Cleanup project in memory of Mark Taylor

Friends gathered at the home of the deceased Abbotsford parks manager to complete a project and remember a friend.

Mark Taylor

At first glance, it would have looked like any other cleanup project: a group of workers power-washing the driveway, raking leaves, weeding the garden and even washing windows.

Spring cleaning is a common sight at this time of year.

But there was much more to this project than most passersby would expect.

A group of City of Abbotsford employees, managers and their family members volunteered their time during the Easter weekend to clean up the home of, and pay homage to, a co-worker – and, more importantly, a friend.

The group travelled to Langley on March 30 to tidy up the home of Mark Taylor, the city’s general manager of parks, recreation and culture who died tragically in a skiing accident last month.

It was a shock to the city and devastating for his friends and family.

“Mark was my colleague, but he was my friend too,” said Pat Soanes, the city’s general manager of finance and corporate services, one of the people who organized the cleanup project.

“It was an act of friendship on the part of all of the people who showed up and it was really a remarkable thing to be involved in.”

She called it a chance to do something “tangible out of something that was so senseless.”

Soanes said the idea came up because during one of her final conversations with Taylor, he had commented on the state of his yard and told her it was his next project.

It seemed like a great way to do something for the family.

“It was absolutely to do what we could to help Deb (Mark’s wife),” said Soanes, adding it was an opportunity to “unburden her” of something she really didn’t need to worry about.

But it was also a chance for friends and co-workers to get “a little bit of closure.”

It also sent a message to the family, telling them how much Taylor meant to so many people.

“It was a beautiful sunny Saturday and I was with people I really like and admire and we had a good time and we celebrated Mark. It was really a positive event in that respect.”

The public will have the chance to take part in a “Celebration of Mark Taylor” on April 15 from 3-5 p.m. at the Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre.

Just Posted

Kodiaks begin best-of-seven series strong

The Kodiaks opened their quarter-final playoff series by defeating the Delta Ice Hawks on home ice.

Abbotsford goes up 2-0 on Langley

Pilots win both games on home ice, series now shifts to Langley

Heritage proposal for Aldergrove fire hall at a ‘standstill’

The Alder Grove Heritage Society faces a delay in knowing the fate of the fire hall due to tenants slated to live in the building until 2020.

VIDEO: Langley hosting high-flying fun at annual gymnastics tournament

Action runs Friday through Sunday at the Langley Events Centre fieldhouse.

BREAKING: Plecas won’t run in next election if legislature oversight reforms pass

B.C. Speaker and Abbotsford South MLA says he feels ‘great sympathy’ for Jody Wilson-Raybould

VIDEO: Langley hosting high-flying fun at annual gymnastics tournament

Action runs Friday through Sunday at the Langley Events Centre fieldhouse.

Ammonia leak shuts down curling club in Nelson

It’s not yet clear when the leak was detected

Pavelski’s 31st goal helps Sharks top Canucks 3-2

Vancouver one point out of second NHL wild-card spot

Stabbing at Lower Mainland banquet hall sends man to hospital

RCMP says victim has ‘non-life threatening’ injuries, incident still under investigation

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Ontario police field complaints over Amber Alert for missing girl, 11, found dead

Some said the Amber Alert issued late Thursday for Riya Rajkumar disrupted their sleep

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

B.C. couple attacked with acid, slashed with knife in Vietnam

Warning, graphic images: Man has burns on 80 per cent of his body, slashed with knife

Northern B.C. First Nation clan says ancient tools found at pipeline work site

Archeologists from the Smithsonian Institute estimate one of the stones found dates back up to 3500 years

Most Read