Christine Walker Bird

Posted by on Jul 15, 2015 in Tributes |


A Community Project to honour women who have enriched our lives

The Ban Righ Centre supports mature women who are starting or returning to education at Queen’s University. In taking this significant step, these women found role models, advocates and inspiration in other women. Then, as they engage in their studies and in their activities beyond Queen’s with friends, family, peers and colleagues, these students effect continual and positive change, extending the reach of their mentors and the Ban Righ Centre. Through “Who Is She?” we honour women who make a difference.

Christine Walker Bird

Honoured by: Owen Bird

As a boy, I was enrolled in French immersion and dragged to swimming lessons on Saturday mornings and piano lessons every Thursday afternoon. At the time, I couldn’t figure out what I had done to my mother to deserve this horrible treatment. Looking back, I have nothing but warm memories of piano recitals, summer swimming and diving at the cottage and late-night cram-sessions with mom studying for an exam or working on a paper due the next day.

While I was in high school, my mother took courses and was constantly working to improve professionally. This was, of course, in addition to working full time, cooking, cleaning and keeping my father, brother and me under control.

Although she didn’t have a particular interest in computers, my brother did so we were on the forefront of personal computing with a Commodore 128 in the late 1980s. Thanks again to my mother, in 1991 my brother was coding and connecting and became one of the first people to get on what we now know as the internet.

Throughout university, I seldom turned in a paper without a quick edit from Mom. She always was supportive but never too nice to tell me that I needed to put in some more effort before submitting. Hard work, self discipline, fairness and realistic expectations were and continue to be the core of her teachings to my brother and me.

Today I honour my mother and thank her for inspiring me by how she led her life as a mother, teacher and friend to me.