Most people don’t get to say that they got their dream job, let alone that they had it for five decades. For Anne Gordon, though, it’s true.
On June 29, Gordon officially retired from the South Boston Boys and Girls Club, exactly 50 years after she started working part-time there when she was a sophomore in college getting her degree in art education.
Ever since then, she has made priceless changes and memories, which will be commemorated at the Club on October 2 for an Anne Gordon Celebration. To join, stop by 230 West 6th Street in South Boston between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. on October 2.
Something that was supposed to be a temporary job to help pay tuition while molding the minds of young Southie residents turned into a 50-year stint during which Gordon left no stone unturned and a huge legacy behind.
“It’s what I wish for anyone, to find a job that you really enjoy because then it’s not really a job. It’s a passion, basically,” Gordon says. “I’ve enjoyed going to work every day. Not many people can say that.”
Those enjoyable work days included anything from lifeguarding at the pool to being a summer camp director, teaching art, running Club Council, and more.
Club Council was a program Gordon ran for 15 years that taught kids about politics. There was a mayoral election, campaigning, speeches, inaugurations and, at the end of the two-year term, a trip to D.C.
At the thought of one of her kids becoming president one day after being inspired by the council, “Who knows!” she exclaims.
To her, trips like those broadens their horizons and gets them out of the South Boston bubble. They’re important because they introduce the kids to opportunities they might not have access to otherwise.
One former student of Gordon’s who went on a skiing trip, for example, reached back out and said that because of that trip, she now brings her family skiing.
But Gordon didn’t always have to travel with kids to make a lasting impact. In fact, she didn’t even have to leave the art room.
Another one of her BGCB alums is playwright David Lindsay-Abaire. When he was younger, Gordon had the students make parrots out of old pantyhose egg containers. He recently called her up because he recreated the parrot and wanted to show her.
To Gordon, the art room is her real legacy. To her, it was a place where all kids could feel safe and welcome.