on June 25, 2015 by test_editor in Archive_2015, June, Print Articles, Comments Off on June 25, 2015: Joe and Joan Pinto; Community activists recognized.

June 25, 2015: Joe and Joan Pinto; Community activists recognized.

June 25, 2015: Joe and Joan Pinto;
Community activists recognized.

By Carol Paschal.

“With a grant from the Friends of the Environment Foundation at TD Canada Trust for its installation, Joe found the perfect tree and with help from community members, arranged for the tree to be planted.”

After 25 years on Melrose Avenue, Joe and Joan Pinto decided to downsize and move to Westboro. When I found out they were selling their house, I approached the Board of Directors of the HCA and they readily agreed it was important to do something special for them.

The result was a community recognition event held on May 21st at the Hintonburg Community Centre (HCC). Neighbours and friends were invited to celebrate the Pinto’s volunteer work in our community and to recognize their contributions to Hintonburg.

The event was organized by a small committee including Cheryl Parrott and Paulette Dozois, myself and neighbour David Connolly. David talked it up among all of the neighbours on Melrose Avenue and the rest of us publicized it to various organizations that we knew Joe and Joan were involved with. Wayne and Marilyn Rodney looked after decorations, and lots of people donated baking.

Joan was involved with the HCA in the early years and encouraged Joe to become a Board member, which he was for many years. Joe was instrumental in beautifying the neighbourhood with plants and flowers, particularly in front of the HCC. He and Joan were the winners of the HCA’s annual membership drive three years in a row. Both are also very active in the Queen of the Most Holy Rosary Parish.

Joe was a driving force behind the beautiful blue spruce tree that acts as a gateway to the community in Somerset Square. With a grant from the Friends of the Environment Foundation at TD Canada Trust for its installation, Joe found the perfect tree and with help from community members, arranged for the tree to be planted. Cheryl dug up an old poster from 1998 (pun intended) showing the installation with Joe, former Deputy Police Chief Alex Mackie and former Mayor Jacquelin Holzman posing with shovels of dirt.

Neighbour Tom Henter was our most excellent emcee and invited people to say a few words about Joe and Joan. There was laughter and tears as people provided moving testimonies about the positive impact this much appreciated couple has had on our community. This included not only people who have lived in Hintonburg for many years but also newer neighbours who spoke about how Joe and Joan made them feel welcome on the street. Guests were also encouraged to write their comments in a “memories book” which was given to the couple at the end of the evening, along with a potted plant.

Councillor Jeff Leiper also said a few words about his experience with Joe and Joan during the time that he was on the HCA’s Board of Directors. As he said, “Hintonburg’s loss is Westboro’s gain”. Then he pointed out that he was happy to know that Joe and Joan still live in Kitchissippi Ward. And so are their friends and neighbours!

collage of 3 photos

Moving Testimonies…

Photo Caption: Community activists and volunteers, Joe and Joan Pinto were feted at the HCC in recognition of 25 years of contributions to their neighbourhood and their community. Photo by Cheryl Parrott.

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