Carol Stamp has been part of the heartbeat of West Guilford for more than 40 years.

As a member of the West Guilford Recreation Centre board since 1979, Stamp has been part of organizing all kinds of events – dances, fundraisers, Christmas concerts and Canada Day celebrations. Serving in various capacities including president, Stamp has seen many events develop over the years.

But after those decades volunteering, Stamp decided to retire and hand in her resignation, acknowledged at the Sept. 28 board meeting.

“I haven’t been going to meetings for a little while, so I just thought it was time,” Stamp said. “They’ve got some younger, newer people with good ideas and I think they’ll do okay.”

She said she started with the board due to her interest in dancing. She credited Clarence Bain with getting monthly dances started and said her involvement blossomed.

“My husband and I loved to dance … We got on the dance committee, so it just went from there,” Stamp said. “(Bain) got younger people involved. The focal point of the community really – they held everything there … It really was a place to meet and greet and keep up with everybody in the community.”

She was also there when the centre began organizing Canada Day celebrations, which began in 1980 at her suggestion and has continued to this day with her help.

“I had an idea about starting Canada Day. So, I just thought, there wasn’t much for the kids. We had a meeting and everybody on the board at that time thought it was a good idea. So, we had a full day of it,” she said. “At the time, it was the day when the whole community got together.”

Mayor Andrea Roberts recognized Stamp at the start of the Oct. 27 council meeting.

“You made that community hall what it is today,” Roberts said of Stamp. “The community of Dysart appreciates all you have given to that hall and to that area.”

Her fellow board members also recognized Stamp in the minutes of their Sept. 25 meeting.

“Her commitment to the community has been admirable and has set the bar for those who follow. We thank her for her dedication and are sad to see her go,” the board said.

Stamp said she didn’t serve on the board expecting to receive praise.

“I just did it because I enjoyed doing it and I wanted to have something for my family, my extended family and my neighbours to have a place for the community, to keep it up. “Most people do it because they like their communities,” she added.

Today the hall sits emptier, the pandemic preventing its usual assortment of events. She said it is a challenge, but she thinks the centre is in good shape, with a strong board and municipal support.

“Right now, things are kind of down,” she said. “But hopefully, when this is over, we can all get back using our centre.”

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