Evelyn started at The Tindall Foundation (TTF) in August 1997, when the organisation was just two years old. She arrived to a small office in Takapuna’s Huron Street in a temporary position as Admin Support person to help deal with piles of funding requests the Foundation was receiving and to work with the Manager of the time – the only other member of staff.
Evelyn remembers all sorts of wacky funding requests back then including one of the first applications she dealt with being, `please pay off my mortgage so I can then really do what I love and set up a charity`. She describes papers being stacked in columns all around her in the tiny office.
What started out as a temporary job, soon turned in to a permanent role – and here we are 17 years on farewelling our loyal and trusted friend and colleague as she leaves us to retire. We wish to thank her for her incredible dedication to our Foundation and the huge contribution she has made to New Zealand through her work here.
Co-founder Stephen Tindall remembers Evelyn’s first day it the office. “It was wonderful to welcome such a happy, smiling Canadian lady with whom we all had so much in common to our team.”
From her temp job, she was soon snapped up as a full time Office Administrator having quickly proved herself as a diligent worker. She took on the administration work from the then Manager and pretty much ran the office and Foundation’s core operations single-handedly.
When Trevor arrived in 2002, Evelyn’s title was Administration Manager. He recalls, “Ev looked after a lot of the donations traffic and worked with all the Funding Managers, the buildings, systems and database, Trustee servicing – nearly everything. She was so efficient and really did run a tight ship. Ev has been amazing at keeping records over the years and setting up systems, and what an amazing memory she has for detail.”
As The Tindall Foundation changed and grew, Evelyn’s roles changed and diversified. She was always up for the challenge of a new job, tackling each task head on. With a six-strong team working beside her, Ev became our ‘Systems and Relationships Manager’ in mid-2012, focusing on IT systems, the new database management system (DMS) and managing relationships with Funding Managers in particular.
Says Martina: “Ev has many successes to be proud of. Her work in establishing the Funding Manager system is a stand out success. Ev calls the Funding Managers ‘her babies’ and for her it has been like raising children too. She has nurtured and guided them and, from time to time when they have gone off the rails a wee bit, she has helped bring them back to the fold!
“Her lasting legacy will be the new on-line DMS that she launched last year, along with her video and training resources for the Funding Managers.”
John talks of Evelyn as a great teacher. “Evelyn has been wonderful guide to me in my travels through DMS-land. I’ve really appreciated the hard work she has put into helping to develop this amazing resource for TTF.”
Our team has greatly appreciated the work Evelyn has put into developing and maintaining the Funding Manager relationships over a long period of time.
Says John, “As Martina and I have travelled with Evelyn around the country over the past few months, I’ve observed how highly people think of her, how warmly they relate to her, and how professionally she has represented the Foundation over the years. She is genuinely loved and respected by a lot of people in our extended family.”
Our staff and Founders pay tribute to Evelyn and share some of their thoughts and memories:
She’s positive, she’s quick, she likes sugar with her coffee, she loves to sail away into the sunset and have a laugh. She wears dangly earrings of all different kinds and has a cute Canadian accent after all of these years. She’s our pal, our gal and we will miss her dearly.
She’s always interested in others and always has a great story for every occasion. I really appreciate how amazing she has been at TTF over the past 17 years and really admire her for her work ethic! We wouldn’t be where we are now without her. I will miss her.
It has been great working with Ev over the past seven years. She is a ray of sunshine and a bundle of energy and she cracks me up. She is remarkably efficient at her work. She can do anything she puts her mind to. She just seems to be able to take on any task without hesitation.
Ev is fearless. She sailed from Canada to New Zealand in a small yacht. Being hit by lightning in the middle of the Pacific ocean didn’t seem to put her off! She just mended the mast and carried on. She arrived in the Bay of Islands with $10 in pocket and got a job within an hour-and-a-half. I will really miss her and wish her all the best for her retirement.
Evelyn has never changed since the day she started with us over 17 years ago. We have loved having her and thank her so much for the value she added to The Foundation.
