We are very pleased to honour Helen Tweddle, a long-serving and dedicated FOPLA volunteer who was posthumously awarded the Ottawa Public Library’s (OPL) Order of Friendship award on October 9.
The prestigious award is bestowed by the Ottawa Public Library’s Board of Trustees, and recognizes outstanding volunteer contributions by individuals, groups, or associations that improve OPL’s ability to deliver services and programming to the community.
Helen was one of FOPLA’s longest serving volunteers, and was a founding member of The Bookworm used bookstore at the Cumberland Branch of the Ottawa Public Library, which opened in 1999. Helen volunteered at The Bookworm from its inception, and helped contribute thousands in donations to Ottawa’s public libraries through her work as a volunteer.
Originally from Toronto, Helen moved to Ottawa with her husband in 1961 and was known throughout Queenswood Heights as a noted community-builder. She championed tirelessly for literacy and recreation facilities in the area through her work with FOPLA, the Queenswood Heights Community Association, the original Cumberland Township Public Library Board, and other local organizations.
The Order of Friendship was proudly accepted on Helen’s behalf by her husband Al Tweddle and daughter Sue Guarda, who also both volunteered with Helen at the Cumberland Branch.
When thinking of her mother’s many contributions as a volunteer, Helen’s daughter Sue reiterated that, “She [Helen] knew how instrumental the library is in encouraging reading for all ages and diverse groups, and it is one of the few places left where you can do it for free. Everyone should take advantage of this service from their public libraries, and through volunteering she met many wonderful people and had many friendships develop.”
Since her passing in March of this year, volunteers and staff at the Cumberland branch have felt her absence deeply. “Helen was an extraordinary volunteer, and one whose selflessness and dedication to the community she served was apparent to all who met her. She will be greatly missed within the organization,” said Vlad Uher, President of FOPLA.