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  • Writer's pictureCarey Tate

Sara's Enchanted Forest honours a special reader and pays it forward

The City of Pointe-Claire inaugurated a whimsical and magical reading garden dedicated to a late member of its library community who had an avid passion for reading. Housed behind the Pointe-Claire Central Library, the site is for children and adults to enjoy reading surrounded by nature. The idea for the garden arose following the death of Sara Hmouz at the age of 22.

The memorial plaque within the enchanted forest pays homage to the young woman, described as faithful, humble, and wise, with a kindness that extends beyond the bounds of time.

The optometry student would faithfully visit the library and hoped her savings could contribute to one of its projects. Her family and the Friends of the Pointe-Claire Library added an amount so that the reading garden could be created. As Sara particularly enjoyed Harry Potter books, the City of Pointe-Claire teams proposed the creation of a garden destined to combine reading and a fantasy world.

PHOTOS: Facebook, Cynthia Homan

The entrance to the reading garden is marked by an arch leading to an inviting place with strange mushrooms and logs for the youngest children to sit down on and dive into a book while mysterious plants shelter ― Who knows? ― whole villages of invisible elves and gnomes! A reading throne and logs forming Japanese steps are at the back of the garden.

Pointe-Claire Counsellor Cynthia Homan attended the ceremony along with other Pointe-Claire leaders to inaugurate the space, which is open for the public to enjoy:

"Thank you to the Hmouz family for making Sara's dream come true and working closely with the city to provide a wonderful space for the citizens of Pointe-Claire."

Ribbon cutting by the mayor, councillors and the Hmouz family From left to right: Kelly Thorstad-Cullen (district 3), Cynthia Homan (district 5), Mayor Tim Thomas, Imad and Ahmed Hmouz, Haifa El-Sadi, Bruno Tremblay (district 6)

PHOTO: City of Pointe-Claire

The Hmouz family in the presence of members of the Friends of the Library

From left to right: Joséphine Sciortino (president), Ahmed Hmouz, Haifa El-Sadi, Linda Marics, Timothy Fain, Imad Hmouz

PHOTO: City of Pointe-Claire

Immediately after the inauguration ceremony, Sara’s family looked on fondly as a group of happy children made themselves comfortable in the reading garden and tested the facilities during a royalty and fantasy-themed story time accompanied by the fairy Jacynthe and Princess Catherine.

PHOTO: City of Pointe-Claire

SOURCE: City of Pointe-Claire

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