“Amazing Residents”- Mary McCallum “It always amazes me how many hidden talents are in our midst at Legacy Senior Living. Mary McCallum is no exception. Little did Mary know that in 1953, her singing talent would result in an extraordinary invitation and once in a lifetime ‘Royal’ event”. READ MORE
It always amazes me how many hidden talents are in our midst at Legacy Senior Living. Many of these interesting stories remain “hidden” as more often than not, these wonderful ladies and gentlemen are reluctant to put attention on themselves and would rather go about their day in quiet contentment just doing what they love.
Mary McCallum is no exception, however, with a little coaxing, I discovered a lady with hidden artistic talents, namely classical singing and painting.
Born in Vancouver in 1925, Mary pursued a career in social work graduating from UBC with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1947, a Bachelor of Social Work in 1948 and a Masters of Social Work in 1962. She also pursued studies in classical singing receiving her LRSM (Licentiate of the Royal Schools of Music) Degree in 1952.
Little did Mary know her passions for travel and singing would intersect resulting in an extraordinary once in a lifetime “Royal” event.
Travelling to England in 1952, Mary continued her studies in singing and participating in choirs which lead to her acceptance to sing in the prestigious Coronation Choir at the Coronation Ceremony of Queen Elizabeth II in 1953.
Mary returned home in 1954 where she worked with parents of children with Cerebral Palsey at G. F. Strong for 8 years.
After receiving her Masters Degree in Social Work in 1962, Mary continued on a rewarding career with the Children’s Hospital for 20 years up until her retirement in 1985.
Mary now had time to pursue her other passion, painting. The walls of her suite display colorful depictions of picturesque landscapes and life stills. There is one painting however, that captures a very special memory for Mary.
The painting is of her mother on a beautiful summer day leaning over the balcony of their cottage at Point Roberts in Washington, where they enjoyed many relaxing summers together.
“Art is not a handicraft, it is the transmission
of a feeling the artist has experienced.”
– Leo Tolstoy
Mary moved to Legacy Senior Living 3 years ago after selling her apartment on East Boulevard.
“My sister had taken a tour of Legacy with a quilting group that were meeting at Oakridge Mall. I decided to come see the place for myself and was very impressed. I quite like it here and enjoy participating in the painting classes too,” she added with a smile.