Flexibility—an asset for OLNGA volunteer

OLNGA volunteer Madeline Walker

OLNGA volunteer Madeline Walker

Ann Rounthwaite

The Oakwood Lady Niners are able to offer members friendship and fun through golf and social events because of the efforts of its volunteers. Madeline Walker must be flexible – and not just in the yoga she practices or the variety of volunteer positions she has held. Madeline has lived and thrived in very different environments in four countries. She was born in London, England, a descendant of King Edward III, a warrior king in the 1300s. When she was five, Madeline’s family moved to Scotland. There she studied nursing, learned to speak French and German, worked in banking, and met her husband, a Scottish engineer.

They moved to Wolverhampton, a city in the English Midlands, and then to Kapuskasing, a pulp and paper mill town of about 12,000 in northern Ontario, Canada. Madeline admits some aspects of this move came as a shock. With winter temperatures in the -40s F, she was forced to exchange her British skirts for slacks. But she adapted to small town life in the North and she and John moved their three sons to White River, a town that claims to be the coldest spot in Canada (false) and the home of Winnie the Pooh (true). However, high school students there bussed 60 miles to school, so when their boys reached that stage the family moved to Hudson Bay, Saskatchewan. This town of 2500 boasted a high school.

These northern towns were great places to bring up boys. Madeline was a dedicated hockey mum and a good sport. She went ice fishing even though she found it daunting to sit on a chair in the middle of a lake. When the family took a bush plane to a wilderness hut for a fishing holiday, she planned how they’d survive if the plane didn’t return. Madeline also took university courses wherever she was, one of the joys of small town Canada. In White River she drove 60 miles to classes.

Madeline participated in multiple sports including skating, curling, cross country-skiing, and badminton. It was in Hudson Bay that she began to golf. People got together and built a nine hole course, playing at first on greens made of sand.

The next big move was to the U.S. and back to city life in Olympia, Washington, where Madeline enjoyed the ocean and the rain as well as golf, downhill skiing and yoga. She and John became dual citizens of Canada and the U.S. and moved to Sun Lakes in 2003. Proud grandparents of eight, they have added biking, kayaking, and hiking to their activities. They’ve also traveled extensively, with favorite trips including China, Patagonia, Iceland, and rounding Cape Horn with a trip ashore.

Madeline joined the OLNGA 10 years ago and has been an active volunteer, serving as Treasurer, Sunshine Girl, Special Events Chair and assisting with scoring. Other members appreciate her friendliness, good humor and unflappable competence. Join Oakwood Lady Niners and play at 7:00 a.m. Tuesday mornings in August. For more information call Barbara Stewart at  480-883-3008.