As a student nurse at VGH, Esther recalls separate buildings for each of several infectious diseases in which both nurses and patients were isolated. Tuberculosis occurred frequently among many she knew. Wards had thirty beds, with a separate ward for “Orientals”. She graduated in nursing from UBC in 1924, and went to work as a public health nurse in Saanich in the School Health program, also doing home nursing. When she married, she ceased nursing. Her nephew Garde Gardom became 26th Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia.
Helen Gemeroy was a leader in developing and expanding the specialty of psychiatric nursing for registered nurses in Canada. After six years of teaching she took general and psychiatric nursing at Ponoka, Alberta. She went on to further education at the Toronto Psychiatric Hospital, McGill University and Sir George Williams, with a Masters’ of Arts from Columbia.
After administrative positions at institutions including the Allen Memorial Institute in Montreal and the Provincial Hospital in Dartmouth, she joined the nursing faculty at McGill in 1954. She moved to Vancouver in 1968 to become Assistant Director of the UBC Health Sciences Center Hospital, where she worked to provide exemplary psychiatric care in an academic environment supportive of the educational needs of students. She received World Health Organization Fellowship Awards in 1966, and completed two WHO consultation contracts in 1967-1968. She was promoted to a professorship at UBC in June 1976.
Janet was a long time member of the HoN group, serving on the Biographical and Archives Committees, and a strong advocate for a permanent archival home. Janet first studied and nursed in pediatrics at St. Joseph’s School of Nursing in Syracuse, NY. She opened the first psychiatric daycare unit in North America at this hospital, where she served as Head Nurse and Supervisor.
She completed a Masters’ of Nursing at UCLA in 1971 as a Psychiatric Clinical Nurse Specialist, and was invited by Dr. Muriel Uprichard to teach at UBC where she remained for 26 years. Here she was involved in the development of a model for nursing, theory development and curriculum building, as well as clinical practice in psychiatry. She was a member of the planning group for the Bladder Care Centre and Regional Programs for the Vancouver Coast Health Region. The Janet Gormick Memorial Scholarship at UBC has been established.
After her graduation from UBC and the Vancouver School of Nursing in 1936, Eleanor worked in various locations in BC, establishing the first public health service in Powell River. In 1945 she obtained a Masters’ of Science in Supervision and Administration from the University of Chicago.
Following her Masters Degree she became second assistant to the Victorian Order of Nurses in Canada, and a nursing instructor at the Metropolitan School of Nursing in Windsor. She returned to BC to become Director of Nursing at the Royal Columbia Hospital from 1949 to 1953.
From 1953 to 1958 she was regional nursing advisor for WHO in Southeast Asia. After her retirement she accepted a commission from WHO in the Maldives. She was also executive director of RNABC from 1960 to 1970. And in this capacity, visited chapters, hospitals and public health centres throughout the province. She supervised construction of a new RNABC building on 12th Avenue in the -1970s, – and saw a growth in membership from 7,700-13,000.
Born in Bulgaria, Stephany studied philosophy and history at the Sorbonne in 1949. She immigrated to the US, and from there to Canada in 1961. She graduated with a BSc from Louisiana State University in 1953, and from UBC in Public Health Nursing in 1968. Her many positions have included adolescent counselling, instructor in nursing, and district nurse for the VON. She has also been a nurse practitioner and Public Health nurse. She regards her internship in the Palliative Care Hospice at Victoria General Hospital in Montreal as a highlight in her career.
In the latter part of her career, especially, she was involved in work, research and teaching in the psychiatric field, especially at UBC and BCIT. From 1977-1985 she instructed in the Psychiatric Nursing program at BCIT, during which time she also lectured in UBC’s SON and other institutions. In 1985-1986 she consulted in Psychiatric and Geriatric Nursing for the WHO in Barbados. From 1989 she instructed in Acute Psychiatric Nursing in BCIT’s RN diploma program. She was also President of RNABC in 1980-1981.
Mabel Gray was born near Brampton and taught school before entering nursing. She enrolled at the Training School for Nurses of the Winnipeg General Hospital in 1902, remaining on staff after graduation. In 1914 she became superintendent and principal of the School of Nursing at Winnipeg General Hospital.
Mabel went on to become Assistant Professor and Head of Nursing at UBC from 1925-1941. With Margaret Kerr she enabled the school to survive during the Depression; for several years the two of them carried the entire teaching load. She was also active in professional organizations, serving as president of the CNA for one year, and of the RNABC from 1933 to 1939.
Known for her contributions in the field of Public Health, Monica Green followed her RN from Vancouver General Hospital in 1939 with a BASc(N) in Public Health Nursing from UBC in 1940. In 1945 she received her Masters’ in Public Health from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor on a Commonwealth Fund of New York scholarship. She was Director of the Public Health Nursing Division for BC’s Provincial Health Dept. from 1948-1976, introducing one of the first post-hospitalization programs in Canada.
