Very few Fellowships of the Society of Shoe Fitters have been bestowed on members. They are presented to those who have been a part of the charity organisation over many years and have worked beyond the call of duty to support the aims and objectives of the charity and promote professional shoe fitting.
Past President Bernard O’Brien F.S.S.F. of Luke O’Brien Shoes to-be-Shoer of Tuam, Co. Galway and current President and Tutor Rosemary Gray of North Shoes in Bourne, Lincolnshire were two recipients at the Datateam Footwear Awards Dinner during the MODA shoe fair.
Rosemary tells us: “It is always fun to attend the Awards Dinner and as President of the Society of Shoe Fitters I was pleased to present an award to our Student of the Year (George Paish, Bill Bird Shoes) and a well-deserved Fellowship to Bernard O’Brien for his work for the Society and within the shoe trade. However, the tables were turned on me and I was both surprised and honoured in
equal measure to accept this prestigious award of a Fellowship myself. Apparently, my face was a picture and I was so surprised I confess to tears, setting off several others in the room. I have been a part of the Society for more years than I care to remember and a
Tutor for around 20 years. We all work hard as a team, so I feel it gives the whole society recognition. I am due to semi-retire from my place of work mid-year but can assure everyone I will keep going with the Society to help promote shoe fitting and the importance of its training within the industry”.
Secretary Laura West says ‘This sums up Rosemary, modest and giving. It was a great pleasure to be with Rosemary and see her shock and delight on the night. Her input and support are
invaluable, so we are greatly relieved she will not be retiring from her work with us. Bernard was our first President from Ireland and has made the time and effort to attend hundreds of meetings
over the years and always responds to a call for help. They are both dedicated professionals and it is an honour to work with them and present their Certificate of Fellowship and an inscribed valet
box from Dasco Dunkelman’.