It is with a heavy heart that I find myself having to deliver a tribute for Glenna in September 2022. The present is just as the word says, ‘PRESENT’ meaning a gift. Tomorrow is not promised to any of us. But we all hope, and assume, that having celebrated your 56th birthday and feeling on top of the world, dressed to the nines and happy, that this would not be the last birthday. But that is the reality today.
As the landlord of Gablewoods Mall, we have had quite a number of tenants over the last thirty years. Glenna Noel opened her catering outlet “THE SUB STATION” and started up her business in the food court more than 20 years ago. She single-handily developed her business working tirelessly and catering to the market. The endless hours Glenna put in is testament to the pride and passion she took in offering her local dishes to the community. There are many who have patronised THE SUB STATION including those in my very office who I know truly enjoyed her home cooked dishes.
But Glenna was more than a tenant of 20 + years. If I wanted to know anything that was going on at the mall, I could count on Glenna to give me a heads up. There is nothing I could ask of her that she couldn’t help me with. Every year she personally took on the task of putting up the Christmas decorations at the mall. You could easily call Glenna Ms Gablewoods. She knew everyone. She knew all the Gablewoods tenants. She knew the Gablewoods patrons. She knew my team in my office and we considered her part of our family. Her daughter, Suean, worked in my office, which is testament to the work ethic Glenna instilled.
To have to now refer to Glenna in the past is unimaginable. She celebrated her birthday this year with true style and was proud to pose in her fancy dress and rave about all the beautiful flowers she received. She even jokingly said, she was glad she received all the flowers on her birthday and not when she passes. She went so far as to say she felt so good that if she passed away now, she knew she was happy. Who could have such a premonition.
For whatever plan the good Lord has for us all, may we take a leaf out of Glenna’s book and celebrate today as no one knows what tomorrow brings. Take a good look around you, reach out to your loved ones and don’t go to sleep with any anger in your heart. Glenna gave her all each and every day. Many of you would have seen her and enjoyed her catering service and warm hospitality. Could you ever have imagined that would have been the last time you saw her? May this be a lesson to us all to never take anything for granted and appreciate those around you.
May I extend my deepest condolences to Suean and her brother Dane who has had to sadly come home from his job on a cruise ship for such a sad occasion. Hope you both take comfort in knowing just how much your mother meant to me, to Gablewoods and to so many of her customers who are here today. We are here for you today and want to assure you, Glenna will not be forgotten. It is my intention to name the food court after Glenna.
It has been an honour to have had Glenna as a pillar of Gablewoods Mall. I am proud to have witnessed what a success she made of her business. Glenna, I was honoured to call you a true friend. We are heartbroken to be here today for your untimely passing and so many here today were not prepared for your untimely passing. We will all miss you enormously. May you rest in peace my friend.