History of Nursing in Pacific Canada

[Letters, Ethel Johns to Eileen C. Flanagan, 1948 - 1957 Johns, Ethel 1957

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aU ... help to establ ah social contact for these Chinese girls.  "Let each girl decide
that for herself© Show her, wL    m  Consulate is She will knc     her  there is any-
ire for her or not.11)
4. Do not fuss unduly over them.  So far as possible treat I    ..s one of yourselves.
Bit do not tease them.  If ,/en do, tliey nay f,lose face11 and if that happens a&6 will
want to go home.  Stey uaa*t understand your give and take, at least not at first, lever
ridicule them.
5. Try to protect the© from petty insults in such places as J*JaaJa*V'i hairdressing saps.
etc. Tills sort of prejudice lays ,Ily the younger ones who arenft used
to it.
6. Word of advice for the Committee and especially its present chairman; ffl)o not try !
to go so fast. It ta- years for a new it- erstood. fifty years |
for it to become active. Sow the seed and wait for the harvest you rosy never  see.tf       \
Another  radient of Foreigners Best is liarie Bernatsikova, d±3PiE@±x director of the Bed
Cross School of Hursing in Prague.   The  political coup there has just about flattened
Iwr^    The  Eed Cross isn't exactly popular in the USSR. And Bfs family have been rather
chilly toward the strong Commnist group . She does not know what will happen now but     ,
supposes'that the great need for .nurses will protect them for a time at least. Just as it
has in Boumania. She may be up Canada way* but fJoronto, I fear, rather t-*an Montreal.      ;
I will end on a rather sour note: My  friends down here do not seem to have heard of
Lester Pearson or ianeral MM^-,MM^M&MXK  McNaughton as having some slight influence on inter
national affairs* The back windows of the School of hygiene look out onto a dismal filthy \
negro tenement house. Bat 1 like it down here,  just the same, and em glad I came. It is   i
a pleasant and stimulating adventure*
■Goddbye for no?/.  Bless you. The  PEBMAJNBNg address of EJ ( 3)7 ) ; 4519 Fifteenth Ave. West
Vancouver, B,C.
August 24* 1949
Bear EOF :
Your good letter has gone too long unanswered but just as it arrived I was in
the throes of moving into my house. More about that later. Let's take a look at *he
world situation first. Your mad whirl over the European continent left me breathless*
As usual, however, you just took it in$: your stride and did not miss a single highlight, I think the Irish situation intrigued me most of all© I sent you a brain
wave or two last night while I was attending the dinner tendered to the N ational
Federation of University Women at the Vancouver Hotel. An extremely swish affair
with some good talk and music. Dr Vibert Douglas was the principal speaker and gave
a very interesting account of her recent four months or so in Europe. She fell very
hard for the Dutch and was very severe on the G rmans, I could not help being struck
with the contrast between your attitude and hers. Of course, she admitted that her
stay in Germany had heen  short and that her thinking might have been modified if she
had remained longer. S he is a broad-minded and charitable soul and tried hard to be
fair but it was apparent that the Dutch had won her heart — in fact the Scandinavian
group too. Incidentally, Poland was not al owed to send delegates to the IUWC.
It is good of you to send on the Listener and I do appreciate them. Apropos* there
have "been  some excellent BBC re-broadcasts here lately — " a Window on FraneHf,and
this weekm "A Window on Italy." They managed to recreate the v/hole atmosphere of
Venice so well that 1 almost did a little nostalgic weep. Also apropos, I happened
to listen to th broadcast on the Montreal Neurological Institute. &i&  you ever hear of
the place? Like the curate's egg,  it was good only in parts. Somehow, the gent, did
not get the Genius Loci but perhaps that is? too subtle to be caught.
Well, a word about my own adventures. I have felt for some time that I could
not stand the racketing about which I have indulged in since I gave up the Journal.
I needed what Virginia Wolfe?( an e? no, I don?t think ao) called a Boom of One's
Own. I was lucky enough to have a friend's apartment for the summer months and as soon
as I arrived, I started the dreary round of hunting for an apartment. Heavens, what
places I did look at and what prices they asked for noise* and gaudiness and jerry
building, ^hen I made up my mind to take the plunge and one day was driven out to
see this little place. I decided to buy it as I stepped over the threshold, and here
I am, for good or ill. It is grey stucco with a red  trim, three rooms and bath* plus
what they call a utility toom for storage purposes. %e catch is that there is no
basement which complicates the heating problem but there is an honest to goodness
fireplace and I have put in an oil-burning cookstove which is also supposed to serve
as a heating unit. We shall see what we shall see but, if the worst comes to the worst
I have had the piping put in for an additional oil heater.  Here's hoping I won't
need it.
