History of Nursing in Pacific Canada

[Letter from Ethel Johns to Caroline V. Barrett] Johns, Ethel 1955-12-13

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 Photocopy of letter to Kiss  C.V.   Barrett
4519 Fifteenth Ave* West
Vancouver, 8  B*C*
December 15* 1955
Dear CVB :
It was good to get your letter and the lovely little
picture of the St Louis Gate*  I can well imagine that the
last few months were not easy to bear but I still contend
that so-called "retirement" can be a happy and even creative
experience* You must lie fallow for a time but before long
you will be blossoming like the Biblical green bay tree* But
you must learn to feed yourself well — none of that tea and
toast business when you are alone* The budgies can be very
endearing and several times Ifve been tempted to have one*
The trouble is that I still have that itching foot and the
little things don't like being boarded out*
However* I do have some birds in the back garden!  There is
a small feeding tray up on a post with a roof over it and it
is great fun to w^tch them these fdosty mornings• Usually,
there are just juncos but in the Arctic weather we are having in this banana belt, we sometimes get more colourful
visitors*  I just looked out of the back window and there was
a towhee, complete with speckled waistcoat and black topkno**
Later on, there may be a varied thrush or two*
I3y  little grey home in the West has had its face lifted and
now looks very stylish* A new Duroid roof* mixed jade green
and frosty white, windows white with green edges and front
door the same* Most of it paid for v/ith this little typewriter, believe it or not* Like you, I hate the slippery
streets and as a rule we are not bothered very much v/ith them
here, But when we get a"silver rain" look out*  I heard that
you could get stuff to put on the soles of your rubbers and
went in search of it*  It is grand, but \ery  messy to put on
— it really is a sort of asphalt — and you must be careful
not to enter your friends1 abode without leaving your footwear
on the doorstep*  It is called "Grit Kit" -- why not ask
Batons about it?
Montreal and Vancouver seems to be rivals in the riot business*  Our police department has been gximtx going through a
horrible scandal and there is even talk that the Mounted Police may have to take over for a time* The "teen-agers" are a
menace and there seems to be no way of controlling them* One
wonders a bit about the merits of "progressive education" ~
my own feeling is that you Catholics are right in your view
that you can't separate religious and academic education*
(Please turn over)
 Last summer my WGH Alumnae Assn. decided to get the history of our school of nursing written and you can guess v/ho
got elected to do it* however, I made my  own terms — no pay
of any kind other than out of pocket expenses such as travel*
I spent a month luxuriously housed in the Nurses Residence
at the Winnipeg General ^ospital and dug up the rmist^trchives
since 18671  It was a weird sort of experience, some of it,
rather like seeing a film of one's early life run off backwards* x'ow I'm plugging away happily at the manuscript*
If I have my  v/ay, it won't be a long book — perhaps a bit
bigger than the MGH*
Well, my dear, God bless you and your home and your
budgie* And be proud that you can feel that you helped a
goodly proportion of *oung Canada to make a three-point safe
landing on this stornjy planet of ours.


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