Marianne Weston

I grew up in the Midwestern United States, attended university there and then received a Master’s Degree in Government from Lehigh University, Pennsylvania, where I met and married my Canadian husband, moving to Regina in 1967. My early life in Canada was spent teaching political science at the (then) University of Saskatchewan, Regina Campus as well as administering extra session university courses. In 1969 I had the first of my two children and began taking courses again in mathematics, psychology and social work. A few years after my second child I became a full time Research Associate in the Social Administration Research Unit and taught a few courses for the Social Work Department.During this period I served many years on my children’s day care board as well as being actively involved in the many women’s groups and services that were developing at that time. My next career grew out of these volunteer experiences. Following the completion of a major research study for the Saskatchewan Department of Health, I worked for a non-profit organization called Saskatchewan Women’s Resources. During the 10 years that my work colleague and I traveled the province we did strategic planning, conflict resolution, support for proposal development and undertook program evaluations. We also wrote and published many resources for women’s groups that are still in use across the country. In 1992 I became the head of the Saskatchewan Women’s Secretariat and a year later, the Associate Deputy Minister to the Premier in charge of the Cabinet Planning Unit, the major policy body of government. I spent 15 years in this capacity serving first Premier Romanow and then Premier Calvert. I retired in 2007. Since 2008, I have spent time traveling, enjoying time with my children; grandchildren, great grandchildren, and my mother who is 101. I also knit and sell felted hats that are sold at the airport, craft sales and the yarn store I frequent. I firmly believe in the Eden Care philosophy and have personally seen the difference in the quality of life experienced by my aunt who was merely “housed”, with her only interaction being with a TV and my mother who remained a part of a caring community of book club members, bridge partners, a church, a women’s club, the Shrine Auxiliary and neighbour interactions. While both my mother and my aunt experience mild dementia, my aunt declined rapidly and recently died after her family chose to have her cared for in an environment with no activities, few visitors, and little exercise. My mother remained in her home with the support of her church and club friends and some hired support to help with some housekeeping activities. Last year she moved into assisted living and enjoys new friends and the multiple activities of an Eden like environment.