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Columbian roots

Born in Colombia, South America to British parents, Cary is the third of four children and the only daughter.  At the age of three the family immigrated to Canada.  Her father's job as a metalurgist kept them on the move so frequently during her youth that, when asked where she comes from Cary frequently responds: "My mother."

Canadian raised

She grew up in such places as Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories, Salmo, Kimberley and Cranbrook in the East Kootenays, the south-east corner of British Columbia, graduated from Frederick H. Collins in Whitehorse, Yukon Territories and finally spent time in Langley near Vancouver, B.C. and Cassiar close to the B.C./Yukon border.  In Cassiar Cary met the father of her daughter.  After seven years in Cassiar, Cary moved south to Victoria where, in 1983 she joined the Canadian Forces, initally enrolling with the Army Reserves.  When the opportunity presented itself, Cary transferred to the Air Force.  That shift afforded her the option to volunteer for a six-month tour of duty with the Multinational Force and Observers in the Sinai. 

Military Life

"When my Chief Clerk asked me if I wanted to put my name forward for one of the three positions I was dumbfounded.  Until then I had always been told Reserve women weren't allowed to take overseas positions.  As it turned out, this was only true of the Army on the West Coast," says Cary.

Following four years in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Cary requested a transfer back to the West Coast.  This time, however, there was an Air unit in Victoria.  From 1991 Cary was a proud serving member of 443 Maritime Helicopter Squadron until her retirement in June 2010.

Beautiful BC

"I really enjoyed the work," says Cary.  "It was stimulating, exciting---however silly that may sound---and provided me with opportunities to apply for short term positions in different regions of the country.  That's how I wound up working Boxtop in April 1996 at Canadian Forces Station Alert inside the Arctic Circle defuelling CC-130 Hercules transports.  A far cry from my usual job as a clerk.  Whenever possible I volunteered for the occasional airshow.  Public Relations is something I always look forward to.  Unlike a lot of my peers in the service who enlisted right out of high school, I was almost 30 years old when I signed up, so I knew exactly what I was getting myself into."


Because of her stint with the MFO in 1988, Cary is one of a select number of Canadian Forces Peacekeepers who are Nobel Recipients.  "It's a great honour, but you have to remember, all Canadian Peacekeepers prior to December 1988 were awarded this honour by the Nobel Prize Committee, so in fact I am only one of many."

Love of Science Fiction

Cary's love for Science Fiction was inherited primarily from her father, although she readily admits her mother liked it, too.  In December 1996 Cary's father lost his battle of three years with cancer, and her mother lost her fight with Alzheimer's disease in 2005.  "Both of my parents were members of the British forces during World War II, and my mother's father fought and was injured in World War I.  Their legacies are hard to measure up to, but I know my father and my mother were very proud of my achievements."

Current Lifestyle

Today Cary shares a house belonging to her youngest brother, Nick, along with three crazy felines.  Her daughter also lives and works in Victoria, B.C.  Once asked what she would do with her life if she won the lottery Cary replied:  "Precisely what I'm doing now."


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