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2018 Issue 2: War and Peace

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In Memoriam: Anne (Shaw) Hudson, BA'43

In Memoriam: Anne (Shaw) Hudson, BA'43

[Photo of Anne Shaw holding a yearbook]

Anne Gordon (Shaw) Hudson, BA’43, (BLS’63, McGill), died Aug. 17 in Victoria, BC. Wife of the late Claude Hudson (d. 1994), she is survived by his son David and daughter Susan Kazimerczak. Anne’s ashes were buried with her ancestors in the historic Drummond Hill Cemetery in Niagara Falls, ON, on Oct. 8.

In 1913, Anne’s father, Dr. Alexander Malcolm Shaw, was appointed Assistant Professor of Animal Husbandry at the University of Saskatchewan. By 1931 he was Dean, but six years later was persuaded by the federal government to become Commissioner of the newly established Wheat Board. On his appointment, Dr. Shaw bought “Red Roofs” in Aylmer, QC, the much-admired residence and large working farm of the former Commissioner of the RCMP.

However, shortly before the move, Anne’s only sibling, her brother Bob, had sustained a serious brain injury. Her mother, unable to accept the prognosis, became a Christian Scientist and devoted the rest of her life to his care. As a result, Anne, at 16, became her father’s hostess and companion, traveling with him and the then-Minister of Agriculture, James Gardiner, on overseas assignments. After her mother’s death, she and her father moved to a smaller farm in Aylmer, where they were later joined by Anne’s husband. A keen horsewoman and member of the ­Ottawa Hunt, at Red Roofs Anne raised a beautiful chestnut foal, his dam a thoroughbred, his sire part Clydesdale. Anne named him O’Malley. Little guessing that he was destined to become one of the greatest jumpers of the 20th century, three years later she sold the gelding for less than $300 to James Elder, a member of Canada’s puissance team. At that year’s Barrie Horse Show, O’Malley, a small feisty horse with a mind of his own, declined to take the designated jump but instead went over the much higher boundary fence, landing between two parked cars!

Anne as a student at the Queen's Tea Room,
known by 1940s Queen's students as
Photo by Diana (Wheeler) Grandfield, Arts'43

The next year, on O’Malley, Elder won two Grand Prixes, the first at Harrisburg, the other at the Royal Winter Fair, where he also won individual honours. Within days of this win, Elder sold him to Britain’s equestrian team for $20,000 — a tidy profit for the newly married young man. The name being too Irish for the English team, O’Malley was renamed Madison Time. Often ridden by the renowned British horseman Harvey Smith, under his new name the horse went on to win countless Grand Prixes and medals worldwide. Anne’s proudest moment was when, as the breeder, she was the guest of honour at the induction of O’Malley/Madison Time into the British Equine Hall of Fame.

Despite being a staunch Liberal, on graduation from Queen’s, Anne became the personal secretary to PC Cabinet Minister Ellen Fairclough and then, for four years, to Prime Minister John Diefenbaker. After earning her librarian degree at McGill, Anne joined the Bank of Canada, but when her husband retired 12 years later, the couple moved to Victoria.

An avid traveler, Anne had the fascinating experience of living in a Muslim country when her husband, an agricultural economist, was seconded by the Canadian government to Persia (Iran) to advise the Shah on ways to modernize his country’s farming practices. A faithful Queen’s alumna, Anne attended every Arts’43 class reunion until 1998. In 1993, she took an active part in celebrating the 50th. On her death, Anne bequeathed a million dollars towards the education of promising students – half to the University of Saskatchewan in her father’s memory and half to Queen’s, her beloved alma mater, to establish a bursary in the Faculty of Arts & Science.