NORBURY, Mary Hargreaves




Author Tags: Travel

Mary Hargreaves Norbury (1922-2009) and her daughter Judy Norbury (born 1949) are the co-authors of a family memoir Come Back, Judy Baba (Madrona Books 2008).

In 1948, Mary Hargreaves Norbury, a well-known fashion model, moved from Vancouver, British Columbia, to a small village near Mirzapur in northern India to marry an English carpet manufacturer.

Come Back, Judy Baba is her account of life as a post-Raj Memsahib. Mary gave birth to two daughters at the Mussoorie hill station and when her eldest daughter, Judy, contracted polio at the age of four, the family moved back to Canada where she began to write of her experiences in India.

Judy Norbury spent her early childhood on the banks of the Ganges River. She fulfilled a long-held dream to go back to her first home by returning to India in 1997 and again in 2007 on a quest of self-discovery. Through these experiences, she was inspired to continue her mother’s manuscript. These stories are told side-by-side, contrasting time periods and perspectives. Her memoir recalls her year in a children’s hospital, painful therapy and a trip to Lourdes. Undaunted by polio, she grew up to be a mother, a successful singer-songwriter and a traveller. After more than forty years, she returned to India in search of the little girl she’d been.

Judy Norbury lives on Vancouver Island, British Columbia where she writes, gardens, sings and plays guitar and Appalachian Mountain dulcimer.

PHOTO: Mary Hargreaves Norbury and Judy Norbury.

[BCBW 2009]