Nina Rumen graduated from St Paul’s Hospital School of Nursing in 1949. She joined the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps in 1951. Her military career took her to Churchill, Manitoba (1952-54) when Canada’s north was opening. From there she went to Isherholm, Germany with the British Army of the Rhine, then to Lahr, Germany. She served with NATO from 1970-72. Nina also was loyal to her military nursing community, actively ensuring that military nursing, in BC and beyond, was honoured and preserved.
Nina always loved a challenge and would battle for what she believed was right, no matter what the odds. She was always the kind of nurse who was proud of her profession and who assisted the BCHNS to achieve its goals of which she was a founding member and now has Honourary Membership.
Nina now lives in a Care Facility and has just had her 94th Birthday. Due to Pandemic restrictions, it has been difficult to visit her, but BCHNS member, Sheila Oxholm has been sending cards & visiting with flowers when permitted and reading our BCHNS newsletters to her.
To read more about Nina look under Membership – Honourary MembershipNina Rumen
Thanks to BCHNS Honorary Member Glennis Zilm who sent in the following:
“BCHNS member Dr. Lydia Wytenbroek, who joined the UBC Nursing faculty this past fall, has been awarded a Healthcare Project Grant of almost $10,000 by AMS Healthcare, formerly the Hannah Foundation. The funds will be used for a project on Imperial Pathways of Mobility: Doctoring Women and the American Surgical Enterprise in Iran 1888-1940. Lydia is working on a book based on her doctoral thesis, and on projects related to “whiteness in Canadian nursing,” nursing’s voice and social justice, and the history of perioperative nursing. Congratulations!”
CAHN-ACHN offers two major financial awards each year: the Margaret M. Allemang Scholarship for graduate students (Masters or PhD level) studying in the field of nursing history, and the Vera Roberts Endowment for historians of nursing (academic or independent) who are working on Canadian nursing history focused on regions north of the 60th parallel.
CAHN/ACHN – Margaret M. Allemang Scholarship (deadlineforapplying is March 15, 2020)
CAHN/ACHN -Vera Roberts’ Research Award (deadline for applying is March 31, 2020)
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.
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.
Maxine Bredt, a graduate from the Royal Jubilee Hospital, celebrated her 100th birthday on September 21, 2019. She recently received a quilt of valour and now is featured on the 2019 Veterans’ Week Poster.
2019 Veterans’ Week Poster
Canada remembers the Italian Campaign
This year Canada is observing the 75th anniversary of the Second World War’s Italian Campaign. It was one of our country’s most important contributions to the Allied war effort; more than 93,000 Canadians served in Italy from the summer of 1943 to early 1945. Our soldiers fought their way across the island of Sicily and up the boot of Italy across a challenging landscape of mountains and river valleys in the face of harsh weather conditions and a skilled enemy.
This special commemorative poster features Lieutenant Maxine Llewelyn Bredt. She was a Nursing Sister in the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps who helped treat the sick and wounded during the Italian Campaign. A recent picture of Ms. Bredt in her former uniform is superimposed on an historical photo showing soldiers of the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry in the Sicilian town of Agira after capturing it in July 1943.
The joint conference of the Canadian Society for the History of Medicine and the Canadian Association for the History of Nursing, held during the Congress 2019 at UBC from June 1 – 3, was host to a special program celebrating the centenary of the UBC School of Nursing. In a pre-lunch seminar session Geertje Boschma (UBC) and Margaret Scaia (UVic) examined the start and beginning decades of the first nursing degree program in Canada at UBC. They highlighted the contextual influences of public health and higher education that shaped the course of the degree program, and explored its meaning for women who took the program in the 1950s and 1970s.Continue reading
Jessie Middleton (nee Lee) passed away peacefully on May 22, 2019 at the age of 102. The youngest of 12 children, she was born and raised on the family farm in Murrayville BC. She entered the nursing program at the Royal Columbian Hospital and graduated in September of 1939 just one day after Canada declared war on Germany. Eager to serve her country, Jessie joined the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps in 1942 and nursed injured soldiers both in Canada and England. She considered this work as “the greatest privilege for me”.
A service in celebration and remembrance of Jessie’s life will be held at 2 pm on Friday June 7th at Trinity Memorial United Church in Abbotsford.
To read Jessie’s full obituary and find out more about her remarkable life as a Canadian nursing sister, here are some links:
Here is a photo of BCHNS members that visited the Rare Books and Special Collections at the UBC Library, guided by Archivist Krisztina Laszio, on June 21, 2018. Nan Martin in the foreground is viewing some of the Florence Nightingale letters.
Many of the letters are addressed to Nightingale while others are sent from her or involve other correspondents discussing Nightingale. The letters date from 1877 to 1965. A substantial portion of the collection was purchased from a Bostonian antiquarian book dealer in 1966 and 1967 by the Woodward Library. Online access to these digitized letters can be found at https:///open.library.ubc.ca/collections/florence
Nina Rumen celebrated her 90th birthday on Saturday October 14, 2017. Her actual birthday was October 12th. Her sisters Vera and Olga hosted the party at the South Granville Park Lodge, Nina’s current home. Family and friends gathered to celebrate Nina’s incredible life and career. Three members of the BCHNS attended, Don Ransom, Glennis Zilm and Sheila Zerr. Many stories were shared and Nina enjoyed the fun, presents and reminders of times past. Purple is Nina’s favorite color. The birthday cupcakes, bearing purple icing, along with the buffet of delicious food were enjoyed by all. A bouquet of flowers was presented to Nina on behalf of the BCHNS.