Collingwood Neighbourhood House (CNH) proudly recognizes its long-serving staff members. At the 2019 Annual General Meeting (AGM), Kulwant Kaur, Director of Operations, was recognized for over 25 years of service and dedication to the neighbourhood house.
When Kulwant Kaur talks about Collingwood Neighbourhood House (CNH), she often refers to love: her love of working at CNH and her love for what CNH staff do both inside the organization and in the neighbourhood.
When Kulwant arrived at CNH in July of 1994, it was an instant love match. Kulwant said she remains amazed at all that the staff do with and for residents and organizations in Renfrew-Collingwood.
Kulwant had arrived in Canada four years previously from her native country Malaysia. At CNH, she started as an Office Manager, then Office and Volunteer Coordinator and now, for many years, Director of Operations. Along the way she also served a couple of times as Acting Executive Director.
While Kulwant often expresses her love for CNH, she’s also clear that dealing with change—even positive change—isn’t her favourite activity. When she worked as Office Manager and Office and Volunteer Coordinator, her desk was in a very public part of the administration office. Once she became Director of Operations, the role came with a private office. It took Kulwant a full year to make the shift, as she had to get used to the idea of a new work space before moving into it.
Looking back on her years at CNH, Kulwant recalls fondly working with former staff such as former Executive Director Paula Carr, and Operations Directors Oscar Allueva and Sandra Menzer. She recalls saying to them: “There’s no university that could teach me what I’m learning from you.”
Kulwant’s favourite memory from CNH is the opening of CNH’s Joyce Street location. The premier at the time was Glen Clark, a local resident. There was a huge ceremony which felt very celebratory.
Another cherished memory is the opening of the CNH Annex. Kulwant was deeply involved with the Annex so, she said it felt wonderful to be part of the opening ceremonies and to think of both the satisfaction of all that work completed and the possibilities the new space represents for our neighbourhood.
Kulwant expresses huge praise for the Operations team members, saying they are talented, work hard and are very dedicated to CNH.
In her free time, Kulwant loves to watch Bollywood movies, walk trails with her “Just Walking” group, and have dinner with friends—when we’re not in a pandemic.
Her current life goals are to help plan her son Mandip’s upcoming wedding, walk up the Eiffel Tower in Paris and travel to India.
In looking back, Kulwant notes some people work at their jobs simply for their pay cheque. Kulwant stresses that is not her motivation; she works from the head and from the heart. As those who work with her would say, it shows. Congratulations, Kulwant on 25 (now 26) years at CNH!