Marion (Walmsley) Walker

To my classmate(s). Billy was my only classmate but all of us were in the final classes of the Canadian School in Chengtu. Next year, 2009, it will be 60 years since I left the city of my birth and the school that I loved.

I returned with Dad and Mother to Canada in 1949 to take my Grade 13 at Vaughan Road Collegiate. Because Mother wanted me to experience University, even though I was going to be a nurse, I spent one fun year at Victoria College from which she had graduated. Then I entered the Toronto Western 2 + 1 nursing course and became an RN in 1954. The last year we were allowed to live at home and I married Don Anderson who was just finishing med school and psychiatry. We moved to Etobicoke and had 3 wonderful girls, Debbie, Barbara and Sandra. I returned to U of T and eventually, in 1969, earned my Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Don and I separated in 1970 and were divorced in 1971. In 1972 I met Ken Walker, a teacher of Sociology at U of T who also had 3 daughters and was recently separated himself. Both wary of marriage we finally tied the knot in 1976. I had moved from Etobicoke to Biggar Ave in Toronto right beside Oakwood Collegiate where all 3 girls enjoyed the music program. I started working at Baycrest Centre, became Director of Nursing and stayed there until 1981. Ken and I had bought a 50 acre farm in Grey County in 1976 and in 1981 we sold our house in Toronto and decided to raise sheep. This was fun, hard work and we kept it up for 13 years – me using my nursing skills to deliver lambs and give injections etc. We soon decided that this was not a living so I began working at the Hincks Treatment Centre for disturbed teens where I stayed doing practically everything until 1994 when I retired and went into politics. I was on the Council in Holland Township for 3 years – what a learning experience for a new-comer and a woman. Municipal Councils were chauvinistic and wary of strangers (we had been up here for almost 20 years but were still new-comers.)

We are still here, enjoying the garden, traveling in our decrepit RV, taking canoe trips, attending operas and the Toronto Symphony, going to our book club, hiking the beautiful landscape of Grey County and visiting our kids in Toronto and BC as often as we can.

I am now 76 and we are both in good health and hope to be around a while longer. I did enjoy a trip to China in April and my how the School Campus has changed.

Hope to read about all of you at our Reunion.

 

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