A Woman Who Didn’t “Just Talk The Talk”
– But Walked It –
An Embodiment Of Citizenship
Every once in a while, we come across individuals who create an impression that singles them out from the crowd. They are driven by the belief that they can make a difference to others. This belief is further fuelled by the lengths with which they will go to make this belief a reality. Valerie Forde was one such person who held this belief and worked in various capacities to help those who were less fortunate. She didn’t just talk the talk – she walked it!
Each of you will have your own memory of Valerie and along with those memories, anecdotes of experiences you shared with her. For us at ELBWO, Valerie was enshrined into the consciousness of what the organisation believed in; educating, caring, enabling, empowering and protecting. Valerie espoused ELBWO’s values and everyone who had the good fortune to work with her or to be a recipient of one of the services would attest to this.
Every day we hear or people in our communities both in this country and in other parts of the world going beyond the call of duty, making personal and professional sacrifices so that others’ lives could be enriched and improved. The history books make references to great men and women from all walks of life doing great work, some receiving great accolades in achieving such notoriety. However, the history book doesn’t always tell us the full story. Right here in the corner of East London lies many of these great community stalwarts, none of whose names appear in these history books.
Ladies and gentlemen, we must create our own history In the words of an African proverb “Until lions have their historians, tales of the hunt shall always glorify the hunters” ~ African Proverb
It’s a year since Valerie’s passing and it is still too early for the healing to take effect but we know that in the fullness of time, we will heal. Valerie has not only left behind a family who loved and cherished her; her beloved son Jason,[and her grandchild], her mother, brother and partner who so loved her and still miss her terribly. She will be immortalised in our hearts and your memory, and will stay with us forever.
Valerie may your soul continue to rest in eternal peace
Myrtle Noble Chairperson ELBWO (Abridged)
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