Mary and Tony Banks were born in Southeastern BC and attended high school in Nelson. They had to leave to attend University and reconnected in the summers when they returned home to summer jobs. As Mary says, “the dating pool in a small town is somewhat limited:’ It was mostly a long distance romance with Tony at Queen’s and Mary at UBC. They were married in 1959 in Nelson and honeymooned across the country to Noranda, Quebec where Tony was employed. Mary started her teaching career tl1ere at the high school. Two years later they succumbed to the need for further education and the pull of the west coast and returned to UBC.
Their careers resumed in Kimberley BC where Tony had the good fortune to be assigned to the Cominco potash project which took them via Denver to Toronto and on to Saskatoon in 1968. Mary resumed her teaching career in 1977 at Mount Royal Collegiate followed by a move to Marion Graham Collegiate when it opened until her retirement. Tony started a new career with Kilborn Engineering in 1979 and has continued in the consulting business. This career led to much national and international travel, reinforcing his appreciation of Saskatoon as a good place to live and work. As his friends say, “Saskatoon is Canada’s best kept secret as a mining town.”
Son Ian joined the family in Kimberley and daughter Catherine in Toronto. Both started and finished their pre-school, primary schooling and secondary schooling in Saskatoon. Ian enjoys working with the City of Saskatoon, while Catherine, her husband Salman Wakil and their only grandson live in Denver, Colorado where Salman is a partner with Accenture.
Although Mary and Tony have lived in many small and large cities in various parts of Canada, Saskatoon has proven to be a great city in which to raise a family, in which to form lasting friendships, and in which to enjoy an excellent and lively cultural life. It has the many benefits of a larger center with the convenience of a small one resulting in a quality of life that Mary and Tony believe to be second to none.
They decided to establish a donor advised fund with the Saskatoon Community Foundation in appreciation of the many benefits they have received living in Saskatoon. many benefits they have received living in Saskatoon. Their wishes will be consulted yearly in conjunction with the grants disbursed from their fimd.