Her active involvement in professional and community organizations includes serving on the RNABC Education Committee and on the editorial board of the Canadian Public Health Association. Being appointed Honorary Vice-President of the American Public Health Association was, she states, a highlight of her career. Following her retirement she wrote Through the Years with Public Health Nursing: A History of Public Health Nursing in the Provincial Government Jurisdiction of British Columbia.
Helen Grice received her RN from Toronto East General Hospital in 1944, a gold medalist in her class. She worked in various hospitals in Ontario before coming to Vancouver in 1959. She was assistant registrar and registrar for RNABC from 1963 to 1986. She states that while she is impressed with the knowledge that RNs must now have, they command less respect because of their casual attire.
Jean Griffith was awarded the Agnew Gold Medal in Obstetrical Nursing when she graduated from the Vancouver General Hospital in 1944 and in 1945 received a BASc(N) from UBC. She married and worked as a Public Health Nurse in Saanich from 1945 to 1947. She moved back t6o Vancouver, raised a family, and assisted her forestry professor husband, who had lost his sight from complications related to Diabetes. He died in 1956 and she returned to nursing at VGH School of Nursing as the Student Health Clinic Nurses and later as an instructor teaching gynecology, public health, pediatrics and psychology until her retirement in 1982.
She remained busy in retirement and in 1966 wrote The Religious Aspects of Nursing Care, which assists nurses in providing culturally safe care to those of different religious faiths.
Kaye’s desire for an education was hindered but not halted by her mother becoming terminally ill with cancer when Kaye was fourteen. She entered the Galt School of Nursing in 1955, and registered as an RN in June 1959. She recalls from her training in Ponoka Psychiatric Institution that gay men were institutionalized, as same sex preference was at this time considered a mental illness. She nursed at Wrinch Memorial Hospital in Hazelton and Mills Memorial Hospital in Terrace before taking time to raise a family.
She returned to work in the OR at Mills Memorial from 1972 to 1977. From 1981 to 1992 she worked for her husband who owned George Hagen Welding & Repairs Ltd., and did various nursing work, mostly in relief. Much of her later life was spent caring for her husband, who contracted Parkinson and Lewy Body Disease.
Minnie Hackett went to Aklavik in 1926, where she established an eight-bed hospital, funded by the Leonard Foundation. Later she nursed at Hay River, helping treat the 1928 flu epidemic. In 1930 she joined the Indian Affairs Department at the Six Nations Reserve near Brantford, Ontario where she did community/public health nursing. She took a diploma in Public Health in 1936, where she nursed until going to the Yukon in the early 1940s during the building of the Alaska Highway. She then went to Vancouver, where her father was ill, taking a job at the Willow Chest Unit (TB) in Vancouver.
Margaret trained at the Queen Victoria Hospital in Revelstoke from 1930-1933; the uncertainty of jobs in Canada led her to go to England where she did a post graduate course at St. Thomas’s Hospital in London. This led to employment as a district nurse as World War II threatened. She married and moved to Cambridge, but her husband was shot down over Holland September 7, 1941.
She returned to Canada in April 1942 where she worked at Shaughnessy Hospital and Eaton’s Department Store, then to the Willow Tuberculosis Survey clinic for the next 23 years. She moved to Australia in March 1984 to live near her daughter.
Handford (nee Martin), Margarette (1918-
Mrs. Handford received her RN from Victoria’s Royal Jubilee Hospital in 1941. She worked at VGH and the joined the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps, which she considers the highlight of her nursing career. After the war she worked for a year as a general duty nurse in Red Deer.
Contents of Biographical File
Margery Hargrove was born in Tzeluitsing, China, her parents United Church missionaries. Her family returned to Canada, and she received her RN from Royal Inland Hospital in Kamloops in 1940, receiving a Medal for Ethics Award on graduation. She worked as a graduate nurse in the United Church Mission Hospitals in Bella Bella and Powell River, bringing medical care to canneries and other settlements by boat. She did not nurse from 1948-1970 because of raising four children. In the 1970s she worked part-time in extended care in Powell River.
Fyvie’s father was Henry Esson Young BC’s Provincial Health Officer from 1916-1939. Essondale Mental Hospital – later Riverview – was named in his honour. After graduation from VGH and UBC in 1931, Fyvie worked for the Cowichan Health Unit, later promoted to supervisor. She attended Columbia College on a Rockefeller Foundation scholarship for her MA. Following graduation, she became secretary to the Canadian Welfare Council’s Division on Maternal and Child Hygiene. She returned to UBC in 1937 to teach Public Health Nursing, leaving UBC when she married in 1940. She died in Oliver BC on September 8, 1986.
