Honouring a friend

The Smile



I first met Marianne when she applied for a job as secretary in the Humanities Area at Malaspina College. We were then in the old hospital. It was around the year 1970. I was the Coordinator of the English Department. I interviewed her for the job. She was attractive, friendly, knowledgeable, and could type like the wind. I heartily recommended her. She was hired.

We worked together for years as Malaspina College morphed into Malaspina University-College and then Vancouver Island University. One year, to help me provide work in the philosophy department, she “hired” me to do a series of newspaper articles on several students in our various programs. We worked closely together to choose the students for interviews and to publish the pieces in the local papers. Those articles had an impact on the way the institution was seen in the community.

We always chatted about the place, the politics, the silliness of the institution and its rich array of crazies. We laughed a lot. On occasion, we had meals together. She took my course “Philosophy and Literature: The Bible” from me, and contributed to the discussion. She was always interested in the texts and in what they might have to offer for an open-minded person in this century. She was a hard-working, bright, woman, who loved life, books, talking about religion and family and her bike and travels to the many parts of the world. She was open to experience, loved the world, and wanted to see it all. She saw more than most.

She always made time to visit Karen and me when she returned with stories of her latest adventure. She loved family, hiking, biking, and enjoying the rich worlds of California and British Columbia – and the world!

Not long after enjoying her pictures on Facebook from her recent trip by bike to Spain, Karen and I visited Marianne in the hospital. She reported that after returning home she had started to feel terrible and went to the emergency department at NRGH.

Within a short time, she was diagnosed with cancer.

Within a short time, she was gone.

Marianne was a beautiful human being. Our family and our community is diminished by her passing.

I miss her.

Rest in peace, my friend.

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