Life and Work
Mary knew that she wanted to be a nurse from an early age. Born in rural Alberta in 1914, Mary was raised on a farm outside of Vermilion until she was 15 years old. Her favourite part of life on the farm was the animals.
In 1929, after WWII, her family moved to Ste. Anne de Bellevue, a town outside Montreal, due to her father being unable to farm. In 1933, after completing high school, Mary went directly into the nurse training program at Montreal General Hospital. She went on to work in hospitals around Quebec.
In 1943, Mary answered the call for nurses needed in wartime Canada. During the final years of the war she had several postings, transferring between bases in Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Naval Headquarters in Ottawa. At the end of the war, Mary decided not to leave the forces to re-enter civilian life. She continued her postings around Canada and retired in 1960 from the navy as director of nursing at the hospital in Naden. After 30 years, she decided to return to Alberta.
Mary applied and was accepted as director of nursing and hospital administrator in Bow Island, Medicine Hat. In 1965, she accepted the same position in Wetaskiwin. Mary went to Wetaskiwin for a number of reasons but, mainly, because of the larger population and the fact that the town had an an airport.
In the 1970s, Mary traveled to Africa, New Zealand, Australia, England, Scotland and Russia. In 1979, she retired from the hospital. In 1983, she was asked to re-activate the auxiliary by working to promote the hospital locally and raising funds.