Forty years after leaving her home country of England, many friends and beloved family members and coming to Canada with her young family, Judith Bond is pulling up stakes and setting out on a new adventure, as she and her husband John prepare to move to Calgary.
Judith was born in England in October 1949, where “the Thames meets the North Sea.” A self-processed “water girl” she was raised and educated in Southend-on-Sea, in what was then a popular resort town.
After finishing school in the late 1960s, she began working as a dental nurse. A vacation with girlfriends to Austria in 1968, spurred her desire to see more of the world and by 1970, a trio of girls, including Judith, were back in the small European country for a six-month spell. There was more travel in the early 70s and in 1974, Bond returned to London, where she held an administrative position at the Kensington Close Hotel. She and five roommates shared a private home she affectionately called “The Tilton Hilton.”
Judith recalls those days with great fondness, saying her days were filled with “good fun and good friends” and while she never made much money, she always had enough to pay her bills and enjoy her life.
In 1975, she was introduced to John Bond by a mutual friend and a year later the two were married. John was part of the ministry of defense and British Navy, which meant the young couple moved often.
By 1978, their first child, Zoë, was born and the happy couple was now a happy family.
Judith recalls how one week, their regular newspaper, The Observer, wasn’t available and the carrier substituted it with a copy of The Times. It must have been fate, because in that replacement issue, John spied an advertisement for a job with Ontario Hydro. Judith, pregnant with her second child and occupied with running after a busy toddler, said he must have mentioned it to her but she never gave it much thought.
John applied for the position and by May of 1981, the family of four (newest member Allan was born in 1980) were on their way to Ottawa.
The family was sent to Deep River, where John would undergo four months of training before starting his new job. Because she had two very young children and the family pet in tow, they were placed in a bungalow provided by Ontario Hydro. Judith recalls moving into the house, saying it didn’t even have appliances and was in desperate need of a good cleaning. Somehow she managed to create a home for her brood, where they stayed until John found out where he would be posted.
Once they were notified John would be working near Kincardine, they began searching for a house, finally finding what would become their home for the next 33 years on Inverlyn Crescent South. They moved in on Sept. 1, 1981.
Judith said she was very homesick those first years. She took her children to a local kid’s co-op to play, where she began to make friends, but she missed her close-knit family and many friends.
She was slow to meet her neighbours and recalled how one woman had a sign in her window that said “milk”. Judith didn’t realize the sign was a piece of décor, and went over with money in hand to buy some milk. She says in the years since those days, whenever someone new moved into the neighbourhood she was sure to go over and introduce herself and make them feel welcome.
Judith, who has a naturally positive and upbeat attitude, says it was at about the five year mark that she realized they would be in Canada to stay and would not be returning to England. She resolved to make the most of her new life and new home.
“I can up and go or I can stay, and I turned around on a dime,” she said of her change in attitude.
The next few years were filled with raising children and making a home. A third child, Hannah, came along in 1985. Judith went to work part time at Tim Hortons on Broadway about 1993, to save money to pay for a student exchange trip to France that Zoë had been awarded. And in 1998, when John was posted in Atlanta, Georgia for 18 months, Judith pulled the youngest two children out of school and the family came along with him. After returning to Kincardine, she resumed part time work at Tim Hortons until 2002.
She recalls after she put in her resignation, she walked down Queen Street to Baxter’s Row for a bit of shopping. Owner Susan Austin offered her a job on the spot and Judith would work there for the next 16 years.
With the children moved on and just her and John at home, the Bonds decided to make the move to Inverlyn Estates around 2014. They chose a beautiful spot backing onto the pond, where they could enjoy a view of the water and the comings and goings of the geese and ducks.
Judith’s time spent in service to the Kincardine community she loves is her legacy. In the early years she served as president of the Home and School Association, later followed by volunteering at the Kincardine Agricultural Society, the Kincardine Food Bank, the Kincardine Hospital Auxiliary (she would have been a 40-year member in 2022) and countless projects and committee work at her church.
Judith is a member of Kincardine Baptist Church and her faith and faith family are very important to her. She says the congregation is “welcoming of all folks and it has really strengthened my faith.”
“Judith has been a strong voice of encouragement and faith,” said Pastor Craig, Kincardine Baptist Church. “She is as energetic now as when she started. She has a love for children. She loves to share bible stories with children, encourage them and knows the importance of spending time with them.”
It was her faith that she turned to these past months, as she and John contemplated making a move out west to be closer to two of their children. While Kincardine is home, the Bonds wanted the opportunity to be a part of the lives of their seven grandchildren, aged six to 14, while they are healthy and active. After much prayer and discussion, the couple has sold their home and are “heading west” to Calgary on Aug. 30. They have bought a little bungalow just minutes away from their daughter.
“She (and John) will be a great asset to the community and church they join after they settle in Calgary,” said Pastor Craig.
Judith admits that saying goodbye will be difficult but there is much to look forward to - a new city to explore, new people to meet and the chance to once again live close to family. It’s a very different circumstance compared to when they last made such a major move, back in 1981.
“This is an adventure,” said Judith. “Once I shed my tears and I’ve left the town lines, I can then turn my mind to my new adventure. I am not leaving my friends behind; they will always be there with me.”
Judith will leave Kincardine with a sense of gratitude and appreciation for all the community has given back to her and her family over the past 40 years.
“Thanks Kincardine and all of our friends and neighbours, for giving us such a wonderful life here,” said Judith. “It’s been a wonderful journey, with wonderful connections that will never go away.”
Tammy Schneider, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Kincardine Independent