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Witset First Nations + Chief & Council would like to thank Marlene Tom for her over 40 years of service as a Home Care Support Worker here in Witset.
We wish Marlene all the best in her well deserved retirement!


Marlene Tom began working in Witset as a Homemaker when she was 22 years old, working alongside her mother, Mary Alfred up until Mary retired in 1999. Marlene started her career in 1979 earning $5.50 per hour and provided home care support for hundreds of clients throughout her forty-four years of service.  Marlene remembers filling in timecards at many band offices throughout her tenure and built strong connections in the community as she supported clients on their healing journeys when they fell ill, got injured or transitioned into eldership.


Marlene's work ethic was passed down to her by her parents Andrew and Mary and that gentle natured spirit came from Marlene's grannies, Emily Billy and Madeline Alfred. In the early 1900's, Emily couldn't grasp the concept of commerce, her husband Little Michel tried selling vegetables from their garden, homemade bread, cakes and eggs from the farm, but Emily kept giving that food away to local community members, rather than charge for the items. This generosity, care and compassion for others were gifted down to Mary and her siblings, to Marlene and her siblings, to Marlene's children Andrew, Gerald and Wendy and now, to Marlene's grandchildren.


The only times Marlene was off work, was to deliver three babies in the 80's and a brief leave of absence when she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2002, otherwise, she worked for the band until the program transitioned to the health centre, which was a green trailer situated where our current gas bar is.  Marlene recalls working for dozens of Band Managers and Social Development Program Managers and in recent years, many Health Directors.


Marlene always reported to work early, time management has always been important to her.  Many people in the community have enjoyed hearty meals on Wednesdays that were prepared by Marlene and her colleagues.  Others in this field who've retired ahead of Marlene include her aunty Irene Brown, her friends Cora Mack, June Michell, Florence Naziel and the late Nancy Wilson and late Lucy Wilson.


Home Care Support has its ups and downs, being invited into people's homes has given Marlene many years of human connection, though, this field also comes with a lot of loss, and those relationships built with clients makes it hard to lose them when they join the spirit world. Marlene will miss her clients very much, but she's not going to be far, she'll be at home, caring for her mother Mary. Thank you Witset for giving Marlene this great opportunity to help those in need and to be of service to countless community members.

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