Saturday 21 March was a very special day as S A Guide-Dogs Association for the Blind paid tribute to Arleen Lord. Arleen Lord has recently retired from the Associations after 47 years of dedicated service as Housekeeper. Arleen offered Guide, Service and Autism Support Dog Owners a home away from home during their training. Arleen a mother of four was a mother figure to staff, working dog owners and visitors. She made everyone feel welcome, so much so, that many working dog owners were reluctant to return home after their three week stay at the Association. It was not only the delicious food that encouraged them to try and negotiate a longer stay. Arleen’s warmth, hospitality and sense of humour were primarily responsible for the many tearful goodbyes as our working dog owners’ returned home.
Over 100 guests attended Arleen’s Retirement Tea. Gail Glover, Executive Director, welcomed guests and thanked Arleen for the enormous and selfless contribution that she made to improve the lives of people who are visually and physically disabled. Bev Parker, Board Member, spoke about what an inspiring person Arleen is. Arleen is always friendly and willing to help others irrespective of any hardship that she might be enduring. Johan Roos, Board Member and Guide Dog Owner expressed how wonderful it was to be welcomed into the Lord family. Guide Dog Owners, irrespective of their race, culture or creed were treated with respect. Ken and Arleen developed relationships and friendships with each and every person. Johan said that Arleen can sleep peacefully knowing that she has made the world a better place by giving more than she received.
Arleen thanked the Association, colleagues, friends, Guide, Service and Autism Dog Owners and her family for all of the support and kindness that they have shown her over the years. True to character Arleen took the opportunity to praise and acknowledge others for enriching her life when she has enriched the lives of so many.
Thank you Arleen for the part that you played in improving the lives of people who are visually and physically disabled.