GNAG Executive Director
The end of an era, the beginning of a lifetime!
After 36 years of greeting the public with her warm and friendly smile, Jane Wilson has decided to hand in her keys to the Glebe Community Centre (GCC) and retire.
While studying at Carleton University back in the ’80s, Jane worked part-time as a summer-camp councillor and ran programs like playgroup at the GCC. Some of her old campers are parents themselves and now come to the centre with their own children.
After graduating with a degree in art history and psychology, Jane was hired by GNAG as a customer-service representative. She helped with administration, assisting with clients and registration. She even wrote a regular column for GNAG in the Glebe Report. In 1989, Jane was hired by the city as a full-time clerk at the GCC.
All these years later, she has stories to tell, like the one about phone calls from seniors at The Glebe Centre who confused the GCC with the spa in their basement and would ask for a “shampoo and set.” Jane’s explanation about a wrong number didn’t always get through because of hearing problems, so she’d lighten the mood with humour. “Come on over,” she says she would tell them, “and I will wash your hair in the water fountain and comb it out.”
In 1995, Jane was presented the Charlotte Whitton Award for outstanding community service. This came as no surprise. She always believed in the inclusion of all and in accommodating those in need. Bringing happiness to families was a priority for her. She shares her wise advice with GNAG: “Keep yourself and your programs open to all. Never exclude and try to make a difference whenever you can by going out of your way for someone. Rigidity does not allow you to grow.”
Jane appreciates GNAG’s willingness to say, “let’s try,” and that helped shape the way she deals with people who come in with questions. “GNAG,” she says,” thinks outside the box and can fit circles, squares and triangles into that box.” What she enjoyed most about her time here was “watching the community grow up and getting to see many generations partake in the programs.”
Eight GCC directors and hundreds of GNAG staff later, Jane deserves to put up her feet. She plans to continue her volunteer work helping seniors buy groceries and run errands. She hopes to travel more when it’s possible again. Maine is an especially dear place for her – she has been going there since she was four years old.
Jane will be greatly missed at the GCC. She was the very first person I met when I came here back in 1991. From the moment we met, I liked her very much. My first lesson from her was that kindness and positivity set the tone.
Messages to Jane Wilson
on her retirement:
“Thank you for your many years of service. Congratulations on your retirement! It was uplifting to see Jane at the front desk daily and two of my most favourite memories are of when she volunteered for GNAG. She always helped set up for the annual Snowflake Special by preparing the cheese for the refreshments with many quips about “who cut the cheese?” That joke never grew old! Thank you, Jane for so many happy memories.”
– Jennie Aliman
“Jane has been a ‘ray of sunshine’ for so many people as an anchor person at the GCC front desk. Over the years, this special person has worked the hub with ‘Hello, can I help you?’ through generations of families, neighbours, coworkers and public inquiries. Jane has shared her patience, helpful manner, festive spirit, kindness (remember that great collection of stickers!), sense of humour and sincerity with so many. Leaving a void in the hub, we (I) wish dear Jane the very best in retirement.”
– Regis Alcorn
“During the seven years working together, Jane and I became close colleagues and good friends. Words to describe Jane are: first person most clients meet upon entering the GCC, clients (of all ages) would ask ‘Where is Jane?’ on her days off, she is always smiling and provides cheerful greetings, preschoolers love Sticker Jane, she has an extremely quick wit and enjoys a good joke, she enjoys discussing politics, travel and the news.”
– Janet Conley-Paterson
“Jane, you have been the warm smile and welcoming greeting to all the Glebe community as they participated in the community centre for over 30 years. You have been the heart of the Glebe.”
– Mary Lovelace
We wish you well, Jane. You are forever part of the GCC family.