About Mary Lynn
Mary Lynn Higgins through the memories of friends and family:
Mary Lynn Higgins was an owner and director in the educational tour business with School Voyageurs. She believed that travel is an extension of the classroom. She dedicated her life to planning memorable yet highly educational tours for schools travelling all over the world. Accompanying many of the group tours she planned, Mary Lynn gained insight into the importance of social interaction, learning, and the overall feeling of inclusion that these adventures represented. Whether students travel to their Nation's Capital in Ottawa or to the Masai Mara in Kenya, the experience contributes to the students' knowledge and personal growth.
The Higgins Family
Mary Lynn was always in a hurry as she arrived three weeks early. This pattern was continued into her work years. She was born between two brothers so she was always trying to better them in anything they did. This would include lacrosse. She also did figure skating but didn't get very far in that. Her younger sister Michelle was glad for that as she didn't have too much to keep up to in the skating. This may come as a surprise to a few of you but she was a bossy young lady and stubborn also. Another thing that may shock you is that she couldn't cook. She was very good at ordering food . For someone who didn't cook she sure had a lot of good kitchen utensils which now her mother is using. She was a fun loving aunt to her niece's Charlotte , Gillian and nephew's Trent and Jake. She was also a loving daughter, sister and sister-in-law. Her memory will live on through everyone that she touched in her short life time with us.
For some reason, people always liked to poke fun at Mary Lynn and she was always gracious and good natured about it. On one particular weekend, several of us got together to spend the weekend at our place in Grand Bend. While we were lounging around Saturday morning drinking our coffee and trying to decide what to do for the day, Marek noticed that one of Mary Lynn’s slippers had a safety pin on it. He asked her why that was and she said it was so that she could tell the left from the right. It took quite some time for the laughter to die down but when it did, Mary Lynn turned to me and said "“As soon as I said it, I knew I would regret it”". Naturally, for the rest of the weekend, Mary Lynn was razzed mercilessly. Hardly a moment went by that someone didn’t have a comment about knowing left from right. Over the next few months, the issue of left and right started to subside which I’m sure Mary Lynn was grateful for. Later that year, when we got together on New Years Eve to ring in the Millennium, we knew that Mary Lynn would be going into the hospital for her first colon surgery and ultimately the diagnosis of cancer. However, we could not resist the opportunity to present her with a brand new pair of slippers which were clearly marked L and R in large letters. Mary Lynn wore those slippers proudly during her stay in the hospital and for the next two years. We even made sure she took them with her.
I was fortunate to have worked with Mary Lynn for almost 15 years. I had a great deal of respect for her professionalism, her sales prowess and her relentless (and I do mean relentless) expectation of perfection in our creation of experiences for students. We spent many 18 hour days and 7-day weeks together perfecting our craft. The number of hours we spent at work far out-weighed the number of hours either of us spent with our families. Out of all the time we spent together, it was the half hour every morning that I remember the most. Mary Lynn would pick up lattes on her way in to work and we would sit and talk about our families and social lives. We never discussed work in that time. Of course, Mary Lynn's nieces and nephews were always the prime topic. There was no doubt about how much she adored them. Just that few minutes every day bonded a friendship that I will always cherish.
Mary Lynn and I shared a taste for margaritas. We were fond of searching for the "perfect" margarita. We never found one that we were prepared to declare perfect, although we found a perfectly acceptable one in New Orleans. Margaritas in Toronto were, to us, erractic in quality. The food was fine in Cleveland, the beer better, but the margaritas, they were disappointing. Although she is no longer with us, I continue to seek the perfect margarita. The hunt has never been as much fun as when she shared it with me.