Godspeed, Anchor lady

I was lucky enough to board the good ship Anchor in 1996. I was welcomed aboard by then captain Msgr. John F. Moore and three great ladies: Rosemary Dussault, Pat McGowan and Barbara Reis.

With Msgr. Moore “over the bridges” taking care of a parish, I saw him once a week. But it didn’t take long before the Anchor women made me feel right at home.

Over the nine years that Barbara and I shared a ride aboard The Anchor, there were countless laughs, some frustrations, and some tears as we lost two of the three great ladies of The Anchor, Rosemary and Pat. This week, we lost Barbara as well.

In her more than 15 years at The Anchor, Barbara worked diligently for the diocesan publication: as a secretary; helping out with advertising; and  coordinating the yearly subscription drive, which in and of itself could be a full-time job.

The phone at The Anchor office never seems to stop ringing, and there were times when I thought we’d have to have the telephone handset surgically removed from her ear.

Barbara handled each and every call with grace, charm and professionalism; even when the voice on the other side had none of those qualities.

Barbara’s worth to The Anchor did not go unnoticed nor unrewarded. She was eventually promoted to office manager, aptly filling Rosemary’s shoes, which was, by no means, an easy task.

Among the things that Barbara brought to The Anchor each day, including her love to decorate, was her ever-present smile and sense of humor.

I’ll always fondly remember our Anchor Christmas dinners; whether they were at a local restaurant, or just a simple get together in the office with good food and better conversation.

Never to be forgotten is the infamous (within The Anchor circle) overflowing sink episode — a Christmas event we laughed at for years after.

While Barbara was the quintessential Anchor employee, her true passion was her husband Tom and their wonderful children.

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I was saddened to learn of Barbara’s death, and offer my deepest condolences to her beloved family. And to you Barbara, my friend, I offer my prayers and thanks for nine years of fun, friendship and professionalism. And rest assured, I’ll no longer leave an unheeded faucet running in a sink with the stopper firmly in place.

Godspeed Anchor lady.


© 2019 The Anchor and Anchor Publishing    †    Fall River, Massachusetts