Wednesday , 21 October 2020


Jim & Sue: Our Lives Since High School In 457 Words

In 1963 Sue graduated as a nurse, and Jim graduated from Queen’s Engineering.

We were married in 1964, and Sue worked as a nurse and put Jim through grad school at McMaster University in Hamilton.

Two children-

Mike (1967) is now a professor at McMaster, studies peat bogs. Climate change has resulted in large fires in northern peatlands. His wife, Starr, is a teacher and their daughter, Emma, just graduated in Kinesiology.

Nina (1971) is an elementary school teacher and a writer. Her daughters are Yasmin (in second year at Waterloo) and Maya (grade 12)

We lived in Denmark in 1968-9 while Jim studied at the Niels Bohr Institute. We admired the Scandinavian way of life and spent another year in Norway in 1978. The rest of the time, we have lived in Hamilton.

Jim enjoyed teaching physics at McMaster from 1970 and studied the structure of the atomic nucleus, including the physics of rapidly rotating nuclei.

Sue became an expert traditional rug hooker. Her rug hookings have won awards from the Art Gallery of Burlington and the Ontario Hooking Craft Guild. She has also been a volunteer at the gallery.

We have had good health except that Jim has continued a tradition he began in high school. At BCIVS, he broke his right arm twice, at Queens, he broke a finger, in grad school, had a concussion and couldn’t remember if he was married even though Sue was 9 months pregnant! He broke his arm again but now is trying not to fall downstairs anymore.

The family has enjoyed canoe camping and navigation sports. Our children and Emma have been North American champions in various versions of orienteering. Sue and Jim do “rogaining” together- a crazy sport that involves hiking with a map for 24 hours. They were hoping to do one last race, the world championships in “rogaining” in California this past summer, but COVID stopped that.

While we were canoeing in Killarney park in 1977, we discovered where Group of Seven artist, A.Y. Jackson, sat when he did one of his paintings. We soon learned that the places that inspired Tom Thomson and the Group were unknown. We have been lucky to combine our interest in canoeing, camping, navigation and art and have found and photographed about 800 of these places. We didn’t realize that this was of interest to anyone other than ourselves until the McMichael Gallery asked us to exhibit our photos. Afterwards, we wrote a book about our hobby as a fund-raiser for the Art Gallery of Sudbury. “In the Footsteps of The Group of Seven.” We are continuing with this, concentrating recently on A. J. Casson’s work. (Editor’s Note: View https://www.ideacity.ca/video/sue-and-jim-waddington-in-the-footsteps-of-the-group-of-seven/)

We enjoy giving presentations about our hobby. “They have been far more popular than any physics lecture I ever gave.”- Jim.