Susan Hardy passed away after a long battle with cancer on May 21, 2017 at the Canberra Hospital. Her association with the St Vincent de Paul Society extended more than 20 years.
Suzie, as she liked to be called, started coming to the Vinnies Centre in Meehan Street in the 1990s with her mother Pat to sort donations of clothes and bric-a-brac. In 2000, she joined the staff as a casual.
Suzie was a conscientious worker interested in all aspects of the centre’s operations. In particular, she displayed a flare for retailing in displaying items and promotional ideas.
She enjoyed helping people choose clothes and children with dress-ups during Book Week. The Book Week dress-ups became so popular she arranged a corner in the centre where children could come and try on different items.
She never missed an opportunity to promote the Vinnies centre. The most memorable was her organisation of the Vinnies’ float, which took part in the annual Riverbank Park Festival for a number of years. It won first prize for the best float on one occasion.
Suzie’s happy nature and smiles engendered camaraderie with her fellow workers. She was always producing cakes for birthdays and special occasions.
She organised the annual Christmas party for the workers and, with some of her colleagues, would dress up and perform popular songs. Her manager at the time said: “Suzie had something special about her, if I was down I would go out the back to Suzie and she would have me laughing in no time”.
She was also a great support to the St Vincent de Paul Conference, which operates from the centre. She was warm and welcoming to people coming to the centre seeking assistance
Suzie was very capable with computers and assisted members with online bookings and technical issues for which they were eternally grateful. Suzie’s happy nature and contribution to the work of the St Vincent de Paul Society will be remembered by those who came in contact with her. May she rest in peace.