The Western Star - 2020-03-25


‘The joy of finding the beauty in everyday things’



Helly Greenacre had a unique way of looking at the world. She saw beyond the imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete, recognizing beauty in all its forms. Before she passed away on Feb. 13, Greenacre left her daughter Pam Meaney with a sense of what it meant to be a loving parent, a faithful friend and a citizen that left their community a better place than when they found it. “My mother was very outgoing, friendly and open to everything all her life. She always had a large group of friends, ranging in age, gender, training, interests and nationalities. It didn’t matter their religion, political opinion or whom they were within a relationship,” said Meaney. Greenacre looked beyond appearances and found beauty within, from the gentleness of one’s heart. “When my mother moved to Corner Brook from Montreal, art wasn’t prevalent in the community. People were too busy either looking after children or stuck in their daily routines, so she brought the joy of finding the beauty in everyday things,” she continued. “Mother was always interested in art, even as a child before any formal training, including languages, nature and classical music. She helped build the arts community because she was able to pull people’s talents out and make friends very easily.” Greenacre painted and drew flowers, fruit and natural scenes. “I remember her quietly drawing at the kitchen table. She very much appreciated nature for what it was, capturing its raw beauty in a painting. She obtained a bachelor of fine arts degree and then branched out with photography and textiles. But I would summarize her as a Renaissance woman.” Born in 1931, Greenacre left her home in Budapest, Hungary, during the Second World War and spent several years in Paris before immigrating to Canada. She met her husband Phillip (Greenacre) in Montreal, and they married in 1960, relocating to Corner Brook in 1966, where they lived for 52 years before moving to St. John’s in 2017. Joanne Snook-Hann’s friendship with Greenacre stretched back for more than 30 years. “I simply adored Helly,” she said. “She was so sweet and kind, and she had an appreciation for simple things that I always loved. One year, she gave me three small handmade Christmas ornaments, made from tiny balls of coloured foil sewn together. I have hung them on my tree every year since, over 30 years. I call these ornaments my ‘Helly Greenacres,’ and they are my favourite.” At the celebration of Greenacre’s life in St. John’s, friends and family all acknowledged, “Helly never said a bad word about anyone but brought joy and fulfillment to many.” “Mother cared much for everyone, family and friends. Even when she volunteered in retirement homes, dancing and entertaining the residents, she was the oldest volunteer but had that ‘young at heart’ approach to life,” said Meaney. “Her memory will live on in our hearts forever.”


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