One Year Into COVID-19 It’s not every day that you start a new job and then immediately have to close down the office indefinitely and send everyone home amidst a once-in-a-century pandemic. But that was my whirlwind experience when I joined YWCA Edmonton as our new CEO one year ago today. I hadn’t even met most of our staff yet before making that difficult decision after Prime Minister Justin Trudeau mandated an historic stay-at-home order
Helen was born in Edmonton on March 10, 1930.
She attended the U Of A in the Faculty of Education for three years prior to her marriage. She served on various committees and boards including St. Joseph’s Hospital, Edmonton Family Services and the Edmonton Convention and Tourism Authority.
During her time on council, Helen initiated the bylaw that created the city’s public art policy – one of her prouder achievements as an alderman. The first application of the new policy was one Helen was able to oversee herself: the finishing of the interior of City Hall. Paull is credited with selecting the sculptures and large paintings that flank the building’s grand staircase.
As an alderman, Helen served on several boards including Edmonton Northlands, Downtown Business Association, City Hall Steering Committee. Afterwards, she remained active in the community with a number of organizations, including the YMCA, Capital Care Foundation and the Downtown Development Corp.
Helen’s true passion for arts and culture could be seen in her continued support of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra and Citadel Theatre.
Helen passed away on October 15, 2012 at the age of 82.
Sources: Edmonton Journal, September 9, 1991 & November 3, 2012; City of Edmonton Archives; Office of the Councillors