Congratulations to BCHNS 2012 Honour Roll

BC History of Nursing Society Hycroft Mansion High Tea Event


Cathie Borrie RN,BSN,MPH,LLB with Actress,Patti Allen

On  March  22  at  Hycroft  Mansion,  History  of  Nursing  members  and  guests  enjoyed  a  memorable  and  sensitive  performance  of  a  lyrical  memoir  titled  Mind  and  Memory: You  say  Goodbye,  I  Say  Hello.  Actors  Cathie Borrie (daughter)  and  Patti  Allen (mother),  portrayed  the  “spiritual,  emotional  and  intellectual  revelations  made  possible  by  a  mind  transformed  by  Alzheimer’s”.

Delicious refreshments & silent auction were enjoyed by all.

Cathie  Borrie  is  the  author  of  the  book  “The Long Hello” available at:

2012 CAHN/ACHN Annual Conference

15-17  June 2012, Medicine Hat, Alberta

The 2012 Annual CAHN/ACHN Conference, to be held in Medicine Hat, Alberta on June 15-17, marks the 25th anniversary of our association. Founded in 1987, CAHN/ACHN has an ongoing commitment to stimulate and promote historical scholarship of nursing and health.

The conference theme is: Places and People’s Health: Exploring Nursing in Diverse Contexts. We welcome papers that explore diversity and contingency of nursing knowledge and practice. Aiming at a critical understanding of connections between place and practice, the conference seeks to examine the history of nursing and health care in diverse geographic, social, and political contexts, including rural and remote locations, specialty areas, and various communities.

Reading List: Labor of Love

Labor of Love. A Memoir of Gertrude Richards Ladner 1879 to 1976

  • Authors: Sheila J. Rankin Zerr, Glennis Zilm, Valerie Grant
  • 113p, index, B&W photos/illustrations.

Labor of Love: A Memoir of Gertrude Richards Ladner 1879 to 1976 is based on a short family document written by Edna G. Ladner, daughter of Gertrude Richards Ladner.

Based on the memoirs and family photographs and documents, the book provides insights into the life of a nurse of the early 1900s, her life as a student nurse and her early career as an operating room nurse at the Provincial Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria, British Columbia.

It also contains background on the pioneering Richards and Ladner families, as well as data relevant to the history of the Provincial Royal Jubilee Hospital and nursing uniforms of the day.


Fashion show highlights evolution of nursing uniforms

Active and retired nurses, faculty and students served as models at Vancouver Island University (VIU) for a presentation on the evolution of nursing attire Monday.

Members of the British Columbia History of Nursing Society presented a fashion show at Vancouver Island University with the help of VIU faculty and students from both VIU and École Pauline Haarer.


The Nursing Uniform Fashion Show featured attire from a collection of 25 uniforms developed for the British Columbia History of Nursing Society by Sheila Rankin Zerr, adjunct professor of the UBC School of Nursing.

This presentation addressed nursing attire from the 1600s to the present day. Many of the uniforms are authentic and have been worn and donated by nurses who practised in hospital, public health and in military service.Continue reading

Reading List: Caring and Compassion

Caring and Compassion
A History of the Sisters of St. Ann in Health Care in British Columbia

By Darlene Southwell
In 1875 Victoria citizens wanted the Sisters of St. Ann to build a hospital, and even though the organization had no money, they were able to come through with St. Joseph’s Hospital. The Sisters went on to open a major school of nursing in Victoria as well as hospitals in Campbell River, Smithers and Oliver and extended care homes in Victoria and Nelson, all of which played a significant role in the development of the province. Darlene Southwell, who was granted unlimited access to the Sisters’ archives in Victoria, spent five years writing Caring and Compassion, which, against a backdrop of racism, war and seemingly insurmountable financial crises, serves as both a history of the Sisters’ healing pursuits in BC and a mirror of the times. (Excerpts from Book Description, Harbour Publishing.
  • Harbour Publishing, Madeira Park BC
  • ISBN 978-1-55017-560-8 
  • $29.95 CAD Hardback 
  • 296 pp, 80 B&W photographs.
  • ISBN: 978-0-9783195-4-0, $32.00


Welcome to our New Archivist: Francis Mansbridge

We are pleased to announce the appointment of our new Archivist, Francis Mansbridge, who will commence work the last week of June.

Francis has an impressive work experience. He received a PhD in English at the University of Ottawa and taught English for many years at the college level. After studying in the Archival programme at UBC, he was appointed archivist for North Vancouver from 1994-2006. He now does contract work and has written three books: Vancouver Then and Now, Hollyburn: The Mountain and the City, and Launching History based on the history of the Burrard Dry Dock. It won the BC Lieutenant-Governor’s award for history in 2002.  His newest book about the history of West Vancouver will be launched on Sept.15.

BC Historical Federation Newsletter Award

We are so proud to be the recipient of the 2010 BCHF newsletter award.

Ron Hyde, BCHF Newsletter Editor , Nan Martin, Sheila Zerr

This was a great honour as our December 2010 newsletter was chosen from the 130 organizations and members. Special thanks to Beth Fitzpatrick, editor, and to Anita Petersen for her design. The award was presented by Barry Gough, BCHF 2nd vice president, who praised the historical quality of our newsletter. Nan Martin and Sheila Zerr attended the meeting and wrote the following.Continue reading