March 19, 2016 Glennis Zilm presents at Surrey Museum

Dressed in a heritage nursing uniform and armed with artifacts and photographs, Glennis Zilm transports you back to pioneer Surrey, when health care was not what it is today.

photo credit: Glennis Zilm
photo credit: Glennis Zilm

Surrey Museum, Cloverdale (on Highway 10), Saturday, March 19  2:00pm-3:00pm

By donation

See more at:

The home pages are, –  one should be able to bring up a map.  There is lots of free parking, which one accesses from the back of the building on 56A Avenue.

Birthday Wishes

Margaret Mainwaring recently celebrated her 105th birthday on February 5, 2016.

Kathy Murphy taking greetings from BCHNS & VGH Photo Credit: Kathy Murphy BCHNS member
Kathy Murphy taking greetings from BCHNS & VGH Photo Credit: Kathy Murphy BCHNS member

Margaret is a 1933 graduate from VGH School of Nursing and served in WWII. She received the Queen’s Silver Medal at Government House in 2012. Attending her birthday celebrations were representatives from the BCHNS, the military, and the VGH School of Nursing alumnae.

To read more on Margaret go to BC History of Nursing Society newsletters under Resources and Newsletters, The Summer 2011, volume 22| issue 2,  for a lovely account of her career & a photo.

Military Nursing Sister Dies

Harriet ‘Hallie’ Jennie Todd Sloan, C.M., C.D., B.N., Lt Col (Retired),passed away peacefully at home in Ontario on January 21 2016, her 99th birthday.

Photo Credit: From Google images
Photo Credit: From Google images

Born in Winnipeg, she grew up in Saskatoon and graduated in 1939 from the Vancouver General Hospital School of Nursing. She enlisted in the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps and served overseas in France during World War II in the 8th Canadian General Hospital.

After D-Day, she participated in the liberation of Belgium and the Netherlands, and chose to remain in the Army to serve during peacetime. She rose to the rank of Matron-in-Chief of the Canadian Forces Medical Services. After retiring from the military, she began a second career with the Canadian Nurses Foundation.

Hallie was a tireless volunteer supporting veteran’s health care and the Nursing Sister’s Association of Canada. She was privileged to participate in several pilgrimages commemorating WWII Campaigns in Asia and Europe. In 2004, she was awarded the Order of Canada in recognition of her outstanding leadership for 50 years and advancing military nursing and patient care. She was also a Dame of the Order of St. John and last year as a D-Day veteran received the Legion of Honour.

Hallie remained close to her BC ties and was a long-time member of the BC History of Nursing Society and kept in touch with several of our members.

For further information about the memorial service and donations go to

Post 2015 Marion Woodward Lecture

BCHNS Executive members attended Woodward Lecture October 15, 2015 as well as other BCHNS members.

Photo Credit: Cheryl Entwistle BCHNS
Photo Credit: Cheryl Entwistle BCHNS

Display table by Cheryl Entwistle & Catherine Haney as well as Kathy Murphy who recruited two new members.

On behalf of BCHNS we extend a hearty welcome to these two new members!!

BCHNS represented at BC Historical Federation conference

The Society was represented at the annual general meeting and conference of the BC Historical Federation in Quesnel near the end of May.

Photo Credit: Glennis Zilm
Photo Credit: Glennis Zilm

The photo shows BCHNS representative Nan Martin standing by 1860s Cornish Waterwheel for gold panning on Williams Creek in a picture taken during the field trip to historic Barkerville.

Glennis Zilm also represented the BCHNS

Thank you!

Long time BCHNS Member, Kirstine Griffith passes

Remembering Kirstine (Adam) (Buckland) Griffith (1922 – 2014)

Kirstine Griffith, a long- standing History of Nursing member and loyal supporter of our group, died on December 5, 2014 following a brief illness. I will remember her wonderful smile and friendly greeting, always interested in others and nursing events.  Many will remember her hand-crafted cards with pressed flowers. Kirstine or “Kris” as she was known by her nursing friends, was a devoted wife, mother, and nurse.

