I first met Helen when I began researching local politics as part of my campaign for county councillor in early 2014. Every time I attended a committee meeting, council meeting or public information session – Helen was there. I got to know her better when I attended some meetings of the Mill Creek Liaison Team so I could learn about local issues within our watershed and specifically how the gravel pits in Puslinch may affect our water quality.
The depth of knowledge she had about our local environmental issues and the passion with which she worked never ceased to amaze me. She must have been an outstanding teacher.
As election day neared I specifically remember a day when I was less concerned about losing the election than I was about winning it and somehow letting Helen down with my actions as a councillor. That was the day I knew that I would remember Helen for the rest of my life and always be thankful for the effect she had on me. I can definitely say that I am a better person for meeting Helen Purdy.
Helen passed away at the age of 70 last November and I am writing this today because of an article I read by Joanne Shuttleworth at the Guelph Mercury [read it here]. I simply wanted to take this opportunity to say a very public Thank You to Helen.