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General News · 29th April 2013
Ester Strijbos
By Patricia Leroux. I walk by the Cortes Museum every day, and four times out of five, during April, her vehicle was there. When I see it, I think “Nancy is at the museum again, or still, or always. I wonder what she is doing this time.”

Lately, I have spent a little time there myself and I found out what she is doing—everything! Consider the most basic of things that might be involved with a renovation such as moving everything out of one room and into another so that a floor or wall or shelves can be built. Now if those things being moved are the entire collected archives and artifacts of a museum, that’s a lot of work. Plus keeping it all organized and accessible. Nancy tells me the contents of the archives room have been moved at least four times during renovations.

This week, I found Nancy and Ray assembling all the fresh-from-the-box open shelving units that now fill the new Archives and Collections room. The shelves were hardly up before they were filled! Seeing Nancy using power tools, painting, calculating, working on the computer, cleaning and organizing new spaces and places throughout the museum etc., I had to ask “How do you do all this?” “I just change my hat and do whatever needs doing”, she replied. One day she was sanding the front door in the morning, and at the computer in the afternoon working on financial reports, accounting for every penny and keeping those funders happy. Then painting the front door. Next, she was off to organize the new work room -unpack all the tools and materials that were packed away months ago, set them up, or put them away and make labels for drawers, then get rid of the boxes, clean all the surfaces and take photos to go with those reports to funders—take June Cameron’s dog for a walk—meet Ray for lunch— sand and apply urethane to new cupboards, paint all the interior doors of the museum, set up the new kitchen. Whew! Time for paying bills and completion of GST and HST paperwork. Then, order more shelving. Clean, clean, clean and sweep and dust and clean again. Man! I’m exhausted thinking about it all. Nancy sure earns her . . . . .oh wait, she does all this for free and with a wonderful “get it right the first time” attitude. This month I declare Nancy Kendel a local hero.

“I just change my hat and do whatever needs doing”. We are so lucky to have people like this on Cortes. (and I know she is not the only one) Maybe I could only see Nancy’s car because Lynne Jordan’s was not parked beside it - she is on holiday. Thank you to all the dedicated volunteers who make the museum tick. It’s an exciting year for this community treasure.

This article was written by Patricia Leroux, who puts together the monthly Seniors Newsletter. This is printed in the May Newsletter that came out today.