Stories told about the full life of Catherine Mary Aitken shine with vibrancy and community-spirit. Her formal name is rarely used, instead she is affectionately called Mamie. Anecdotes describe Mamie’s close relationship with her sister, Cherry; her love of dancing the waltz and the foxtrot with her dear friend, John; her jelly roll fame at the Comox Valley Fall Fair (1st prize for 14 years in a row); the joy she got from sewing, cooking, golfing, and skiing at Forbidden Plateau; and her passion for the well-being of other women through her dedication to the Soroptimist International of Courtenay Club. The backdrop for all these stories is the Comox Valley, where her parents settled in 1912, where Mamie was born back in the summer of 1922, and where her legacy lives on today.

Mamie passed away peacefully at her home seven years ago on January 29, 2015. She was 93 years old. She left her estate to the Comox Valley Community Foundation to be shared among the Comox Valley Healthcare Foundation, North Island College, the Comox Valley Hospice Society, and the various groups supported every year by the Community Foundation.

Through the 6-million-dollar bequest she left our community, Mamie’s stories continue to shine whether they be about support for the elderly, elevating local healthcare, compassion for palliative patients, empowering students, or uplifting the important work of various local non-profits.

At the Foundation, we always want to remember Mamie and honour her tremendous legacy that will benefit local healthcare for decades to come.