By Graeme McNaughton/The Oshawa Express
When Doug Beal looks back at the life of his mother, Pauline, he remembers a woman who always had something to do.
“She was a woman who wanted to be busy. She dropped out of high school in order to look after her younger sister and because her mother was working at a small grocery store they had, she would work in the store,” he tells The Oshawa Express.
“My mom had a couple weeks of high school, and that was it. The rest of the time, she was either working with her mother or with her sister. She continued that way, I think, for the rest of her life. She was always working at something.”
Pauline Beal, 90, died on Feb. 13 at Hillsdale Estates in Oshawa, surrounded by her family. The former city and regional councillor, who served between 1985 and 1997 in Oshawa’s former Ward 2, first came to Canada as a toddler from Ukraine, living in Toronto with her family before moving on to Oshawa in the 1940s.
Doug, one of Pauline’s two children, says his mother made the choice to get into public service shortly after the death of her late husband, Grant, in 1979.
“The retirement plans that they had were quite different (after he died), so my mother decided to pursue more of an active role in local politics,” he says.
“She was a forceful woman, she was able to put her views across quite well. I think that was kind of motivation for her in that she would provide a voice for people who maybe weren’t quite so good at that.”
Doug adds that Pauline’s drive to serve the public continued even after she got out of the political game in 1997.
“Even after she was out of politics, she would tell me about people calling and wanting to have help through the system of city hall,” he says.
Mayor John Henry echoed that sentiment.
“Pauline contributed greatly to the development of Oshawa as we know it today and will be greatly missed by her many friends on Oshawa city council and throughout the city,” Henry states in a news release.
“She was a big part of the community through her volunteer work with a number of local groups and charities.”
Along with her time with the city, Pauline was also a long-serving member of the National Council of Women and the Ukrainian Women’s Association’s Barvinok branch.
When asked what he learned the most from his mother, Doug pointed to his daughter and one of Pauline’s grandchildren, who he says put it best while speaking at the funeral service.
“My eldest daughter said that her grandmother taught the value of hard work and if you worked hard, you’d achieve what you wanted to get.”