VICTORIA, B.C. – On Wednesday, July 4, the island and BC field hockey community lost a great contributor and face for the sport. Rosemary Maud Penn passed away on July 4, 2012 and will forever be remembered for her commitment and contributions to the sport of field hockey.
Below is the full obituary, courtesy of Victoria’s Times Colonist:
PENN, Rosemary Maud (Weaver-Bridgman) August 30, 1926 to July 4, 2012 Rosemary’s rich life ended full circle on Salt Spring Island. She was born in the village of Moddershall, England in August 30th, 1926. Her mother, Euphemia Drummond and father, Montague (“Monty”) Weaver-Bridgman, both from early BC families, returned to Victoria and Salt Spring when Rosemary was two. After completing her schooling at Norfolk House and Queen Margaret’s, she worked as a ward aid nursing returning war veterans, before attending Victoria College. She was the first woman in her family to pursue a degree, winning a place at Newnham College, Cambridge from 1948 to 1951, studying English Literature in the first cohort of women to be awarded degrees. At Cambridge she met Michael Penn, and they were married at Saint Luke’s Church, Victoria in 1951. After Michael completed his medical training, they settled on Christmas Hill. Their home on the hill became a social hub for their five children, friends, relatives, students and colleagues for the next 30 years. Rosemary never stopped teaching all through the raising of her children-supported by Kay Greenaway who became part of the family. She taught English and English Literature at many different institutions during her 43-year career as a teacher-including Westerham, St. Margaret’s, Queen Margaret’s, Norfolk House School (where latterly she was vice-principal for nine years), Open Learning Institute, University of Victoria and Pearson College. In between, she fulfilled two life long dreams, starting a bookstore (Acorn Books) and becoming a principal. In 1984, she set up an international school in Manila, Philippines. It was her turn for a new adventure-after years of encouragement and support of the adventures of her children-Rosemary was never one to dampen plans. Her contribution to her schools and students never finished at 3 pm. She was well loved and had an infectious passion for literature and language. As well as juggling the care of her large extended family, she also took on numerous extra-curricular activities. Her belief in the importance of debate led her to head up the Canadian Debating Federation and Debate and Speech Society of BC. She served on the Board of Directors of many schools and was the first president of the BC Women’s Field Hockey Association. Rosemary and Michael enjoyed a great camaraderie, sharing adventures in the mountains, travelling and entertaining their wide circle of friends. Upon retirement, they moved to Ardmore , where they enjoyed their growing circle of grandchildren and local community work through Holy Trinity Church, in Sidney-a community who provided her with support when Michael died of a short illness in 1997. She will be greatly missed by her two sisters Gillian Young (Keith) and Heather Robertson, brother Hamish Bridgman (Sheila), cousin Nancy Braithwaite, her five children Caroline (Jeremy), Andrew (Hazell and Melanie), Nigel (Jane), Briony (Donald) and Malcolm (Virginia), fifteen grandchildren Robin, Duncan, Jonnie, Hannah, Anna, Max, Emily, Callum, Brighde, Christie, Brody, Ronan, Charlotte, Michael and Mackenzie and many nieces, nephews and their children. The family wish to thank the staff of Lady Minto Hospital for their loving care over the last four years. A small service was held for family at Holy Trinity Church and an event will be organized later in the summer to celebrate her life. In lieu of flowers, donations could be made to Debate and Speech Association of BC or Canadian Debating Federation to support Rosemary’s vision of strengthening the skills of debate in future leaders.