Boyle McCauley News

Since 1979 • June-July 2024 • Circulation 5000


A Fond Farewell: John Reilly and Kim O’Leary

John and Kim in St. Anthony, Newfoundland.

John Reilly and Kim O’Leary are two people who have worked hard to make McCauley a wonderful place to live. However, their time living in the neighbourhood came to an end last month, when they moved to Victoria, B.C. Their dedication and commitment to Boyle McCauley News and the area in general will definitely be missed!

John and Kim moved to McCauley 11 years ago. “We moved to McCauley after living in Millwoods,” says Kim. “We were both tired of the commute. We wanted to live more central, in a neighbourhood where people knew each other, and worked together to create community. I was enticed to move into McCauley after several really close friends who I had lived with in a Millwoods housing co-op moved here.”

“We wanted to have close access to the river valley,” John adds. “We loved the character homes in the area and the big, beautiful ash and elm trees, the closeness to services like the grocery store and shops on 95 Street, and the diversity and friendliness of the area. We really liked that there was a shared sense of responsibility for the well being of neighbours, even those struggling like people who were homeless and such.”

John and Kim were block carriers for the paper. As well, John has been on the Board of Directors of the paper as Treasurer and has also helped to audit the books. “Kim and I both have a strong belief in the need for local people to be aware of and actively engaged in the life of the neighbourhood. We see community newspapers, like the Boyle McCauley News, as fulfilling a crucial function in the social and political health of the community. We also wanted to get to know others in the area, and we knew that one way to do that was to get involved in local initiatives, like the paper.”

The two have been volunteers with the community in other ways besides the paper. “We both helped out with the sweat equity work that went into the installation of the new playground equipment. We’ve worked with others on a voluntary level to put on block parties and to organize with neighbours to address some community issues related to absentee landlord and drug houses,” says John. Kim was also a member at large on the McCauley Neighbourhood Association shortly after they moved to the area.

Kim says, “I wanted to volunteer with the paper, because it got me out and walking in our great neighbourhood, and I was able to meet more neighbours. Delivering the papers and the wonderful pizza socials help to build more connections. I will miss that a lot – neighbours who really care about each other.”

There are many aspects of McCauley that the couple has come to love over the years. “I love the mature trees, the mixture of ages, family compositions, and cultural diversity. I really believe McCauley is the hidden jewel of Edmonton,” says Kim.

So then why are John and Kim leaving McCauley? Congratulations are in order to John, who will be working with the City of Victoria as a Senior Planner – Social Issues to work on the team that is implementing the Victoria Sustainability Framework. “The work really fits well with my values around creating sustainable cities and communities where people treat one another with respect and compassion, and I see this as a chance to take my professional practice to a new level in Victoria,” says John. “Kim has recently earned her MA in Counseling and Art Therapy and feels confident that she has skills and talents that are easily transferable to Victoria.”

John and Kim want to wish a fond farewell to the neighbourhood that has meant so much to them. “We want to thank all the wonderful people in the community who have made McCauley one of the best community experiences in our lives,” says John. “We always said that a move out of McCauley would be a move to another part of the country. We are sad to leave this lovely place and wish everyone well!”

Kim adds: “I want to say farewell to McCauley by expressing my gratitude for all friends and neighbours I have come to know over the past 10 years, not to mention the dogs and cats!”

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