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Repository
City of Burnaby Archives
Date
[1893] (date of original) -2004
Collection/Fonds
Mary Forsyth fonds
Description Level
Fonds
Physical Description
Textual records, graphic material and cartographic material
Storage Location
Photograph catalogue 572
MSS185
Scope and Content
Records consist of material created and collected by Mary Forsyth. Records include correspondence, photographs, a map, presentation notes and reviews along with research for historical and biographical essays pertaining to pioneering families, organizations and the geographical area of South Burnab…
Repository
City of Burnaby Archives
Date
[1893] (date of original) -2004
Collection/Fonds
Mary Forsyth fonds
Physical Description
Textual records, graphic material and cartographic material
Description Level
Fonds
Storage Location
Photograph catalogue 572
MSS185
Access Restriction
Open Access
Reproduction Restriction
May be restricted by third party rights
Scope and Content
Records consist of material created and collected by Mary Forsyth. Records include correspondence, photographs, a map, presentation notes and reviews along with research for historical and biographical essays pertaining to pioneering families, organizations and the geographical area of South Burnaby. One of her major research projects consists of "A Walking Environment for South Burnaby" which also became a proposal to The Corporation of the District of Burnaby. Historical information and photographs pertaining to South Burnaby pioneer families and organizations were compiled from interviews with the intention of publishing a book.
History/Biography
Mary Gertrude (Bolton) Forsyth was born at her parents' home in Burnaby on March 5, 1923 and was the daughter of Richard Bolton and Gertrude (nee Hern). Mary's father, Richard, immigrated to Canada from Sunderland, England in 1911. He lived with his brother George in New Westminster prior to purchasing property in South Burnaby in 1916 and built a bungalow located at 859 Marine Drive. Richard Bolton was employed as the municipal treasurer for the Corporation of the District of Burnaby and in 1919, he returned to Sunderland with three months leave of absence to marry, Mary Gertrude Hern, daughter of Captain and Mrs. John Hern. Mary grew up with her parents and sister Nancy in the house that her father built on Marine Drive. She married Lloyd Forsyth in 1946 and they had two children; Diane and Robert. Mary and her husband raised their family in Burnaby and built a house at 855 Marine Drive, on the lot originally purchased by her father and moved later to a house located at 6457 Marine Drive. In 1964, after her children were grown, Mary completed her teaching degree at Simon Fraser University and went on to teach kindergarten at Nelson Elementary school. While a teacher within the Burnaby School District, Mary was instrumental in adopting ballet as part of the school curriculum. Mary was an active member of the Burnaby Historical Society participating and leading local events and seminars. She was inspired by the idea of the 'Housewives Holiday', originally initiated by the Vancouver "Y’ S". In February 1960, she was integral in forming a committee in South Burnaby working alongside Ruth Turner, Faye Treagh and Dorothy Turnbull. The "Housewives Holiday" committee (a branch of the Clinton-Glenwood Recreation Association) planned several events at Bonsor Hall for Burnaby housewives from October 6 to December 8, 1960. After her retirement from teaching, Mary returned to Simon Fraser University to do further studies and in 1983 she wrote an essay for an Environmental Education course, titled, "A Walking Environment for South Burnaby". The essay was conducted as a feasibility study to provide a walking environment in her community and included a formal essay, a media book, a map and a slide presentation which was presented to a variety of local community groups. In 1984, Mary was the recipient of the North Fraser Harbour Commission Award to further her work on this project. In October 1986, her essay was adapted as a proposal to The Corporation of the District of Burnaby for a walking and cycling trail system for South Burnaby. Her proposal was taken into consideration by council and was later adopted by the Parks and Recreation Commission. Mary was very much interested in the history of South Burnaby and spent time between 1990 to 2004 conducting research through the Burnaby Historical Society, The City of Burnaby Archives and several pioneering families who agreed to share their family records and be interviewed. Mary compiled her research into short historical and biographical essays by geographical area, family name and organization. Mary (Bolton) Forsyth lived her whole life in South Burnaby and was an active and committed member of her community. She died on November 10, 2010.
Media Type
Textual Record
Photograph
Cartographic Material
Notes
Title based on contents of fonds
Less detail
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