It is with sadness that I report on the passing of Cynthia Downe, Calgary, who donated a precious letter by L.M. Montgomery to our MLC Archive in 2013, along with letters and books by Canadian feminist writer Nellie McClung. Cynthia was 89 years old, and while our connection was brief, it was profoundly touching.
I will never forget Cynthia's liveliness and the pleasure and pride she felt when she first read to me the letter L. M. Montgomery had written to her many years earlier. Cynthia told me she had studied music in Germany. She gave me advice on how to take care of my voice. She was a rare and kindred spirit. We will treasure her memory and her special gift to the MLC. Below I am attaching a letter from Suzanne North, one of Cynthia's students, who first introduced me to this remarkable women.
DOWNE, Cynthia Clare
May 10, 1924 - Calgary, AB
August 19, 2013 - Calgary, AB
Cynthia Clare Downe of Calgary passed away on August 19, 2013 at the age of 89 years. She obtained a Bachelor of Education degree from the University of Calgary and then a Master's degree in Music Education from the University of Oregon. She excelled in her teaching career in Calgary and became a music consultant for the School Board, visiting elementary schools to help teachers with music programs. She received an Excellence Award from the Alberta Government for this work. Her love for teaching continued after her retirement, as she freely gave of her time to help young people succeed in their studies. Cynthia loved history, reading and travel, and amassed an extraordinary collection of rare books and artifacts, which she lovingly shared with her many dear friends. Personal correspondence between her, then a young girl, and noted author Lucy Maud Montgomery is now showcased at Ryerson University.