Bench supports memory of Heard’s contributions to Haliburton
By Jenn Watt
After giving so much of her time to keeping Haliburton’s waterfront beautiful, Elva Heard’s efforts are being remembered in part through a bench dedicated in her honour, overlooking Head Lake by the town docks.
On Wednesday, Sept. 18, friends and family joined Heard, 96, at a dedication ceremony for the bench, which had been funded and co-ordinated by the Wednesday morning Bible study group from the United Church.
“Elva, over the years you have been a positive role model for many. They have witnessed you on your daily walk, picking up garbage, praying for others and being the kind of person you’d want as a member of your family and church,” said Sue McEwan, who initially suggested the project.
The Bible study group has been meeting since 1978 and has never cancelled a gathering with the exception of Christmas. Heard has been an active member for years.
Money was raised through group members and the community.
“We could have put in two benches, Elva’s that well known and loved,” said Sheila Popple, another member of the group.
The plaque recognizes Heard’s dedication to her faith and the hours she put into cleaning the park. It reads: “Elva Heard: Walked. Prayed. Picked Up Litter.”
Along with Heard’s friends from church, she was joined by her family, who gathered for photos and took in the view from the newly dedicated bench.
Pastor Garry Swagerman led a prayer and noted the good work Heard has done over the years.
“Mrs. Heard has been all through this park, praying at every little stop, picking up all the garbage along the way. It seems like a symbol, picking up the garbage and cleaning up this world for us. She does that with prayer,” he said.
Following the speeches and photos, Elva Heard thanked everyone for what they’d done for her.
“First of all, I’d like to thank the ladies from the United Church who suggested this in the first place, that they put in a bench in my memory. And also, they told some other friends and their friends helped them. How nice it is to have wonderful Christian friends,” she said.
“I’m very grateful to all of you who made it possible. It’s a bench that can be shared by the whole town. I’m very grateful to each and every one of you. Thank you very much for all you’ve done to remember me,” she said.