At a simple surprise ceremony yesterday, October 5, 2020, at BVI Red Cross headquarters in Road Town, Wenzke was of the impression she was there to give the history of the Red Cross in the BVI at the dedication of the refurbished training room.
She was; however, left a bit confused when she was made to sit in a special chair among the small gathering and the chairperson and Director of BVI Red Cross, Stacy C. Lloyd, announced that the programme was actually to honour Wenzke.
Among those present to share in the moment were Patron of the organisation Mrs Millie Jaspert and her husband Governor Augustus J. U. Jaspert; Minister for Health and Social Development Honourable Carvin Malone (AL); BVI Red Cross Chairman Geoffrey Brooks; Immediate Past District Governor of Rotary Mrs Delma Maduro; Representative of the BVI Diabetes Association Ms Jean Vanterpool; and President of the Cancer Society of the BVI Ms Gloria A. Fahie.
Many of the persons in attendance attested to Ms Wenzke's invaluable contributions during her over 40 years of living in the territory, and shared among several organisations.
In Brief remarks, Honourable Malone said, "I am glad that all the other organisations can boast her as there's but she was first ours (a Lion) and throughout all the years."
Recollecting some of the invaluable experiences with Wenzke, Hon Malone reflected on her being his go-to person when recently putting together a narrative for the 40th anniversary of the Lions Club of the BVI.
"So I am quite pleased to be a part of this celebration. I am quite glad to be here in your presences and to see your name so boldly displayed because it speaks of the works you have been doing, not only for Red Cross but also for Rotary, Cancer Society, Diabetes, Alzheimers' [Association] and all the others.'
Unveiling the plaque in honour of the long-serving volunteer, Mrs Jaspert said, "Well deserved, you have done so much over the years and honouring you in this way is most fitting."
BVI Red Cross Chairman Geoffrey Brooks thanked Ms Wenzke for her commitment to humanitarianism in the Virgin Islands and for her work as a volunteer for BVI Red Cross for over 31 years.
“Her range of activities has covered every facet of our organisation,” Mr Brooks said, adding that Wenzke's speciality has been public relations and fundraising.
He credited Ms Wenzke for organising the first-ever BVI Red Cross fundraiser in 1998, at the Governor’s House.
The Chairman also spoke about Ms Wenzke’s career of charity, which included volunteering for the BVI Cancer Society, BVI Diabetes Association, BVI Ambassadors, Friends of the National Archives, the Lions Club, and the Rotary Club.
BVI Red Cross Director Stacy C. Lloyd commented: "She’s our historian, she’s our biggest cheerleader.”
In her response, the surprised honouree Ms Wenzke said she was very honoured and proud. She went on to give the gathering a brief history of the Red Cross and acknowledged Mrs Margaret Borde for being an integral part of the organisation’s establishment.
In addition to yesterday's honour, Ms Wenzke was previously honoured by the Lions Club with a Melvin Jones Fellow for outstanding humanitarian services; the Rotary Club's Paul Harris Fellowship Award for services to humanity, and she was sworn in as the German Honourary Consul to the Virgin Islands.
The mission of the British Virgin Islands Red Cross is to mobilise the power of humanity so that individuals and communities have the capacity to prepare for, deal with and recover from crisis.The BVI Red Cross was established in 1956. The Red Cross Movement is a volunteer based international humanitarian organisation.