Canada, The New Gateway | Author Series


Mother, for me, exemplifies bringing the best of human nature to the building of Canada as a nation. She was a real caregiver. Born in the lovely county of Shropshire England, she left school for family duties at age thirteen. Then in her twenties, around 1910, she accompanied her widowed father and brother to immigrate to Canada; making a home farming in Saskatchewan. Later when her father remarried she took up nursing at Winnipeg General Hospital, graduating in 1916. Then she explored the west as far as she could, and worked as a nurse for a while in Banff. However, towards the end of World War I she volunteered with the Canadian Medical Corps as a Nursing Sister,  arriving safely in England in September 1918. Although she caught pneumonia she was able to do some nursing before returning home in March 1919. Still with Medical Corps, she worked with Saskatchewan Military Hospital in Moosejaw, when she was demobilized in November 1919. 

In March 1920, she came to the beautiful Kootenay country to nurse at the TB Sanitarium for Veterans at Balfour, BC. There she met, fell in love and married a Veteran, Charles Holt, who ran the country store. Between them they served the community nearly 25 years when they retired to rejoin her family now in Pat Bay.  To me she brings the qualities of great hope, great caring and straight thinking which have made Canada a great nation. As an American public health nurse said, “She was the kindest person she had ever met.” 

Written by Allison H.| Resident at Marrion Village