Memorial thoughts

On Sunday, May 15, several friends, a co-worker and an old client, gathered in front of the tree planted in Marie’s memory to remember both a wonderful lady and an outstanding SLP.

We opened with some words from Tania Kamienski explaining why we were there.  While this date had no specific meaning since her birthday was in April and the fatal accident occurred in October, it did mark approximately 20 years since her passing.  It was also meaningful that a little about the Marie Poulos Bursary Fund was mentioned; why it is in effect, and why we are so active in trying to build it up.

After Tania’s words of welcome, each person said a few words – how they remembered Marie, what effect she had on them.  Many descriptive words were used to describe her – elegant, compassionate, understanding, patient, caring were only a few; there were many more.

Afterwards, David Burton laid some flowers at the base of the tree and we stood silent in our own thoughts for a few seconds, minutes, who knows.  A couple of photos were taken and these are on our website. The most wonderful thing happened afterwards; we all went for a coffee and for some two hours, chatted about Marie, stuttering and whatever else a bunch of people who stutter and a speech path talk about.  Time just flew by.

The amazing thing that of the people there, only one person was an actual client of Marie’s.  The others knew her from being a co-worker, workshops, stopping by the clinic, whatever.  That was the effect she had on people.

Hopefully, in future years, we can get the message out to more people by starting earlier – so spread the word, keep an eye on this website.  We are going to do this again, and we would like those who knew her to join us.

To Tania, David, Stephen Gilbert and his wife June, Terry Monger, Bob Smith – thank you for being there.  To Dr. Pat Roberts and Kara Beck (who couldn’t be there because of family) – you exemplify what we admire in people in your profession.  Not all of speech paths have it, you both do.  It’s not something that can be taught; it is something in you.

Thanks again to all who took part.

Published by Norm McEwen

My stutter began when I was 6 or 7, and have stuttered for the past 63 years (approx). I took speech therapy (so-called) from several people through public and high school - ranging from talking in rhyme to a metronone to being put under by hypnosis. It was only fter taking the 3-week intensive course at the Rehab Centre in Ottawa under Marie Poulos' guidance that I started to gain some degree of fluency and started to understand that the stutter was only a part of me, it wasn't the whole me.

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  1. Hi,

    I was very touched by the memorial you held for Marie Poulos. Although I did not know her personally your write-up reminded me how close I became to my own speech therapist and what a wonderful person she was. In a way,your tribute to Marie is reflective of all the wonderful speech pathologists out there who make such a difference in the lives of people who stutter.

    Thank you.

  2. Fred, thanks so much for your comments. What you said was so true. Special people seem to go into this field, and for which we are so truely thankful. Marie changed my life; from what you wrote, I’m sure your speech path changed yours. After Marie, other speech paths continued to help maintain what I attained. They, too, deserve my gratitude and thanks.

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