For more than 35 years, Margaret Boyer made quite the splash with the Saint-Laurent Synchronized Swimming Club. Starting off as the treasurer in the early 1980’s, she became in charge of registrations and later the organization’s president where she supervised a team of five people. The tireless volunteer decided to retire late last year.
For her years of service, the borough of Saint-Laurent honoured the 77-year-old at their 60th Annual Volunteer Recognition Event, in October. It was a pleasant surprise for her.
« I don’t expect payback for something. I had no idea that this was going to happen. I like to be involved but I don’t like to be centre stage, » says Boyer.
Affectionately known as the « matriarch » of the swimming club, Boyer initially began volunteering because it was a way to spend more time with her daughters Natalie, Chantal and Manon who all took up the sport as a recreational activity.
« My children were involved so I decided to be involved. I said to myself, since I am here, I might as well lend a hand, » she says.
Boyer admits it wasn’t easy at times, but she managed to juggle her responsibilities at the swimming club with her full-time job. She operated a home-based business that specialized in the distribution of electrical components.
« I guess I’m just somebody that sticks with it, » she says with a smile.
Her favourite part of volunteering was to interact with people, although she also takes pride in the growth of the Saint-Laurent Synchronized Swimming Club in the recent years.
« I’m told we now have 55 swimmers at the club. That’s great. It’s more than we’ve ever had, » says Boyer.
The organization, which operates out of the Saint-Laurent Sports Complex on Thimens Boulevard, offers both recreational and competitive programs to young women and men.
One of the best known graduates of the program is Jacqueline Simoneau. She competed in the 2016 Rio Olympic Games, finishing 7th in the duet discipline.
« Synchronized swimming teaches youngsters about discipline, time management, responsibility and teamwork, » says Boyer.
Value of volunteering
Boyer says there are also many benefits to volunteering, like reduced stress and lower blood pressure.
« We all can find a little bit of time to give back, and once you get involved, you get a different outlook on life. It did for me. I feel so blessed, » she concludes.
Boyer hopes Montrealers put volunteering on their list of possible New Year’s resolutions.