Karen Baker was one of the founding members of Dragons Abreast Mackay and played an active role in the group right up until illness prevented her from doing so. Her secretarial skills were amazing and she was such an organised and competent person, always thinking ahead. She would deal with complex situations efficiently by accessing the required information in a timely manner. If Karen didn’t know the answer we knew we could always count on her to find out.
Karen was very involved in all Dragons Abreast Mackay fundraising and social events and spent many, many hours helping to plan our Auction of Bras With Attitude, our two HOG Rides in conjunction with the Harley Owners Group as well as our group’s birthday and Christmas celebrations and all other social events. She attended the Abreast In Australia 2007 Regatta and other DAA regattas in Caloundra, Chinese New Year Regattas in Sydney and DAA 10th Birthday Celebrations in Darwin where she also enjoyed a paddling session in the Arafura Sea. When Karen heard about the Ord River Marathon she decided that it was something she really wanted to do so along with two of her team mates from Mackay she joined forces with the Darwin Dragons Abreast team in June 2010 to paddle 56 kms along the scenic Ord River. In September of that year she accompanied three other Mackay members to Tasmania for the DAA Convention. They all extended their time in Tasmania to enjoy some sightseeing. Karen even took to the trees on a Flying Fox. After such a physically active and busy year, we were all shocked when Karen was diagnosed that October with Metastatic Bone Cancer throughout her body. She bravely fought this illness and continued to attend as many training sessions and social events as she could until she passed away at home surrounded by her loving family on 15th August 2012.
Karen’s mantra during her illness was “I discovered I always have choices and sometimes it’s only a choice of attitude” by Judith M Knowlton. She will be sadly missed by all who knew her. Our beautiful butterfly now flies with the Angels Abreast.