Kirstine was born in Vancouver and from an early age always knew she would become a nurse. Most of her childhood was spent in Chemanius and later the family moved to Vancouver where she attended high school. She enrolled in the UBC School of Nursing program in 1940 graduating from the Vancouver General Hospital School of Nursing portion of her course in 1944 and from UBC with a BASc(N) in 1945. During her university years she met her future husband, Dr. Don Buckland, who later became a well known and highly respected Forestry Professor.

The following anecdote will amuse our members:
“I had an interview with Miss Grey, Head of the UBC nursing program, as I had failed an exam in the History of Nursing. I was informed History of Nursing was quite romantic enough without my efforts to rewrite it. Later when I was teaching nursing, one course I refused to teach was the History of Nursing.” (From Don’s Story, page 86)

Following graduation, Kirstine and Don married, and she worked for the Saanich Health Department for two years.  The family moved back to Vancouver and Kirstine spent the next several years looking after Don and their three children Elizabeth, Dorothy, and David. Don’s eyesight began to fail as a complication of diabetes and Kirstine assisted him with reading, writing, and just getting around as a visually impaired person.  Tragically, Don died in 1956 at age 38 and Kirstine returned to her nursing career, becoming the VGH Student Health Clinic nurse. Later she taught various courses in the School, taking time off to earn a MA degree from UBC.  She married Braham Griffith in 1969 and remained at VGH until her retirement in 1982. Braham died in 1998.

In retirement she remained active with several projects such as dressing VGH dolls in uniforms from 1896-1975. These are now part of the VGH School of Nursing Alumnae Archives.  Never idle, in 1996 she wrote the “The Religious Aspects of Nursing Care” which outlines the practices of 34 religions. Proceeds from the sales have been directed to nursing scholarships.  Kirstine was an active member of the UBC School of Nursing Alumnae Division and over the years, graciously hosted many meetings at her home. I fondly remember visiting her and was amazed at her ability to knit, read, and talk all at the same time – obviously a master at multitasking. She will be missed.

To learn more about the Adam and Buckland families you can come to our BCHNS Archives at UBC and view the CD  “Don’s Story” compiled by Kirstine Griffith in 2005 in memory of her husband.

By Ethel Warbinek


UBC School of Nursing Awards to BCHNS Members

Beth Fitzpatrick and Irene Goldstone, both BCHNS members received prestigious awards from UBC School of Nursing Thurs eve. May 8th.

Beth the  “Award of Recognition.” for the UBC 2014 School of Nursing alumni division, Congratulations Beth!

Irene Goldstone BCHNS May 2014Irene Goldstone the “The UBC Nursing Partnership Award”  which is awarded at the discretion of the Director of the School to non-alumni who have made significant contributions to nursing and to the School.   Congratulations Irene!

UBC Award of Recognition to Beth Fitzpatrick BCHNS member

Congratulations to Beth Fitzpatrick who has been selected to receive the 2014 UBC School of Nursing Alumni Division’s “Award of Recognition.”

The award, one of three given annually by the School to recognize outstanding alumni, will be presented at the Nursing Gala, which will be held May 8, 2014, at the Blusson Spinal Cord Centre at Vancouver General Hospital. Beth recently moved to Connecticut to be closer to family.


BCHNS Member Sharron Higgins receives Award

Sharron Higgins jump started the health promoting schools movement in the Capital Regional District and in British Columbia.

Photo Credit: RJH Reunion

With a strong career as a Public Health Nurse she encouraged many school and community workshops on the nature of inclusiveness, engagement, and community development.  Sharron worked collaboratively in SD 61 to foster a Comprehensive School Health model within the education community. In many school districts in BC, educators from various disciplines followed Sharron’s leadership that would benefit many children and families in the ensuing years.

In this 60th Anniversary year of the Public Health Association of BC, we want to recognize Sharron for her work in this expanded field of public heath nursing practice.