BERWICK – Berwick is remembering Carol Boylan-Hartling.
She was a long-serving member of the town’s recreation department and was known by everyone for her big smile and even larger heart – someone with a strong work ethic and desire to do good deeds in her hometown of Berwick.
She knew everyone and everything about the town and its surrounding communities, according to Berwick Mayor Don Clarke who, along with Berwick’s community development and recreation director Debbie Elliott, has announced a new multi-use recreation building project in Rainforth Park will be named Carol’s Place in her memory.
“This is our way to memorialize her in a place where she was always happy, and where the activities she organized, ran and developed took place,” said Elliott, who worked alongside Boylan-Hartling at the town for one year.
A lasting impact in recreation and Berwick
Boylan-Hartling passed away April 28 at the age of 57 after a long and brave fight against cancer.
Elliott says she was welcomed “with open arms” by Boylan-Hartling after joining the recreation department, who introduced Elliott to everyone and kept her informed on everything going on.
“She gathered people like others gather flowers. It didn’t take me long to figure out how special she was,” she says.
Clarke says Boylan-Hartling “would do anything for anybody, really – and always with a smile,” and was so dedicated to her job that it sometimes seemed she ran the department by herself.
He described her as dedicated, humourous, caring and giving, and a well-regarded person held high in people’s thoughts.
“Her impact will go on, and the spirit of what she did will live on,” he says.
“Carol always paid it forward”: Clarke
Besides her positivity, Boylan-Hartling was perhaps best known for paying it forward – spreading sometimes small, and other times large acts of kindness to various people around Berwick.
Whether through programs she set up or personal acts of kindness, she was always there to help when someone needed her, says Clarke, and had people look up to her because of it.
“She set the tone over the years for everybody at the town,” he says.
“People are saying ‘we’ll continue to pay it forward by doing the things she did so well.’ You can see it being shared on social media – people will keep her memory alive with this.”
Elliott recalls Boylan-Hartling’s open heart, which she says was at the foundation of everything she did, and the reason she was able to accomplish so much at the recreation department, including aspects of Rainforth park like the soon-to-open splash pad, near where the building named for her will be located.
“She just couldn’t even imagine things couldn’t happen. She always set about getting things done, and she’d just do it,” she says.
“She loved everybody. It didn’t matter who you were or where you came from – her heart was there, and she’d do whatever was needed to put a smile on your face.”