When our Lodge Manager Ann Sealy retired in January, her staff members gave her a rousing send-off on the verandah of the main house. However, the Board of Trustees was always aware that they would be honouring Ann for her service to Asa Wright in due course.
“Due course” came to pass last month when Board Members gathered at Spring Hill for a Special Executive meeting, and to celebrate Ann. On Friday June 15th, local and overseas board members, and some former board members, hosted a double function in the charming Jade Vine Arbor and then in the dining room to thank Ann for her years of dedication to the Centre. Among those present were Ann’s mother, an employee of Spring Hill in the early days, Ann’s husband Frank and daughters, Deborah, who still works with us and Rachel.
Over cocktails and delicious canapés prepared by Events Coordinator Joanne Ramlal-Singh and her staff, guests reminisced over the good times of the past several years. Following an address by former Chair Dr. Carol James, Chairman Dr. Judith Gobin presented Ann with a gift on behalf of the Board of Trustees. Former Directors Everilde Medina and Rodney De Bhoemler were also presented with gifts of appreciation for their service. Following an engaging response from Ann, the whole party moved down to the dining room where the Asa Wright chefs and kitchen staff produced a magnificent banquet in honour of their friend and former manager—Ann Sealy.
But possibly the highlight – and certainly the surprise of the evening – was when the chefs were called in for appreciation of the evening’s excellent fare. With the diners still applauding the meal, chef Dianne Jeremiah burst into song, and presented us with a moving a cappella rendition of “To God be the Glory”. In a touching moment, Ann rose from her seat to embrace Dianne and join in the final chorus of the hymn. To Ann, the BellBird cries: We have in two short evenings, tried to show you what you have meant to us over the years but it is you who have honoured us far more!