When mum passed away in 1970, and Bob moved to Toronto, I became the matriarch at 34 Boullie Street. In 1971, I graduated Grade XII from Montcalm Secondary School and I did my best to find work. With a typing speed of 120 wpm and a shorthand speed of 100 wpm, I was confident I’d do well working for a lawyer. Within two weeks, I found myself working for W. Laird Thomas, a small law office located on Stanley Street in London, ON. The job was fun, my first real working experience and I got to drive my brother’s car, which he had left behind when he moved. It was a standard - I didn’t have a clue how to drive it! I’m sure individuals are still talking about the horrible screeching noises they heard while I was popping the clutch trying to navigate down Queens Avenue on the way to work!
In November of 1972, Dad remarried to a wonderful woman by the name of Betty. She was the best thing that ever happened. Our lives had been turned upside down and her arrival (and that of her three children) was a blessing in disguise!
I left Thomas’ law firm (because they said my coffee was lousy) and found another law firm, Ed Unger Law Firm, a tiny office that didn’t pay much. It was true what they said, lawyers make a lot of money, but they certainly don’t pay their staff well!
Disheartened, and out of work, I made a commitment to find a long-term job and walked the whole of Dundas Street stopping in front of the Northern Life Assurance Company on the corner of Dundas and Wellington Streets. I went in, saw an old schoolmate Diane on the switchboard. Within a half hour, I had an interview with the manager of policy issue and was hired on the spot. I spent three years at Northern, working my way up the corporate ladder.
In August of 1973, Horst and I were married at Richard’s Memorial United Church, London, Ontario.
When my boss left to take a job at the Corporation of the City of London, I decided to move too. I was hired in September of 1975. Working for the City provided me an opportunity to go back to school and in 1980, enrolled at U.W.O. (King’s College) and took Social Work. I enjoyed it so much, I enrolled in Writing 101A and 101B.
Working within the CUPE Local 101 since 1990, I was pleased and seemed to have the world by the tail. However, more experiences were in store for me when, my ego quite flattered, I was approached to take on a Management Administrative Assistant position. It was one of the turning points in my life as I discovered new experiences viewing my whole work ethic from the other side of the fence.
While things were going pretty good for me, the family was broken as on December 5th, 1993, after battling cancer, Betty passed away. It would only be after her passing, that I could really appreciate how good she was for Dad. She was the best thing that had ever happened to him and she was truly a loss to the family.
Life went on, I had my bumpy spots here and there but in 2005, after almost 29 years in a middle-management position and just two weeks past my 50th birthday, I retired from the City.
I delved right into my rehabilitation, developing the RCS Animal Care web site and devoting my time to rescuing wild and orphaned wildlife. Horst was my official pooper-scooper!.