Mary Aitken Legacy Scholarship in Writing

Mary Elizabeth Aitken, born in Ontario on January 25, 1937 (Robbie Burns Day, as she liked to point out), was a prolific writer throughout her life, and a teacher for many decades, receiving her teaching certificate in 1976 from the University of Victoria.

The years of Mary's life were full by design. She was a creative spirit, demonstrating her skill and passion as a writer early with Muaka and the Raven, which won the CBC Vancouver Playhouse Playwright's competition. That creative spark continued to burn brightly as Mary became known as the teacher "Mrs. Aitken" at both Mt. Douglas and Esquimalt Secondary schools, and later teaching night school at Spectrum. Mary's students remember her as an inspiration, sharing with them her love of literature and theatre.

Beyond Mary's love of words was her love of nature: tending to her garden, her orchard mason bees, and always her animals—especially the birds—both at home and in the wild. Among her proudest achievements were serving in a variety of leadership roles at her church, and being a participant at the Banff Centre for the Arts.

Mary believed strongly in education, in fostering creativity, and in keeping up with the latest technology. She got her first email address in the early 1980s along with a Macintosh computer, and she was working on an online collaboration for a song until the day she died. Mary would have loved the idea of using technology to expand the horizons of literature, both in terms of its scope and its reach. Her family's hope is that the Mary Aitken Legacy Scholarship in Writing will enable a new generation of writers to get their start.

Return to Index