Mary Alla Norbury

Mary Alla Ellen Norbury (nee Hargreaves)


Mary died on the morning of December 6th under the care of the kind staff at Evergreen House in North Vancouver. Mary was born in Vancouver on November 13, 1922, the daughter of Bill and Gladys Hargreaves. She moved to England in the thirties where she received a scholarship to study art. On her return to Vancouver she worked in window display at Woodward’s and on Howe Street at Suzette’s Ladies Wear. Mary was also a fashion model who appeared regularly in the fashion pages of the Vancouver Sun and The Province. She met Michael Norbury working in one of his photo shoots and they dined and danced at The Cave over a number of months. After Mike returned to India to take a directors position at a carpet manufacturing company he proposed to Mary by letter. She accepted and they were married in Bombay in 1948. Daughters Judy and Rosamond were born in India. Mike and Mary returned to Vancouver to raise their family in 1953. Mary was a consummate artist: she created cartoons, watercolours – as well as her famous doodles – she spun wool and silk and hand dyed and crafted beautiful sweaters, shawls and rugs. She taught spinning and weaving and was an inspiration to young artists. Her book about her days in India, Come Back, Judy Baba, written on her return to Canada was finally edited with added text by Judy and was published last year. She is survived by her daughters Judy, Rosamond and Amanda; grandchildren Eliza, Belinda, Mariah, Liam, Christian and Genevieve, as well as many nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her sister, Meryl, and her husband Mike. Mary was a friend of every animal. In her last years at Evergreen House she was always a kind and helpful presence. She never lost her sense of humour or her social skills and she was always the most beautiful person in the room.