Elizabeth Christina Lubbock
It is with great sadness that we share the news that Elizabeth Christina Lubbock, aka Lady Christina, aka Mumzie, died April 19th in her 90th year. She was born in Ottawa on June 25th, 1932, and was proud to have been born and raised and to have lived all her life on the unceded, unsurrendered territory of the Anishnabe Algonquin Nation. Christina was the beloved mother of the four children she had with Bremner Rogers: Shelagh Rogers (Charlie Cheffins), Margot Pratt (Geoff), John Rogers (Jan) and Rob Rogers; she was loving grandmother to Luke, Tyler, Jake, Angela and Dylan and great-grandmother to Jaxon and Logan Rogers, Sage Pratt and Penelope Rogers. She was also a wonderful grand-dogmother to assorted German Shepherds, cocker spaniels and five schnauzers. She is predeceased by her husband Michael Ronald Lubbock and was stepmother to Judith, Jeremy, Jessica, John, Joanna and Inga.
Christina made a difference in so many lives. In the 1960s, she started the first recycling effort in the Glebe. At the same time, she was running an enterprise for people who were homebound, selling their fine handwork for them from the back of her station wagon. In the early 1970s, she was president of the Ottawa Women’s Canadian Club where she met “the love of my life” Michael Lubbock, then president of the Canadian Association for Latin America (CALA). She wore a mink hat, tilted to give her an air of mystery. He said it was that tilt, that hat, that caught his attention. Christina would refer it as “THE” hat and kept it for the rest of her life.
In 1979, she and Michael were among the people who initiated Project 4000 which sponsored 4,000 refugees from Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia for settlement in Ottawa. She helped run it on a day to day basis and made sure people from those lands had the medical care they needed.
Christina worked for a number of years at the Canadian Centre for Management Development. She loved her colleagues there. Certainly they would be able to recall being recipients of her delightful poems for birthdays and anniversaries. She went on to become the CEO of WaterCan (now WaterAid Canada), founded by her husband Michael. She passionately believed in clean water as a human right.
At the end of her career, in her seventies, she started up her own company called Voice Matters, employing her critical ear to help others improve their public speaking skills. She could lead the most reticent speaker to enunciate clearly and would tell her students that “speaking is like singing”. She would begin their instruction by getting them to declaim the opening lines of “O Canada”, at the same time inviting them to share in the abiding love she had for our country.
She was an ardent CBC supporter and listener (with her velvety alto voice, would have made a captivating host of a classical music program), she enjoyed good conversation, good champagne (“and not the cheap stuff”), and Golden Palace eggrolls. She was a voracious reader of Canadian literature. Her favourite authors were Alistair MacLeod, Louise Penny and Richard Wagamese.
Christina was known as the Queen of the Byward Market and merchants lit up when she entered their stores. Food shopping in the market was a day-long adventure and she’d end her rounds with the flower vendors, talking with them for hours, and coming home with her beloved mums and freesias. Her home was always open to old friends and to newcomers and, being a fabulous cook, she fed all her visitors, in every way.
To quote Lesley Taylor, her best friend since childhood, Christina was, quite simply, an original. She was gregarious, gracious and movie-star beautiful. An accomplished pianist and organist, she adored the National Arts Centre Orchestra, subscribing to NACO concerts for decades. She loved to visit the Snow Goose Gallery and had a long friendship with its proprietor Ian Wright. She also charmed a good number of Inuit carvings from him to use for fundraisers for WaterCan!
In her last five years, she regaled fellow residents at Governors Walk with her stories from her amazing life. Her door was open to everyone--family, friends and fellow residents. Christina’s family is profoundly grateful for the kindness and care she received from the staff, especially in the days leading up to her very peaceful death. Christina, Lady Christina, Queen Christina, Mumzie will be deeply missed by everyone whose lives she touched.
A memorial service for Christina will be held Monday, April 24th at 1pm at the Garden Chapel of Tubman Funeral Home, 3440 Richmond Road, Nepean.
A light has gone out in the world, but there’s a new star, burning brightly in the morning sky. Look up. Look way up.
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