By Gisele McKnight
The retirement and contribution of Irene Adams, synod treasurer, were marked and celebrated April 28 at St. John the Evangelist Church in Fredericton.
It was in 2011 that the treasurer at the time, Fred Scott, died suddenly. He served the diocese as treasurer for 27 years. The diocese quickly learned that Fred didn’t always write things down.
“So how do you find someone who can reinvent Fred’s brain?” asked Bishop David Edwards as he addressed those gathered for the retirement event.
It was actually Don Adams, Irene’s husband, who learned the diocese was looking for someone to pick up the pieces.
“I was never in the market for a job,” said Irene. “I was quite happy doing contract work, but somebody came home and said ‘there’s a job you should look at.’”
And so it was that Irene became the fill-in treasurer.
It took six months to get things sorted out, and Irene’s timeline continued to stretch. In all, she worked five years and nine months. She turned 65 in February.
“It was an uphill battle at first,” said Irene. “I kept thinking, ‘what would Fred do?’”
Bishop David told the crowd the diocese and the parishes owe Irene a debt of gratitude.
“It’s been a learning experience for me, and more than that, the parishes have been able to recognize the work she has put in to help them deal more effectively with things,” he said.
“It’s been good to work with a treasurer who doesn’t think the money in the pot is their own. She is a woman of faith. That’s the difference. Our reason is not to save money, it’s to do the work of the Kingdom.”
Without Irene knowing, parishes were asked, if able, to contribute to a retirement purse for Irene. The total came to $6,000 and a large cheque was presented at the gathering.
“Oh my goodness,” was Irene’s reaction.
“That’s the closest I’ve seen you to crying!” said the bishop.
“I am totally humbled! Part of me wants to say that’s how badly people wanted to get rid of me!
“It’s been a wonderful, wonderful experience. I’ve had a great time and worked with some amazing people. I hope in some way I helped make your lives a bit easier. Please take my thanks back to your parishes.”
Gil Carter, chair of the Finance Committee, had the last word: “Irene has been a special friend and a great addition to the diocese. She’s set us on a pretty good road for the future. We wish her all the best in retirement.”