Tribute to Encourage Love of Reading

By Ron Fanfair

Ron Fanfair


Legal Services


A section of Hunter Glen Public School library has been dedicated to the memory of social worker Heather Rambharack, who lost her battle to cancer in December 2018.

She was the wife of Acting Staff Sergeant Neil Rambharack, who is the Executive Officer for the Toronto Police Legal Services General Counsel. They married in 2008.

The dedication ceremony took place on June 24 at the Scarborough school.

‘Heather’s Corner’ will be filled with specially ordered books selected by a committee. Each book will have a special ‘Heather’s Corner’ label.

Rambharack, along with his family, contributed over $2,000 for the books that will assist in children’s learning and development.

“While I feel a profound sense of sadness that Sarah’s mom could not be here to see all the hard work and collaboration that made this event possible, I know that she is above, watching down smiling at us and very proud,” he said. “If there was one thing that Heather was passionate about during her life, it was reading. When our daughter was born, she read to her. Even when she was gravely ill, she continued reading, passing on her passion to our daughter.”

After his wife’s death, Rambharack had a hard time imagining what life would be like for this then seven-year-old daughter to lose the person who read to her every night before tucking her into bed.

“As I struggled with a flurry of thoughts and emotions, I remembered what Heather loved the most which was reading and having a meaningful impact on the lives of young people in our community,” he said.

In collaboration with his mother-in-law, Liz Cameron, Hunter Glen Principal John Hunter, librarian Debbie Firestone, Sarah and her friends, ‘Heather’s Corner” became reality.

“In this space, all of the students have access to a variety of books that hopefully will inspire them on a path towards education, community service and knowledge,” added Rambharack.

Acting Deputy Chief Myron Demkiw attended the ceremony.

“Neil and I formed a connection as a result of the impact that cancer has had on him and people near and dear to me,” said the Command officer. “I can tell you it is an incredible honour and privilege to be invited here by Neil and his family to acknowledge the incredible contributions Heather made to the community that is reflected in the initiative that we are here for.”

Sarah Rambharack is a Grade Five student at Hunter Glen where her mother served on the Parent Council, including as chair.

“From the moment she was in Grade One at this school, Heather wanted to be involved in school activities and functions as much as her position as a full-time social worker on a very busy medical health team would allow,” said Cameron. 

She added that her daughter was an avid reader, choosing books from a wide variety of categories.

“As a young child, she cherished story time with mom and dad, especially at bedtime,” said Cameron. “Heather made sure she established the same habits with her daughter.”

A plaque was mounted in ‘Heather’s Corner.’

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