Old Hastings Mill Store Museum Opens

 

Survivors of Vancouver’s great fire of 1886 took refuge in Hasting’s Mill Store. The building survived the fire and exists today as the Old Hasting’s Mill Store Museum, Vancouver’s oldest building.

Emily Patterson, Vancouver’s pioneer first nurse, is believed to have shopped in the store when it was located on the waterfront. Although not formally trained, Emily took it upon herself to provide medical treatment to her family and community out of sheer necessity.  She became so adept at her skills that she was thought of as a nurse and was widely respected among Indigenous and pioneer residents up and down Burrard Inlet.

Noted author Lisa Anne Smith’s book: Emily Patterson the Heroic Life of a Milltown Nurse, chronicles the life of this remarkable woman and can be purchased at the Museum. The author kindly donates some of the royalties to the BCHN Society.

A recent successful Go Fund Me campaign raised the needed money to complete essential building updates and repairs. Donations will always be greatly appreciated as work on preserving this heritage building continues.

The Museum will open July 1 for a shortened summer season.

An Emerging Profession: Psychiatric Nursing at Essondale, 1913-1973

A recent article published during Nurse’s Week, (Tri-City news May 14, 2020) celebrates Psychiatric Nursing. Andrea Tarnawsky Assistant Archivist for the City of Coquitlam Archives researched and wrote the online exhibit An Emerging Profession: Psychiatric Nursing at Essondale,1913-1973.

This well referenced, readable exhibit includes many photographs taken over the years and donated to the Coquitlam Archives by the Riverview Hospital Historical Society. Our member Anna Tremere was instrumental in collecting many artifacts from Riverview so that its story would not be forgotten.

Andrea tells us that they were hoping to have a physical exhibit in their archives space to go with the online, but this is on hold since the Coquitlam archives is currently closed due to COVID-19.

To view the online exhibit, go to http://www.coquitlam.ca/nursing

National Nursing Week

 Monday May 11, 2020 marks the start of National Nursing Week in Canada.

The week, which began in 1971, is intended to draw attention to nurses in our health care system, and to recognize their hard work they do year-round.

Gloria Stephens, a former BCHNS member who left BC a few years back and established the Nova Scotia History of Nursing Group, sent the following message to Honourary Member Glennis Zilm and agreed to share it.

A MESSAGE from NURSING HISTORY NOVA SCOTIA SOCIETY: (NHNSS)

 As nursing ‘history buffs’, we have studied our forebearers and give thanks and praise for these pioneering nurses who, under difficult situations and struggles, developed our solid foundation on which we so proudly stand today.

The theme for National Nurses Week: ‘A Voice to Lead: Nursing the World to Health’ is so true of the past but in this extreme health crisis of today, the words have a greater impact on the public at large and all nurses within the ‘health team’ must feel so proud, as they should.

Speaking for all members of NHNSS: ‘Hats off’ to those nurses working on the front lines who have demonstrated exceptional courage, commitment, compassion and leadership as they perform their ‘Duty of Care’.

To you, the retired members of NHNSS, you also deserve a bow and thanks for all the many hours and sacrifices that you gave for the benefit of those under you care for which you were responsible for their return to health or the provision that you made for their peaceful and dignified passing.

Quote from Florence Nightingale whose 200 Birthday is May 12: “Nursing is a progressive art in which to stand still is to have gone back. Progress can never end but with a nurse’s life”.

 Bless you all and toast yourselves every day this week and always!! Gloria

 

 

Opera tells the story of HMHS Llandovery Castle

The HMHS Llandovery Castle was one of five Canadian military hospital ships during the First World War. It was hit by a torpedo from a German submarine off the coast of Ireland on June 27, 1918. Of the 234 people who died, 14 were Canadian nurses.

The story of the nurses who died aboard that boat is told in a world premiere opera performed at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo in March 2020.

To learn more about the making of the opera click here: Opera Tells the story of HMHS Llandovery Castle

You can also view the production on YouTube here: https://youtu.be/zV3RDHrgkBA

 

Helen Mussallem’s WW2 nursing uniform on display

Maple Ridge Museum and Community Archives

Lynette Harper, a niece of Dr. Helen Mussallem, recently contacted us to let us know that one of her aunt’s WW2 nursing uniforms was on display at the Maple Ridge Museum and Community Archives.

The Museum’s curator (Shea Henry) shared pictures of the displayed uniform and the accompanying mini biography.

