Christina Mary Weylie (nee MacLean), 83, of Kincardine, died April 20, 2022, in Weston-super-Mare, England, while visiting her daughter. She died with dignity, acceptance and humour, with the support of her family and friends (both in England and virtually, through the magic of Facetime). She was diagnosed with a brain tumour Feb. 8, 2022, and was treated with the miracle of steroids that gave her a few weeks of well-deserved respite from her symptoms. This also gave time for her son and family to visit, and friends to visit her in England and engage with tales of memories virtually. Thoughts and prayers from Montana, Magnolia, Daniela and Donald, are with Grammy. A fond family memory shared by Donald occurred 23 years ago, following “the storm of the century” in Ontario when we surprised Christina with a 60th birthday party. Mom was surprised that so many of her close friends had braved the weather to celebrate with her. She was truly grateful to all of us for making the effort. Around 5 a.m. the next day, we woke up Christina and Catherine who had decided to spend the night at our home after the late night party finally ended, to let them know the second surprise of the night with the announcement: “Looks as if we are having a baby today.” This was two weeks ahead of the expected date. In our typical family tradition, we were all together for the birth of our first child, niece and grandchild. So appropriate for all of us to share the wonderful addition of Montana joining our family. Twenty years ago, and not to be over shadowed by her big sister on memorable occasions, our second child, niece and grandchild, Magnolia, was born on Grammy’s birthday. Just as I was born on my grandmother’s birthday – Christina’s mother, Bertha Lilly. For the past 20 years, we have enjoyed joint birthday celebrations Jan. 12 - another special and important occasion for our family. The past 10 years, Christina spent winters with her daughter, Catherine, in England. The thing that stands out the most in Catherine’s memory was Christina’s willingness to try new things and the way she accepted people for who they were. One time, she got off a five-star cruise in England, Catherine picked her up and took her camping at a music festival. Christina slept in a tent on a blow-up mattress for three days. It rained that year and we still had a wonderful time. She was just as happy having a wonderful meal at The Savoy, sitting in a rainy field eating baked potatoes from the campfire, or meeting the locals in the pub. She always made the most of any opportunity that was presented to her. Her favourite thing was talking to, and learning from, people from all walks of life. Although she could make speeches to many people, she loved speaking one-on-one with individuals. She would listen, value and share common ground with all who met her. Christina was a long-awaited child, born Jan. 12, 1939, to a Scottish father, Donald MacLean, and a Canadian mother, Bertha Lillie MacLean (nee Rutherford), in Fort William, Ontario, now Thunder Bay. She was very proud of her Scottish heritage and she would visit her father's relatives in his birthplace of Altandhu in the Highlands of Scotland on many occasions. Christina went to Fort William High School where it is documented that she was a quiet, smart and pretty student with good prospects for the future. She worked at the library, while maintaining good marks. She was involved with the church and enjoyed skiing, curling and bowling, among other hobbies and clubs. Her love of playing cards began at this early age and continued throughout her life. When she graduated from high school she went to teacher's college in Hamilton while living with her mother's relatives in Galt, now Cambridge. This is where she met law student, Wallace Weylie. When she graduated, she began teaching elementary school in Toronto, sharing an apartment with her friend from home, Mary Loney. When Wallace graduated, they married and set up home in Fort William. Donald, their first child was born 1964 and at that time, she became a full-time mother. Christina, Wallace and Donald moved to Bridgeport, Kitchener, in 1965. Catherine was born in 1967 in Bridgeport and at the end of the year, the family moved to Glasgow Street in Kitchener where Christina would reside for more than 45 years. During those early years as a young mother, Christina was involved in St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church in Kitchener, not only teaching Sunday School but organizing volunteers for various tasks within the church. Her Christian faith was important to her and gave her great strength. For more than 40 years, she was a member and elder at St. Andrew’s and later, she was a member and elder at Knox Presbyterian Church in Kincardine. While a young mother, she looked after her aging parents who had moved in with Christina and her family. She also welcomed a young relative, Don McQueen, who was studying engineering at the University of Waterloo and became part of her extended family. It was in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s that Christina became more involved in politics. She was one of the founding members of the Confederation Club in Kitchener and the president of both the Federal