PARRSBORO - The gardens surrounding Parrsboro's bandstand this summer were given a facelift this summer by one special lady in memory of another.
Suzanne Burchell, a seasonal resident of the community, spent weeks planting flowers on the property in memory of her friend Sally Levy, who passed away in August.
Burchell explained that her inspiration for the project came while she observed the property, which she thought was in a neglected state, while at Tim Hortons across the street, a regular meeting place for Levy and her friends.
"'What would Sally do?' I asked myself," said Burchell. "The answer was in her power of example, when she would get up from coffee and volunteer somewhere each day."
A dedicated community member, Levy put in countless hours to groups such as Ship's Company Theatre, the Parrsboro Band Hall and Trinity United Church. She made her contributions quietly, without seeking attention, but her efforts did not go unnoticed by all.
"The garden was right across the street, and called to me that morning to make it beautiful again for Sally," said Burchell. "So off I went to honour Sally."
When she told others what she was up to, Burchell said true Parrsboro spirit kicked in. Although she bought some flowers and a garden hose herself, her car's trunk was soon full of donated flowers. Sally's husband Ron also brought flowers from their own garden.
Within two weeks, and with help from town employees, the garden makeover was complete.
While visiting the site this week, Mr. Levy said he was touched by the thoughtful act. Still struggling with his loss, he said he has taken comfort in the outpouring of support from the community, and from hearing how much his wife meant to others.
"I had no idea that she had touched so many people," he said. "It's just unreal."
Whether it was finding the patience to teach a left-handed friend how to crochet, or driving other friends to medical appointments, Sally always had time for others, according to her husband.
"I've been so overwhelmed with the outpouring of appreciation for Sally and her life, and learning how, behind the scenes, she did things and never even shared it with us," he said. "She would work all day in Springhill as an LPN, drive home, shower and change, and then take a friend to Moncton or Halifax for a cancer appointment. This was not just once or twice, this was 30, 40, 50 times."
He described Burchell's work as a very nice tribute that came as a complete surprise to him. He donated what flowers he could for the cause, and has committed to adding some more in the spring. He would like to see it as an ongoing thing that people will respect, and is hoping the town would "take ownership of it" for the long term.