By Monette Benoit, All Rights Reserved.
I want to highlight and celebrate the life of a dear friend, court reporter, CART provider, and broadcast captioner.
Shelley Darlene Arthur of Vancouver, Canada, was passionate about her work, our profession, and working with deaf, HOH (hard of hearing) and animals.
No one – and I mean no one – could cover your back like Shelley Arthur.
She was a court reporter, mentor, role model, advocate, generous, enthusiastic, spirited, funny, kind, and totally committed to moments involving humans and animals. And she was so loyal to her friends and beliefs, too.
In 2000, Shelley Arthur opened Visual Voice Captions.
Shelley was Level II ASL (American Sign Language), devoted to her work with deaf and HOH.
She was also a dedicated advocate for animal rights. My favorite picture is Shelley swimming with dolphins; she wrote, “And they understand ASL!” on the caption.
As a court reporter, remote and onsite CART provider, captioner, Webcaster, and consultant, Shelley worked in the Senate of Canada, the U.S. Senate, and the United Nations.
She provided court reporting and consulting services, wrote articles, conducted seminars, and served on the BCSRA, British Columbia Shorthand Reporters Association, advisory council.
Shelley traveled (writing me detailed e-mails) to Korea, Sri Lanka, India, the Amazon Rain Forest, and World AIDS conferences in Mexico City, Kenya, and South Africa, sharing her reporting and CART skills.
Shelley was dedicated to (a sampling) Cameryn’s Cause for Kids Society; Sign Language for Children; idratherbeflying.net (Shelley recently spent two months to organize next year’s deaf pilots Fly-In); Representative Organisation of Disabled People in Europe; and International Day of Persons With Disabilities UN Enable, among others.
Shelley Arthur “coined the term ‘UN Enable’ and created their logo with the red ‘e’ in 1998” when she built their first web site. “It was a play on the negative word ‘unable’ to hopefully create controversy and bring attention. It stuck. The term ‘UN Enable’ is now used as the name of the UN global Programme on Disability, and earned a high-level URL: www.un.org/disabilities.”
I want to share the Shelly Arthur I knew.
When someone contacted me with questions, now and then, I’d e-mail Shelley.
Shelley always replied. Just ask Michelle Coffey in Ireland. Michelle and Shelley (and many others) became friends as Shelley encouraged each with her wisdom and humor.
Shelley was a detail person. She always inquired about my world and knew the names of family members.
When I had animal (and human) questions, she was a go-to person always responding with info and funny comments.
December 5th, 2009, I felt a shift. Truly. I checked my appointment calendar.
I phoned my office. I felt that I was missing something important. I asked a few people to note this “missing something important” – so I could cover my tracks.
Then I rechecked my professional and personal schedule.
When I learned Shelley Arthur died December 5th, I gasped.
At the precise moment I learned about Shelley’s passing, my dog (whom Shelley knew) ran into the room playfully nudging my leg.
This animal had never playfully placed her nose into my thigh while I was near my computer. Never.
I put my head down to digest the news, and my dog continued to playfully nudge my leg – and has not nudged me since.
I reached out to Shelley’s mother, Maureen Connelly Arthur.
Maureen wrote that they dedicated a bench in Shelley’s honor within Spirit Park on Tsolum River.
You are invited to “pause in nature with Shelley.” Donations in Shelley Darlene Arthur’s memory may be made to www.pfne.org, the National Great Pyrenees Rescue.
Maureen, Shelley’s mother, wrote that she was sending me a “small” gift.
When I opened the package, I gasped.
Maureen had chosen a necklace I often observed on Shelley.
When I first saw the necklace on Shelley I softly shared, “I have the same necklace. Before my brother Kevin died, he designed the necklace from a drawing I drew showing ‘how it should look’. The necklace broke after Kevin’s death, August 5, 2000, and it’s now in an envelope. There it remains.”
I remember Shelley giving me a hug. We smiled; no words necessary. Then we went back to work.
Each time I saw the necklace I would smile. Shelley understood.
When I opened the gift from Maureen, and saw the necklace Shelley and I had often commented upon, I had a sudden chill.
There is no way Maureen could have known how special (and unusual) that necklace was to me.
I now have Shelley’s necklace, gifted from her mother Maureen Connelly Arthur, hanging in my office.
And I wrote Maureen thanking her for confirming the unique friendship, the spiritual contract, I had with Shelley.
I now know I did miss something important December 5th, 2009 – Shelley Arthur. I am grateful for all she shared and need to say, “I really miss you, Shelley!”
Shelley’s mother may be reached: Maureen1208@telus.net
Monette, Court Reporting Whisperer, may be reached: Monette@ARTCS.com and Monette@CRRbooks.com
Monette Benoit, B. B.A., CCR, CRI, CPE, Paralegal
Tutor, Motivational Management & Empowerment Coach,
Multiple Title Author of Books & Test Prep for the Court Reporting, CART, & Captioning Industry
Realtime Court Reporter, Instructor, Consultant, Columnist
All American RealTime/Captioning Services, Inc.: www.ARTCS.com
Court Reporter Reference Books & CDs: www.CRRbooks.com
Blog: Monette’s Musings, www.monettebenoit.com
* Educational/Career Advancement; Private Tutoring/Customized Coaching
Have you failed NCRA’s RPR, RMR, RDR, or a state court reporting exam?
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About Monette Benoit:
As a 25+ year court reporter, CART provider, author of NCRA test prep material, and an instructor, public speaker, Monette Benoit has taught multiple theories, academics, all speed classes, and the 225 homeroom within NCRA-approved schools and a community college. She understands the challenges many adults now face in our industry and schooling.
Monette Benoit has worked with thousands of professionals, court reporters, CART providers, captioners, students, and instructors. She has also helped create new court reporting training programs, worked with federal grants, and assisted instructors in developing curriculum for both in-class and at-home students.
Her one-on-one tutoring, private coaching, has greatly assisted thousands of students, novice and experienced professionals to privately reach the next level.
Monette’s Musings is a blog containing information for busy professionals, students, and individuals who are fearless and seek to create their success each day.