Christine passed away at Hollyburn House, West Vancouver, B.C. at the age of 95. She was pre-deceased by her daughter, Patricia Syme Gardner (John Adames), brothers William Syme and Andrew Syme, and sister Elizabeth Petrie. She is survived by her husband William Gardner, daughter Sylvia Gardner (Glen Tugman), son Hamish Gardner (Susan) and daughter Christine Banham, and grandchildren, Christopher Tugman, James Tugman, Andrew Gardner, Kayla Gardner, Caroline Banham and Alex Banham.
Christine Beveridge Syme was born in Dollar, Scotland and educated at Dollar Academy where she excelled in athletics and the arts. On graduation, she worked at Gartloch Hospital, Glasgow where she met the love of her life William Gardner. They emigrated from Scotland in 1952 and married in Vancouver on December 20, 1952, celebrating their 70th wedding anniversary last month.
Christine fully embraced Canada as her new home but never lost sight of her Scottish roots. She maintained a close relationship with nieces and nephews in Australia (Christine and Andy Syme) and Scotland (Douglas Petrie and Colin Syme).
In addition to being a devoted wife and mother, Christine expressed her artistic talents in myriad ways – as a visual artist, as an accomplished calligrapher, as a talented clothing designer and seamstress, in choral singing, in the theatre and as a story-teller. She was a performer, and she also directed and produced plays at local theatre groups in Vernon and on the North Shore for many years. Christine had outstanding managerial skills, whether planning a party, managing and coaching a girls’ field hockey team, or producing a play. Christine was well known and well liked in many circles including the West Vancouver United Church, West Vancouver schools, Capilano College, choirs and theatre groups. She was a founding member of the West Vancouver United Church Flea Market, worked as a teacher’s aide in West Vancouver schools helping children to read, tutored students one to one, and also taught calligraphy at a local college. She was a passionate advocate of children’s literacy, helping students learn to read through One To One, a children’s literacy program.
Christine will be remembered as considerate, generous, insightful, and a mentor to many. She had an engaging personality and wonderful sense of humour. She lit up any room she entered, and she never missed an opportunity to get up and dance. Hers was a life well lived.
The Gardner family wishes to acknowledge the caring and considerate staff and nurses at Hollyburn House who provided comfort to Christine in the last months of her life.
Funeral arrangements through McKenzie Funeral Services. Private family ceremony. To write a condolence to the family, please visit www.mckenziefuneralservices.com.
To honour Christine’s life, and recognize her strong commitment to children’s literacy, please consider a donation to One to One Literacy, a Vancouver based not for profit organization helping B.C. children develop literacy skills and reading confidence. www.one-to-one.ca/christine/