“Beauty, strength, youth, are flowers but fading seen Duty, faith, love, are roots, and ever green.”
These lines are taken from the poem “A Farewell to Arms”, written by George Peele in the sixteenth century. The title was also used by Ernest Hemmingway in his novel of that name.
Ann Sealey, who retired in January, gave to Asa Wright and all of us here so much of her beauty, strength and youth for 32 years. But she departs leaving us with the benefits of her duty, faith and love for the place known as Spring Hill. And the roots of her service are deep and will remain ever green in our memories, and in the operations of the Centre.
When Ann joined us on January 13th 1980, as a kitchen helper, the Centre was a much smaller place. But she grew with us, and for the past four years served as Lodge Manager of the estate, overseeing all of the operations. She developed a full knowledge of all of our birds, animals, and even the flowers and the trees, and could advise visitors on all of these.
Ann’s duty to and her faith in Asa Wright were easily discerned. If we happened to be short-staffed, or if there was problem, Ann would literally roll up her sleeves and personally do whatever needed to be done to get us past the hiatus.
All of her staff gathered on the Verandah on Friday 13th to acknowledge her service and dedication to us, the Centre and to our Mission of conservation and preservation. Several stood with tears in their eyes to pay their tributes to a wonderful Servant and dear friend of the Centre
But Ann is not totally gone from our lives: She will be retained to assist us as and when needed, and to provide us with such advice and counsel as we may need on our journey. So an era has not really passed, but is slowly fading away. Bless you, Ann, and thank you for all that you were to us!