Bev Boam

Bev Boam

This year, we are honouring, posthumously, one of our long-standing employees who is considered to be an integral part of the backbone and history of our organization for 30 years - Bev Boam.

Bev worked as the receptionist/switchboard operator from June 1972 - January, 2002. Bev came to be known as the 'face of Vanier' - the first person that families met when they arrived at Vanier looking for help! And the first person that our community partners came to know as well...just recently, I met with a social worker from the CAS who was reminiscing about how long she had working in partnership with Vanier - she actually said that at one point she knew Bev better than some of her colleagues at her own agency and when she had her first child, Bev sent her a congratulations card!

One of our current staff, who was close with Bev, shared this memory..."I think the main thing is that she was like the Vanier mother....literally. To the staff and their families and to the clients and their families. If you were out of line, she told you, and if you needed a hug, she was always there to give you one. She remembered everyone's birthdays and also remembered significant deaths in our families. She knew when we were due to get a cold and when we needed a vacation."

Another staff remembered that when he did his student placement at Vanier in 1975, the first thing that his supervisor told them to do was to always let Bev know what you are didn't want to hear Bev speaking about you..."how can I do my job if you don't tell me where you are!"

Bev took great pride in Vanier... and so was often dogging maintenance staff about how the physical building looked. She would always support fund raising events or things the kids were trying to sell and she always wore the best costumes at Halloween. She took her job seriously ... she never took sick days and often went years without any missed days.

When Bev passed away in December, 2012, Vanier dedicated the reception area to her! And this picture hangs by our front door to remind us of her.