Dr. Mussallem is Canada’s most decorated and beloved nursing leader who had a special place in her heart for the history of nursing. She is one of our esteemed Honourary Members and supported the BC History of Nursing Society since its inception.

 

WHO Declares 2020 the Year of the Nurse and the Midwife

The role of nursing and midwifery has been recognized by the World Health Organization as they designate 2020 “The Year of the Nurse and the Midwife” in honor of Florence Nightingale’s 200th birthday. The designation comes with a push for expansion: “the world needs 9 million more nurses and midwives if it is to achieve universal health coverage by 2030,” a statement on their website reads.

For further information visit WHO Declares 2020 the Year of the Nurse and the Midwife

Service on the Skeena

Service on the Skeena is a biography of pioneer physician Horace Wrinch by author Geoff Mynett and published by Ronsdale Press.

Dr. Wrinch was the first qualified physician in the northern interior of BC and provided medical care in the region for over thirty years. In 1904 he established the Hazelton Hospital (now Wrinch Memorial Hospital), was an early advocate for publicly funded health insurance, a two-term Liberal MLA in the 1920s and worked closely with the Gitxsan and Wet’suwet’ten peoples.

A book launch is being held in Vancouver at St. Phillip’s Anglican Church at 3737 West 27th Avenue on Thursday January 16th at 7:30 pm. For more information about the event contact Ronsdale Press at 604-738-4688 or [email protected].

Be sure to visit the author’s website www.geoffmynett.com  and check out his blog to learn more about Service on the Skeena and the life of Horace Wrinch.

Look for a book review in an upcoming BCHNS newsletter.

For your winter reading pleasure

When Days Are Long: Nurse in the North by Amy Wilson

This book was originally published as No Man Stands Alone in 1965 by Gray’s Publishing LTD. This new edition, republished by Caitlin Press and titled When Days Are Long: Nurse in the North is a memoir by a field nurse who worked in northern Canada during the 1950’s. The book includes an introduction by Wilson’s grandniece, Laurel Deedrick-Mayne, and brings insights to this important nursing figure in BC’s history. For more information about the book visit http://caitlin-press.com/our-books/when-days-are-long/

Surrey Museum presents “Canadian Nurses in War Time”

For Remembrance Day, the Surrey Museum will once again present the one-hour presentation ‘Canadian Nurses in War Time,’ by Renée Saklikar and Ishbel Newstead. The poem-play, written by Surrey’s former poet laureate, is an artistic response to an exhibit about Canadian nurses in war time.  Research was by Ishbel Newstead, a dedicated volunteer with Museum of Surrey and Historic Stewart Farm, who sought help from BCHNS archives and various members.  The author and researcher do the play’s readings.

The poem-play is dedicated to nurses who served in WW 2, and tells the stories of three BC Nursing Sister veterans well-known to BCHNS members.  It was first presented at the Museum in 2017 – and was well received.  This year, the daughter of Margaret Mainwaring, one of the featured BC nursing/sister veterans and who died earlier this year at age 107, is planning to attend while on a visit to Surrey.

BCHNS Members who live in the area may want to try to attend.  The presentation follows the 11 am Remembrance Day ceremonies held at the Surrey Cenotaph, located next door to the Museum.

Thanks to Glennis Zilm for sending this information.

Helen Shore’s new book just released!

In the just-published Shore to Shore: A record of the Shore family of Sheffield, England, to London, Ontario, BCHNS life-member Helen Shore has written an utterly charming and easy-to-read family memoir. The 120-page book is lavishly illustrated, with many of the photographs in color.  It is filled with delightful anecdotes of her Shore family relatives, whom she can follow dating back to 1440. The work completes a project to research the family tree that her father began when she was just a young child. Fascinated by his stories, Helen continued to work on the family project with him until his death. Some of the anecdotes and stories concern her relative Florence Nightingale (whose father was born a Shore, but who changed his name when as an adult he inherited the Nightingale properties).  History buffs will appreciate the way she has fleshed out the bare branches of a family tree with information about the various home’s family members established throughout England and with information on the ways the various wars and other socio-economic events shaped the family fortunes.

Helen, now in her 95th year, is the last of the “Canadian Shores” and wanted to see her father’s work and the family memories preserved. Friends of Helen definitely will not want to miss this. The book is available for only $19.95 (plus shipping) through Amazon.ca.

Reviewed by Glennis Zilm, Oct. 24, 2019