and Provincial PC Parties in Kitchener. When she found herself a single mother, she became an insurance agent. Then, with the encouragement of her friends and supporters, she went on to run for the Kitchener council. Jeanne Foster was not only a great friend, she was her strongest supporter and campaign manager throughout her political career. Christina was first elected to the Kitchener Council in 1984 and continued to serve through nine consecutive elections for a total of 27 years. Throughout those years, she kept in close touch with her constituents. She believed it was vital to knock on every door in her ward every election to ensure she was able to directly connect with people to hear their views and concerns. She believed in the humanity and equality of every member of her community. She was instrumental in developing the Belmont Village concept, working closely with small business owners and proprietors as well as city staff. An important and impactful accomplishment was working with the Victoria Hills Neighbourhood Association, culminating in the sod-turning for the Victoria Hills Community Centre on Westmount Road. Christina also continued active support for the many community activities provided by the staff and community volunteers, attending as many of their celebrations as possible. Another accomplishment was her active engagement with the development of a Community Garden on a vacant lot on Victoria Street. She contacted the owner to arrange for the use of his land and arranged with the city to provide water for irrigation for the gardens. Many new Canadians first met their neighbours while tending their garden plots and the fall corn roast was a wonderful celebration of community which Christina never missed! Christina was instrumental in setting up the first environment committee on city council which she also chaired. She was a leader in collaborating with both University of Waterloo and Wilfrid Laurier professors and departments to be aware of the latest research and innovations in the environment and in
economic development. She was a member of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities and attended their conferences where she became aware of leading programs in other North American cities. This helped council to be informed and forward-looking. During her time on both city and regional council, she supported future planning decisions that the people of the municipality continue to benefit from today, including downtown redevelopment; the Business Improvement Association; improved transit; and a $10-million economic development fund. She worked closely with staff on all of the committees she chaired in the city and at the region in order to benefit from their expertise and for them to fully understand the scope of council’s decisions. She was a master of working behind the scenes to get things done. People were motivated because they felt that she listened and understood. Dec. 17, 2010, Christina was the recipient of a 25-year long-standing service award from the Province of Ontario, presented by the minister of municipal affairs and housing who said: “Christina Weylie has been committed to serving the people of Kitchener since first elected in 1984. The long-standing service award is a fitting tribute to recognize the hard work and commitment of our locally-elected officials. I would like to thank Councillor Weylie for her ongoing dedication to public service.” Christina was recognized by Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal in 2012 to honour her selfless dedication to Waterloo Region and Canada. The Oktoberfest Women of the Year was awarded to her in 1988 for her community involvement. She has had a lasting influence on the growth of a feeling of community in the city and the region. Many of her colleagues and friends have commented on the great impact she had not only during her time on council but also on the future as we are now experiencing it. During her political career, Christina met and married her second husband, Donald MacLeod. She continued her love of travel with Don, which she had embraced throughout her life in her travels to many exotic locations around the world. She is predeceased by her husband. As an acknowledgement of the many significant and important friends and family who are too many to list in this forum, please know how special you were to Christina and continue to be for her immediate family. Her varied life experiences are too many to mention. “Energy” defines her life as anyone who met her understands. Visitation will be held Monday, June 20, 2022, from 7-9 p.m., and Tuesday, June 21, 2022, from 4-7 p.m., at the Erb and Good Family Funeral Home, 171 King Street S., Waterloo. The Celebration of Christina's life will be held Wednesday, June 22, 2022, at 11 a.m., at St Andrew's Presbyterian Church, 54 Queen St. N., Kitchener, entrance via Queen St. N. With an abundance of caution, St. Andrew's requires the wearing of masks. The service will be live-streamed, Please visit www.standrewskw.com/ and click on the live-streaming tab on the right hand side. Gifts will be greatly received through the funeral home. Suggested charities are the Canadian Cancer Society and the Brain Tumour Foundation of Canada.