A retirement tea was held for Maureen Ingram at the IOOF Hall on Sunday afternoon. Family, friends, coworkers, clients and board members turned out to show their appreciation for Ingram, who has been the coordinator of the Recope program for the past 24 years.
Ingram first went to Recope as a client, after breaking her leg in three places. She thought the woman running the program at that time had a “pretty neat job,”
When that same job was later advertised, Ingram applied for it.
“I’d never heard the word coordinator ever, but my husband’s family had so many get-togethers and for some reason it was always me that arranged them,” she said. “I didn’t know what a coordinator was but I had all this experience with family.”
She also had experience leading groups of women in her volunteer work with the Salvation Army.
Her son Cliff, one of her four boys, said his mom had always worked part-time, but started volunteering when he was a teenager.
“We felt she was getting out and doing things for herself after raising us and that was a good thing,” he said.
Ingram’s husband of 65 years, Clifford, didn’t mind the volunteer work she did, because she enjoyed it so much.
Vivian Beattie worked under Ingram’s supervision as a fitness instructor as well as a volunteer with Recope. She said it was Ingram’s giving nature and personality that enabled her to do the job.
“She has a very quiet way. She does not blow her own horn. She’s helped a lot of people. She loved the job and it suited her well. She had a very soft gentle way of giving a helping hand.”
As the manager of the pool where Recope is held, Brenda Ingram has worked with her mother-in-law over the years.
“She has a very kind heart and has brought lots of people to that program. She really believed in what the program was about and the service that it provided for the community,” she said. “She would talk about Recope and encourage people to come, either as a client or as a volunteer.”
Clients who used the program spoke highly of it.
“Thanks to Recope I’m back walking again after my surgery,” said Sharon Stone. “It’s amazing the energy she’s [Ingram] had. She’s been hanging in there until somebody was ready to take over.”
For Ingram, the time has gone by fast.
“Maybe I should have retired a little sooner,” she said. “I know they let people work way past retirement age now, because they have experience. I’ll miss it but I think it’s probably time.”
Ingram was presented with a commemorative plaque and a gift from the Recope clients, volunteers, staff and board members.
Coun. Robert Hacking also presented her with a certificate of appreciation, recognizing her incredible work for Summerland with Recope.
“There are hundreds of people in Summerland that have been affected by the work Recope does and Maureen is a large part of that,” he said. “On behalf of the district, the mayor, Summerland councils, current and past, we just want to say thank you. We appreciate your work.”
“I’ve enjoyed every minute of it, all 24 years,” Ingram said. “I wouldn’t take back any of it. All the wonderful clients and staff I’ve had over the years, I wouldn’t trade them for anything else.”
Although Ingram has retired from her paid position, she intends to return to the Recope program as a volunteer.
If you know a positive story about someone in our community, contact Carla McLeod at email@example.com or contact the Summerland Review newsroom at 250-494-5406.