Landscapes 13

Mary Christina (Scott) Brown

July 24, 1934 ~ December 24, 2021 (age 87)

Obituary

Mary C Brown    b. July 24, 1934  d. December 24, 2021

 

Mary, the eldest of four, grew up in various rural areas of England, as the family moved due to the demands of the war.  Though Mary was the oldest, she was away at boarding school, then off to au pair, travel with friends, and then train in nursing and midwifery at Oxford and St Thomas Hospital, London.  I think her independence and discipline rose from so much time away from home.  She came to Canada to visit her sister Margaret, and stayed.  Here she met and married Ian Brown, living and working in the community of Coquitlam.  Their partnership lasted until his death in January 2018.  Mary kept in touch with the many people she came into contact with.  Her class from St Thomas’s nursing school travel great distances for reunions, and she made some lifelong friends there. 

Daughter of an Anglican priest, Mary grew up in a time of social change yet held to the decorum of another era.  She lived a life of service to others.  Midwifery in East London (just like Call the Midwife!), Public Health Nurse and Administrator in Coquitlam, original member of Crossroads Hospice Society, Canadian Council for the Blind,  Anglican Church Women, Burke Mountain Naturalists, Riverview Horticultural Society.  The list of her interests and memberships is exhaustive, yet Mary was indefatigable.  She had many Foster Children through Foster Parent’s Plan and corresponded with all of them, keeping their pictures up and being interested in how they got on as they grew older.   She received her ‘gong’, the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in recognition of outstanding community volunteers as well as numerous other awards and plaques respecting her volunteer contributions.  Mary did not like to make a show of these things, she believed it was her duty to contribute however she could.

Mary loved nature and always had a large garden.  She would pick flowers, berries, herbs and weeds and create beautiful arrangements to be found on tables throughout her home.  She dealt with the bounty of husband Ian’s garden plots as well as her own- with cookbooks dedicated to zucchinis, and soups in her collection.  She helped organize Riverview Tree Tours and acted as host at the annual Riverview Tree Festival and Blackberry Tea. She was passionate about the preservation of the Riverview lands.  She enjoyed the annual bird count at Colony Farm, and travelled to ecologically fascinating places such as the Galapagos Islands, Costa Rica, New Zealand, Kenya, and South Africa, as well as much trekking around England and Canada.  

Mary cared deeply about her Anglican faith, and held daily practice and study of what it truly meant to be a child of God.  I found a “Rule of Life” card she kept near with her notes written on the back.  “Look forward to Sunday- don’t leave knowledge in cupboard til next Sunday, use it to deal with today’s problem” which I know she put into action each day.  She supported numerous outreach works at her church of almost 60 years, St James Anglican Church in Vancouver.  Their music academy, as well as the ACW then Women’s Group,  The Bloom Group (formerly St James Community Services Society) Father Matthew’s Street Outreach in the area surrounding St James.

Loved and missed.

 

If you are moved to remember Mary with a donation to one of the causes she cared so passionately about, here is a list of links:

Burke Mountain Naturalists-  https://www.burkemountainnaturalists.ca/

Riverview Horticultural Centre Society-  http://rhcs.org/

Canadian Council for the Blind-  https://ccbnational.net/

Plan Canada (Formerly Foster Parents Plan)- https://plancanada.ca/about-child-sponsorship

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