Upcoming Presentation: Nursing on the Battlefield 1885-1945

DATE  Sunday, November 16

This illustrated presentation by Glennis Zilm will give an overview of Canada’s war time Nursing Sisters, from the first paid nurses to be hired by the Canadian militia in 1885 through the Boer War, World War I and World War II.  The main focuses will be on nurses from BC, especially from the Victoria area, and on how nurses have served on the battlefields.

Glennis is an Honorary Professor in the University of British Columbia School of Nursing.  She is a retired nurse, writer and editor, and was a founding member of both the B.C. History of Nursing Society and the Canadian Association for the History of Nursing.

  • Newcombe Auditorium, Royal BC Museum
  • 675 Belleville Street
  • Victoria, BC
  • 2 – 3:30 pm
  • $5 general public

Free for members of the Friends of the BC Archives

For more information about this event please contact Patricia Dirks, President of the Friends of the BC Archives, 250-383-2006



Member Shirley Riddells is organizing an event to be held at Victory Square to recognize Women in the War, specifically Nursing Sisters. Check back here or on our Facebook page for more information as it becomes available.

Special display honoring Ethel Johns, “Person of National Historic Significance.”

A special display in the Foyer of the Woodward Medical Library at the University of BC features the collection of Ethel Johns’ Medals. Johns, who was the first director of the UBC School of Nursing, gave her medals and awards to the Library late in her life.

Photo credit:; UBC photo archives

They include a King Edward Silver Jubilee Medal and a Mary Agnes Snively Medal (the latter from the Canadian Nurses Association).

Ethel Johns has been honored by the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada, Parks Canada, as a “Person of National Historic Significance” and the displays were set up because a plaque recognizing this honor is to be presented by the Canadian government to UBC this fall. The bronze plaque will be mounted in the patient park near the Koerner Acute Care Hospital Pavilion, which now houses the UBC School of Nursing.


The VGH School of Nursing Alumnae Association Newsletter, edited and designed by Ethel Warbinek and Mary Watt, received a recognition award at the recent 2014 BC Historical Federation Conference.

Photo credit: Ron Welwood, BCHF

Ethel chairs the alumnae association’s Publicity Committee and along with co-author Mary Watt, produce the impressive Newsletter complete with class news, association activities, and articles of interest to VGH graduates.

The award was presented by Gary Mitchel, newly elected President of the BC Historical Federation.

BCHNS Summer Meeting June 26, 2014

BCHNS Summer Meeting was hosted by Glennis Zilm and attended by 16 with Michelle Eng coming from as far away as Tofino for the the day event! We welcome our newest member Bruce Holvick!  Thank you to all who attended.

This successful meeting’s minutes will be available soon to members.


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.