O’Leary Councillor Judy MacIsaac and Recreation Director Andrew Avery present a plaque to CAO Bev Shaw (centre) to mark her 40 years of service with the town when O’Leary was hosting the Island Drive-in Festival on Sept 4. Ms Shaw reached the milestone in March, but due to the pandemic, the town was unable to mark the event until the drive-in. Melissa Heald photo

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Bev Shaw calls her career being O’Leary’s Chief Administrative Officer (CA0) for the last 40 years great.

“For the most part, it has been really good,” she said. “It’s been interesting, challenging. There’s always lots of changes. Lot’s of things to keep up on.”

Ms Shaw marked her 40th year of service back in March, but was surprised with a special recognition when O’Leary hosted the Island Drive-in Festival on Sept. 4.

She was presented with a plaque before the evening’s show began by Recreation Director Andrew Avery and Councillor Judy MacIsaac.

During the height of the pandemic, when many businesses and offices were closed to the public, including the O’Leary Town Complex, the town was unable to properly celebrate Ms Shaw’s ‘incredible milestone’, explained Mr Avery to the attending crowd.

“Forty years, that is an unbelievable accomplishment,” he said. “She is one of the longest serving civil servants in Prince Edward Island and has been around for so many changes. Of course, the status change from Community to Town of O’Leary, the day to day in the office, everything from typewriters to computers and conference calls to Zoom meetings... She’s organized municipal elections and made herself available to many different community groups. She’s spearheaded a number of incentives for infrastructure in the town... She’s just been a straight up wonderful person and a great leader here in the Town of O’Leary.”

Ms Shaw said she was stunned by the surprise.

“I wasn’t expecting this at all,” she said.

Ms Shaw said it has been nice to see some of the changes that have come to O’Leary over the years.

“I started with no computer,” she said. “I had a typewriter. We got into some more development type of projects, which wasn’t something they didn’t even look at back in the day. The size of our fire department. It has grown into a fantastic department.”

Ms Shaw said she has enjoyed her work as the CAO of O’Leary.

“It’s something different everyday,” she said. “You’re not always doing the same thing over and over.”

As for any retirement plans?

“I have it in the far back of my mind, but certainly don’t have a date or time scheduled.”

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