Verda Rochon, 1925-2010
To those who met her and got to know her as the second Business Manager of our national Association, Verda Rochon was an important focal point of communication, humor, esprit de corps, and service within CASC/ACSS. Hired in late 1977, Verda commenced her job on January 5, 1978. Initially, while her family was still young, she worked one or two days per week. The office was located at the Canadian Council of Churches suite at 40 St. Claire Ave E. Later, in 1986 when her husband’s job involved a transfer to Montreal, Verda moved the national office into the second floor office area of her home. She served our Association for just over 17 years.
In her day-to-day activities Verda was a warm person who immediately made new people feel at home. It was a critical time in our history and she was the right person for the job. She organized the National Office and provided a quick and informed response to anyone calling for information. Being bilingual, Verda was able to help the organization present a personal presence in either French or English. This was especially important for Quebec and some other parts of the country like Manitoba. Early versions of the Standards were typed (using a typewriter!) and collated by Verda before being mailed across the country to Education Centres and Supervisors. Updates were issued on a regular basis. Lists of members were published annually. Membership fees were banked and receipts issued. When it came to national meetings, Verda was a nighthawk and when the Accreditation & Certification (A & C) meetings went on until 11:30 p.m., she was still around to get the reports ready for the next day by the time the Annual Meetings began.
Faith was important for Verda. She believed in the mission of CASC/ACSS and her skills fit well with this mission. You might even say it was a union made in heaven! We needed someone like Verda to represent our Association at the National level and Verda needed a job she could believe in. CASC/ACSS became a second family to her. She loved our parties and never missed a chance to dance. Verda was a high energy person who loved people. She served with a buoyancy and joie de vivre that was contagious, engaging and warmly welcoming.
In late November of 1994 the national office relocated to Toronto and a new chapter in CASC/ACSS history began. Verda completed her many years with CASC/ACSS in early 1995, and it was fitting that a distinguished service award be established in her name. Verda Rochon was its first recipient – in 1995 at the national Convention in Montreal, Quebec.
Verda died on April 3rd, 2010, at the age of 85.