We don't have many photos of Marion when she was a child. Frankly it was always hard to get a shot of her as she would avoid the camera her whole life You can see her in the back row on the top step second from the left. She was the only daugher to John (Jack) and Ellen Hay. She was the middle child to older brother John and baby brother Bill. Marion was close to her Mom. She told us stories about how warm and welcoming her Mother was, how there was always coffee on the stove and enough food to go round for any guest who showed up at the door. There was a lovely story of her mom teachering Marion how to make biscuits. They of course cooked on a wood stove. Marion said her Mom got the recipe from a lady down the road who made the best fluffiest biscuits. So Marion and her Mom went about making biscuits. They turned out fine but rather flat. Not anything like the neighbours. So the next day her Mom took Marion by the hand and they walked over to the neighbours to watch her make biscuits. The neighbour was surprised as she had taken great care in copying out the recipe. The process was the same until the neighbour dipped her cup into the fresh bucket of milk. Marion's Mom said "Ah you didn't tell me to use the cream off the top you just said milk". Off home they went to make the perfect biscuit. It was those stories that Marion told us of her mother that became our only memories of our Grandmother Hay. When Grandma Hay died Marion was only 13. Marion had known her mother was sick but didn't realise until she over heard a friend's mother talking about her mother dying that her mother was going to leave her. When Marion's mother died she had to take took over the huge job of running the house. It's hard to imagine how a 13 year old girl could have handled that workload. She continued to go to school and finished high school, but at the same time making sure all the meals were cooked and the house was clean and the laundry was done for her father, our father Bill and later her father's brother Big Bill. They didn't have electrity, there was a hand pump for water in the kitchen and all cooking was done on a wood stove.
When our Mom and Dad got married near the end of the war, Mom told us that Dad had explained to her that he owed his upbringing to Marion and that if she needed help they would have to be there for her. Frankly Marion was alway there for our family. She always was giving.
Marion looked after her father, Granpa Hay until he had a stoke. Marion would have been about 43 years old then and she had never worked outside of the family home. This kind of a change this late in life might have broken someone else, Marion just did what she had to do to look after herself and make a future on her own. Marion moved in with her cousin Molly and went back to school refreshing her secretarial skills. After getting her skills up to scatch, now in her mid 40's she moved out into her first bachelor apartment on Cartier Street in Ottawa and her first full time job as a public servant.