Nanditta Colbear has officially retired from the Literacy Alliance of West Nipissing. Colbear took the position of CEO on March 23, 2011. Under her management the Literacy Alliance moved operations to downtown Sturgeon Falls, eventually purchasing their own property, and has offered not only literacy but academic upgrading to numerous individuals over the years. Nanditta’s flair for inclusivity stretched to the wider community, including home schooling families, Indigenous friends and culture, sharing her own East Indian traditions, her support for the arts, her literary pursuits, her partnerships with many other organizations, and her outreach programming. She will be missed not only by her staff and board, but by her many counterparts in the community who appreciated her creative approach to learning and her profound understanding of the challenges some people face, along with practical solutions to those trials.
Asked what she will do now, Nanditta expressed that her primary role for the immediate future will be to provide support to her husband Rick Colbear, who is facing some health issues. She said she will also be pursuing her passion for writing. “Rick has always been my editor; we’ve started on the next book… This book is going to draw on my life experience in literacy. The learners have taught me more than anyone can realize about perseverance; not letting life get to you. The book is going to be a mix of things but I’m happy to keep it so it almost reads like fiction… I am going to stick to writing, whether I try to sell fiction through a publishing house, or just for my own sake and not even publish, that’s always been my passion – to write.”
Of course, Nanditta also loves to garden. She wrote a gardening column for several years. People have been suggesting things Nanditta could do, like teaching East Indian cooking classes to the epicures of West Nipissing. Her new ventures are about to begin, but she laughs, “My goal is to go back under the rock I came out of. Nobody knew us before Literacy. I think gardening is going to play a major role, and maybe a blog… I never took a vacation in 11 years… I think it’s time for me to take a break and then see where I go.”