Mary Henderson graduated from Vancouver General Hospital School of Nursing in 1929 and also from UBC School of Nursing in Public Health Nursing in 1929. She worked for a year as a public health nurse in Saanich, but then returned to Vancouver where she became a school nurse with the School Health Service. In 1939 she received the Florence Nightingale Memorial Fellowship to study in London, but the outbreak of war, the course was cancelled. Instead, she did a year of postgraduate study in Administration and Supervision in Public Health Nursing at the University of Toronto. She returned to UBC as an instructor.
In 1944, she joined UNNRA to work in 1944-1945 at the El Shatt refugee camp near Port Said for Yugoslav refugees. She then did similar work in Greece. On her return to Canada she went back to the Metropolitan Health Service as supervisor of the School Health Services and then became Assistant Director of Nursing until her retirement in 1955.
Kay graduated from the nursing program at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Victoria in 1933. She pioneered the independent living concept for the physically disabled during her employment at the G.F. Strong Rehabilitation Centre as a member of the first rehabilitation nursing team established in BC. She contributed her energy and abilities to organizations such as the Multiple Sclerosis Society, the International Association of Rehabilitation Medicine and the Muscular Dystrophy Association. In 1981 she received an RNABC Honorary Membership in recognition of her contributions.
Isabelle Hill’s extensive contributions to medical care have been recognized by the building of the Isabelle Hill Memorial Fountain, dedicated to her at the Family Respite Centre and Home Care Society of BC in 2006.
After graduation from the Hamilton General Hospital in 1900, and a year of VON training in Montreal, Isabelle commenced work as the first and only VON nurse in Vancouver. Britannia Mining Company hired her in 1905 as BC’s earliest occupational health nurse. She became matron of the hospital at Sumas, Washington, and in 1910 opened the first private hospital in New Westminster. In 1913 she became matron of the hospital in Port Alberni, and later helped open the Shaughnessy Military Hospital.
Kathleen Hodgson was born in Kamloops, the youngest of ten children. She graduated from the Royal Inland Hospital in 1929, where she worked in the OR until 1938. After her marriage in 1938 she did mainly on-call work, although in 1941 she set up an emergency hospital at a local school for war-time preparedness. She lived past a hundred.
She recalls that the notorious train robber, Bill Miner, had dinner at their home one night. He “helped with the dishes and chores and behaved like a gentleman.”
Mary Hogan was born in London, Ontario, the eighth of nine children. She graduated from St. Michael’s Hospital Training School in Toronto, following which she did special nursing and some settlement work around Toronto. She accompanied a patient to Winnipeg, where she remained to work, and also met her future husband. After she married in 1910 and moved to New Westminster, she discontinued nursing.
Laura Holland’s outstanding leadership and influence on health and social policies in Canada earned her an honorary Doctor of Laws from UBC in 1950. After graduation from the Montreal General Hospital School of Nursing in 1914, she distinguished herself with service in the Canadian Army Medical Corps and was awarded the Royal Red Cross. She was made a Commander of the British Empire in 1923 for her work in establishing the first four outpost hospitals in Ontario. With the Vancouver Children’s Aid Society she reorganized child welfare in BC.
In 1932 she was appointed Superintendent of Neglected Children, and worked to select and prepare qualified applicants for the Welfare Service Field. In 1938 she was appointed Advisor to the Ministry of Health and Welfare, and later took an active role in development of the Placement Service and Labour Relations Program of RNABC. In 2007 she was nominated a “National Historic Person of Canada”.
Born in Cadomin, an Alberta mining town, Hood graduated from the nursing program at the University of Alberta in 1936. She worked briefly in England, and then the US, receiving a diploma in public health nursing from the University of Washington. In 1946 she returned to Vancouver where she worked as a public health nurse until she joined the staff of the RNABC in 1951.
Hood won a national reputation in collective bargaining while serving as Director of Personnel Services for the RNABC from 1951 to her retirement in 1970. In 1964 she was appointed to the CNA Committee on Social and Economic Welfare. Under her guidance, salaries and working conditions for BC nurses received major improvements. Nurses acquired more control over setting medical and hospital policies. For her work she received in 1972 the first ever RNABC Award of Merit.
Anne Hopkins attended Moose Jaw Central Collegiate Institute; after her nursing training she served in the army (RCAMC) until 1968, working at every hospital except Kingston and Montreal. She describes her experience looking after wounded soldiers in England and Europe and South Africa as a highlight of her career.
Lorna Horwood’s diverse life broke many of the constraints that held back most women, as she took on one challenge after another. She received her diploma in nursing from the Toronto General Hospital and continued her education with a year of post graduate studies at the Toronto Psychiatric Hospital, a BA from Queens in 1947, and an MA from Columbia University in 1954. She was a Superintendent of Nurses in psychiatric hospitals in London and Whitby. From 1948 to 1961 she was an assistant professor at UBC’s School of Nursing.
Her overseas life began with eight years in Taiwan as a Senior Advisor in Public Health Nursing for the World Health Organization. This was followed by four years in Bangkok. She also held advisory positions with the provincial government in Vernon, and with the federal government in the Canadian Arctic.