Celebration of Life - Trudy Beaulne (1954-2018)

Celebrating Life

Trudy Beaulne Lives in All That We Do - Letter from the Board, Staff and Members

Tribute Page - you can always add a few words! 

On February 11, the community came together in celebration of the life and work of Trudy Beaulne.
A passionate community advocate, Trudy dedicated her life to empowering people 
and to building a stronger, more inclusive society. 

We welcome you to share your stories about how Trudy made a difference. 
We also look forward to your thoughts on how her legacy can live on.

ORAL HISTORY PROJECT, APRIL - AUGUST 2018

Give us a call or email us to share your memories and stories:
519-579-3800 or sdcwr@waterlooregion.org

Read what some of the people shared at the Celebration of Life event .

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Trudy brought diverse people together face to face. This is something that the Social Development Centre has always been good at but has struggled to get funded. 

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I met Trudy back in 2001, at a time when I didn’t believe in myself. Trudy’s biggest gift to me was to believe in me when I needed it most. I think of all the things I have done in the past 15 years, and how really, none of it would have been possible if it weren’t for Trudy. Believe in other people. Listen. Realize that community building never ends. These are the ways we can continue Trudy’s legacy. 

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Trudy was able to take big ideas and communicate them in a way that resonated with each and every one of us in a unique way. Trudy was the energy of the community – and she did it by listening. She was fearless; in the way she said things, in the way she understood people, and the way she fought relentlessly for what she believed in. 

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I worked in government for many years, but it was from Trudy that I really learned what consultation meant. I learned that everybody’s voice was important. I remember one particular instance during which a stranger interrupted a board meeting. Rather than ask him to leave and tell him he was interrupting, Trudy began to ask him about how he felt on issues and included him in the meeting. 

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The phrase I like to use for Trudy is “Relentless Advocate”. She was a great listener and very inclusive. She was not afraid to speak up. She was fearless but in a very respective way. She was the voice for those that did not have one. 

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The first time I met Trudy, I was relatively new to the KW Community. I got to know her through the Kitchen Table Talks. It was really exciting to be able to knock on your neighbor’s doors, engage with the community and open our home to host a Kitchen Table Talk. It helped my wife and I really integrate into the community. 

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I was involved with the All Candidate meetings organized by Trudy. My experience with these meetings were that they were very real, very authentic. To me, Trudy was someone who drew people together. She struck me as such an expert when she spoke at the Guaranteed Annual Income Meetings. She was able to listen to a variety of voices and synthesize the overarching themes and important messages so well. 

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 I met Trudy at a group for parents with children with learning disabilities. She was so compassionate. I don’t think we fill her shoes, we walk the path she started for us. 

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I moved to this region 3 years ago to complete education and research but stayed because of this community. I remember Trudy meeting me at the door and having a really honest conversation with me about working in social services. I remember a call with my family and telling them that I was staying in the region. 

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Like many others, it feels like I’ve known her forever. I originally met her as an ED at United Way meetings. I remember feeling “Wow I really want to be like her.”. The way she spoke, the way she responded; she was such a silver tongue. She spoke like a velvet glove... When I hear of all these stories being shared, I can’t help but think if I were a funder, how I would feel listening to this: How did I not contribute to this? The greatest recognition for Trudy would be the rising of the SDCWR. More projects, more people involved, more opportunities… that is the way we continue Trudy’s legacy. 

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Trudy understood that all levels of government are connected. We can all take a page out of Trudy’s book to not endorse the technocratic at the expense of the humane. Community is not an abstract concept, it is the statistics and numbers that we try to apply to community that are abstract. There’s much work to be done. 

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Looking at how much was done with so little at the social planning council, this is one of the most innovative organizations not only in the city, but nationally. 

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Magical wonderland. That is how I would describe my time working with Trudy and at the Social Development Centre. I learned so much. I would go home feeling odd, humbled and inspired at the same time. Trudy honored her truth and everybody else’s truth as well. 

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