Evelyn has endless enthusiasm and has worked tirelessly for the Foundation, especially in her work looking after our Funding Managers. She has been amazing with our DMS system too, working with our developer Jochum to iron out any issues. Her skills have extend to project managing the re-build of our Blomfield Spa office. She did so well. She is so capable. She can do anything.
We are very grateful to her for her loyalty and personal commitment to our family and Foundation. She has been here for so long, it’s hard to imagine the Foundation without her.
I have worked beside Ev from day one. She has shown me the ropes. We have travelled together, shared stories and had lots of giggles along the way. She really is like family and I love her lots! There is so much to say…she is so professional at work, easy to be around and has been my room-mate on our many work-related trips. Earlier this year, we travelled up North to visit some organisations and the Local Allocation Committee. As we drove, I was treated to stories of Evelyn’s pre-Tindall Foundation days and her time living and working in the Far North. It was a real pleasure listening to where her New Zealand journey began and somehow it felt like I had been there with her along the way. I’ll miss her in the office. She has been my mentor since the beginning and I wish her the very best. I know she’ll have a blast whatever she throws herself into next and I will get to have loads more giggles when we catch up from time to time.
Ev…such big boots to fill and such a void to fill. Ev will be missed by all of us so much. I’m very pleased and honoured to have one lovely piece of her fantastic photography on canvas by my desk to remember her by.
I’m so glad I got to work with Evelyn – even if only for a short time. It’s given me the chance to understand the importance of her amazing contribution to the history and formation of this Foundation. She and Trevor have together given the organisation shape – both in terms of systems and structure -and made it work.
Evelyn has been amazingly loyal – 17 years is a heck of a commitment. She is now not just an incredibly important part of the organisation’s story, she’s a legend. We’ll really miss her.
To me Ev will be remembered for her warmth and positivity; her love of life and her empathy for people. She has given so much of her heart to The Foundation and for that, we as a family will be forever grateful. It is sad to see her go, but we are thrilled she will have more time to sail and take photos and potter in her gorgeous garden.
Jochum (our DMS developer who worked very closely with Evelyn over the last two years)
It has been a real pleasure to work with Evelyn. I remember Evelyn taking care of me the first day I arrived on a tour that must have felt like one of her journeys crossing oceans by sailing boat she was telling me about. The ones with no land in sight. But with all boats that stay afloat, it struck land in the end, as did the DMS project we embarked on. Without her commitment, knowledge and forward thinking attitude this achievement would not have been possible. Her positive mind set and constructive approach has been exemplary and is key to the success of any project. While I felt that I aged during our journey (I recently have to take my glasses off when reading), Evelyn did not change a bit and continues to throw out the old (fax machines) and continues to adopt the new (iPad marine navigation tools). I will miss working with her.
Trevor (Ev’s manager for nearly 12 years)
It is impossible to capture the many, many highlights of the time I have know and worked with Evelyn over her long career at TTF. From my first contact as an applicant (successful!), through indirect links via precious managers, to my privileged spell as her direct Manager, I can only concur with the glowing comments already made. Words like ‘boldness’, ‘efficient’, ‘love of life’, ‘warmth’, and most of all ‘loyalty’ spring quickly to my mind too. Parallels drawn with ocean passages into the unknown are also true for the journey TTF has been on, with no better navigator and crew than Ev. She has ensured that the transition to her retirement for herself, John and TTF has been as smooth as we all could have hoped. While Ev will be sorely missed, I’m delighted to see her enthusiastically launching in to the next exciting phase of life.
Elaine (PA to Stephen Tindall and close working colleague of Evelyn)
We’ve had 14-and-a-half years working together. It’s a long time and we’ve seen a lot of change. You’ve always been positive and enthusiastic and we’ve shared a lot of laughs. Nothing is surer, this retirement will be far from sitting round in your slippers, you’ll be head first into all sorts of fun activities. Go easy, go well my friend.