Best Friends Forever
Susan (James) Huggard ’51 and Marian (Little) Fowler ’51
In memory of Marian Fowler, 1929-2020, who wrote and shared this story with us
When, in September 1947, Susan James and Marian Little first met, they bonded over knitting and a similar sense of humour. Among the Trinity “freshie” females of 5T1 only Susan and Marian and six others moved into the St. Hilda’s residence. The rest of their out-of-town female classmates were domiciled at 101 St George Street in a big old house owned by Trinity at the time. Naturally, the eight young women living in four rooms in St. Hilda’s proper soon formed close and lasting friendships. Susan and Marian weren’t roommates but both loved to knit and always had sweaters or scarves on the go. Their needles clicked to the sound of non-stop chatter and frequent gales of laughter. Spare needles came in handy on cold winter nights for toasting marshmallows over a heater.
After graduating in 1951—Susan in Psychology and Marian in English Language and Literature—the friends, along with two other women form the original eight, rented the top floor of a big, old, three-storey house in North Toronto. The third-floor ceilings were low and slanted, and tall boyfriends soon learned to bend and stoop.
Susan and Marian switched their knitting to men’s multi-coloured socks. Marian moved out in September 1953 to marry physician Dr. Rodney Fowler, while another St. Hildian from the original eight took her place. Susan hosted a bridal shower and was Marian’s maid-of-honour at the Richmond Hill wedding. In May 1954, Susan married engineer Robert Huggard; Marian hosted a bridal shower and served as matron of honour at their Brockville wedding.
When they were both residing in Toronto over the years and seeing to maternal duties, Susan and Marian continued to see each other frequently. When Susan moved to Montreal or Marian spent winters in London researching her seven books of social history, long, gossipy letters flew back and forth.
Now, 73 years after that first propitious meeting, Susan and Marian still meet for lunch or for Friends of the Library meetings. Both are members of the Gerald Larkin Society. Susan is the recipient of a St. Hilda’s Award for outstanding service, and Marian served on the St. Hilda’s Board.
Knitting is now too challenging for arthritic fingers, but Susan and Marian are definitely still laughing!
Do you have a best friend from your days at Trinity? Send us your story and celebrate your BFF! firstname.lastname@example.org
As published in Trinity Magazine Fall 2020