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CITIZEN: Former Stittsville volunteer Mary Durling honoured with park name

From the Ottawa Citizen:

On Friday, Stittsville’s Cypress Gardens Park, on Brae Crescent and just two blocks from the house where Mary lived for 48 years until her death in 2015, will be renamed Mary Durling Park, to honour her decades of community service.

“I think this is beautiful,” said her son Neil, one of four boys she raised, “because Mom did so much and never wanted acknowledgement or credit, or even anybody to know.

“She didn’t like the attention. She was pretty humble. She put everybody ahead of herself. But it’s wonderful that they’re remembering her and doing something for her.”

Named Stittsville’s Senior Citizen of the Year in 2009, Mamie, as she was known to her family, volunteered with and raised funds for numerous charities and community groups. An avid dart player and gardener, she was an active charter member of the Ladies Auxiliary of the Royal Canadian Legion 618 branch and longtime supporter of its Wednesday night bingo. She was also involved with Holy Spirit Catholic Parish, where she attended, and canvassed door-to-door for such charities as the Canadian Cancer Society, March of Dimes and the Kidney Foundation.

Cypress Gardens Park was, at most, a glint in a developer’s eye when Neil was a youngster, although he frequented its forested precursor and built forts and rafts there. But he recalls his mother visiting the park regularly after it was built in 1991, with the numerous neighbourhood children she babysat to help make ends meet.

“So, yes, it’s pretty special that it’s this park,” he said. “It wasn’t here when I was a kid, but when my daughter, Rachel, was growing up, there’s be a skating rink here in the winter and I’d bring her and her friends here, and they loved it.”

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