My 375th Anniversary Memories – RF

by Roberta Flannery

My association with the Guilford 375th Anniversary Committee began serendipitously. In late winter of 2012, a couple of years after I had moved to Guilford from Southport, I attended a reception hosted by St. George Church for volunteers in its various ministries. There I came face to face with a person I had come to recognize only by the back of her honey-blond hair since I usually sat several pews in back of her at Mass. She was Anita Catardi, the go-to, get-it-all-done person on the Guilford 375th Anniversary Committee, who is affectionally referred to as the “den mother” by Committee member Stephen Page.

When Anita learned that I had a marketing, events, writing, editing background, she recruited me to handle publicity for Guilford’s Generations Jubilee, the New Year’s Eve 2013 kickoff event, which she and Stephen were co-chairing. As it happened, the couple who was to have managed the publicity for all events was unable to continue in that capacity, so I “inherited” the larger job. And what a job it was! I never worked so hard when I was being paid to do so. On the other hand, it was the most rewarding job experience of my entire career.

For once in my life, I had the time to enjoy what I was doing every minute, instead of spending hours each day commuting. I could get up at five in the morning – sometimes earlier – make a cup of coffee and sit down at my computer to write. Then I would send out drafts to other Committee members, who, like me, were also early risers, and who would get back to me with approvals, suggestions, etc., before mid-morning. Try getting that turnaround time with the corporate world! It can’t be done when there is always another priority, another layer of approvals, meetings to attend and emails and phone calls to answer and on and on. Many of you reading this are probably nodding your heads in agreement.

Sure the job gave me headaches, literally as well as figuratively, but the rewards were more than I had anticipated. I came to know more about Guilford in a short time than I even knew about Southport and Fairfield in the 38 years I lived there. Here I found friendly, caring people who go out of their way to help each other, people who have become friends, people who know what community means in every sense of the word. The Guilford 375th Anniversary gave a lot more to me than I gave to it.

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