Pat Aller was a pillar of the Georgist movement for the past 40 years. Many will remember her, above all, for her generosity in providing free accommodations at “Hotel Aller,” floor space in a tiny efficiency on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. She once housed 8 or 9 people there, some on the balcony, for the night. Pat’s guests were from all over the world, and she corresponded with many for years, often based on a single visit.
But Pat was far more than a hotelier. She devoted 12 years of her working life (1980 to 1992) to the Robert Schalkenbach Foundation (RSF) and the American Journal of Economics and Sociology. She became a regular attendee at the annual meeting of the Council of Georgist Organizations and the less frequent gatherings of the International Union for Land Value Taxation (IU-LVT). She served on the RSF board from 1994 to 1999 and 2003 to 2006. She was active in Common Ground and other Georgist organizations.
Pat’s life did not revolve around her Georgist affiliations, however. She was an avid traveler, including a round-the-world trip on a freighter at the age of 80. Another of her more unusual trips was a tour of the canals of France. She was able to remain active for so many years because she took walks in Manhattan of at least 4 miles a day, sometimes as many as 15.
Pat was a great admirer of the United Nations. She worked tirelessly for years to gain official status with the UN of the IU-LVT, which she finally achieved. There were numerous non-Georgist organizations affiliated with the UN in which Pat was also an active participant, including ones devoted to women’s rights and social development.
In the arts, Pat placed only opera above great literature. She was an excellent writer herself. It is unfortunate that she never published one of her short stories, which showed a great appreciation of the craft.
Pat was loyal to every friend who came into her life, going the extra mile for them more often than not. Even in her late 80s, Pat was still making long trips, by subway and on foot, to visit old friends in retirement or care facilities. It never occurred to her that she might cut back on those visits. They were just part of what Pat thought needed to be done, so she made the effort. Pat’s strength of character may have come from the summers she spent as a child with relatives in the deserts of New Mexico. She seems to have absorbed the lessons of that harsh environment by learning to take life as it is, never assuming it will be easy.
Pat will be remembered in different ways by people from the varied aspects of her life. But she will be remembered by all for her poise, calm temperament, cheerful elan, and warm heart.