time resident of Coldstream we thought it was appropriate,” new board chairwoman Barbara Keith said.
Wiping tears from her eyes as she listened to the kind remarks from her FRC family, Malbery was overjoyed and thankful for the parting gift.
“I’m not disappearing I’ll probably be back here next year for the free lunch,” Malerby laughed.
“All in all, I learned a tremendous amount…I had tremendous people around to teach me.
“The whole Family Resource Centre, right from the beginning, I’ve been amazed and I’m still amazed and I thank you all for that.”