Member of the Day Luncheon on Jan. 10: Mary Anne Miller

(submitted by Dinah Arthur)

To celebrate a milestone birthday, Mary Anne Miller received a gift that could only be called magnificent: a year’s travel, often with family, in North America and Europe. And she certainly made the most of it. (You can read her speech notes here.)

Mary Anne, an avid bird watcher and naturalist, took us along on her journeys as Member of the Day at a well-attended luncheon Jan. 10. First we hit parks in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario, seeing countless whooping cranes, among other birds. Then a month later, we were on the Amazon River in Ecuador and in the Galapagos where we met the ancient tortoise, Lonesome George, and swam with sharks, in the company of a guide named Darwin. The next trip was to Florida — Key West and the Everglades — and hiking a trail a metre away from far too many alligators. (The guide said they weren’t hungry.) So it was a pleasant break, for some of us, to visit New York and take in some operas and concerts, as well as galleries and museums.

Soon we were off again, bird-watching in the Ozarks’ Shawnee National Park, and in New Jersey’s Cape May (131 species in one day). And, bundled up, in Point Pelee where birds were lying on the ground to escape an awful storm.

Finally, it was off to London, Verona and Venice for more operas, plays and art. On all her trips Mary Anne took along her sketchpad and we’re bound to see the results of the year’s celebration at a future show.

Mary Anne, who graduated in economics from McGill University and got her MBA at the University of Toronto, is married with four children. As they grew up, her husband, Chris, suggested she pursue her love of art through the Ontario College of Art and Design and she did. As a member of the Art Section, she was introduced by Kittie Fells and thanked by Mary MacMillan.

The Humanities Section, under Roberta Forrest and Charlotte Graham, arranged the luncheon.