At the time I bought the place it had heen  raining and misting for a solid two weeks
and I had thought that there was no view except of * rather pleasant though weedy back garden but when I woke up in my  own bed, the very first morning, I looked out of the
bedroom window and there, against a blue north sky were the summits of the Hollyburn
Sidge and the Sleeping Beauty range. I've never had a bigger thrill. Even if they only
show up once in a blue moon, at least I know they are there and that they are mine free
gratis and for nothing. My household gods, such as they are, are now somewhere en
route from Toronto. At present, I am sitting amid a wilderness of unpacked trunks
and am the prey of plumbers, heaters, odd-job men  and so on.
Everyone has been very kind and I have been trotting about socially more than I
really have time for. The fopkins job is badly in arrears and I feel a bit paranoid
about it. however, wiStftin the last few days, the odd idea has begun to seep into
consciousness and having acquired a good typewriter table, I am hammering away at it
like mattt. I spent a very interesting afternoon out at the University and was surprized to find that the general outlines of the course have not changed so radically as
I had supposed. Extensive developments are looming up, however. The coming of the
Medical School will create new situations, of course.       c ±   rrr <C   fS\
Die difference in tempo both in daily life andfln general thinking strike me very forcibly. I can best illustrate it 'by  a rather homely simile: on the way out, I noticed
that as soon as the train began to descent toward the "Western littoral* every blooming
cow was lying down, placidly chewing its cuft and not stravaging about like the energetic animals on the prairies. The local press seems to me to be pretty provincial
in its outlook. You have to comb the back pages for foreign news irfaile the dresses
of local brides are described with resounding headlines to point them up. The correspondence columns are given over to debates between Seventh Day Adventists and Bible
fundamentalistg-rather too often. And yet I love the soft air^^and tho soft water.
The view from the Faculty Club is breath-taking. All up ftowe sound. Blue water and
snow peaks. I always thought it would be a good place to watch the sun set. And I
think it is going to be.
Well, well, this is a humdinger of a letter and no mistake* Salute the "Creative
Minority" for me and tell them I miss them. Incidentally, Toynbee was about the only
book I had to read for a week or so after I moved in. I read himx sitting up in bed
and got more out of him than ever before. So you see you have done that good deed:
introduced a good book to (ahem).a good mind.
ev^ 4519 ||st Fifteenth Ave,,
Vane ouver, 8   B.C.
July 21, 1952
Bear EOF :.
I admit that this is no time to be answering a
communication dated April 7 but at least I have an excuse.
It took me some time to get hold of a copy of the report
itself and by the time I did so a minor crisis had arisen
in my domestic environment which-meant that I was given
over to hammering, banging, plastering and other plagues
that made any attempt at critical analysis of a document
quite impossible. When I did get roimd to reading it
carefully I had an urge to pack up and go to Quebec ready
for the fray, -^nd then it struck me that Quebec would manag^
quite nicely without any of the ancients — and, as I have
heard just recently, that is what Quebec did, A more ghast
ly waste of money it would be difficult to imagine but
quite literally, that is down the drain now.
A few evenings ago I was invited to a very nice dinner
given by the Provincial Assn. Executive in honour of a
visiting fireman who was conducting an institute at the
School of ^ursing at the UBC and there had a chance of talking to Miss Paulson and some of the others who had
been at the meeting. They all s'eembd to feel that you
had ma.de an outstanding contribution to the discussion
although one or two seemed to feel that a special meeting
in 1953 would have been advisable. Personally I don't think [
it would have been justified and a two-year cooling off
won't do anybody any harm.
fhere is just a possibility that I may visit some of
my  old stamping grounds of happy memory some time this
autumn.  I am going to Johns Hopkins early in October if all
goes well in order to pat a few finishing touches on my
HSS before the publishers get their claws on it and plan to
come home via Montreal* ^o prepare for a meeting of the
Creative Minority.
In the meantime, affectionate regards
?. Tj£_
Had a very cheerful message over the telephone from
Marion Lindeburgh when she passed through Vancouver recently
although I didn't see her.  I hear that the nurses in Victoria have found a nice little apartment for her so that
she can be independent and yet have a watchful eye kept over
her by her sister. 4519 West Fifteenth Avenue
Vancouver, 8    B.C.
September 12, 1952
Bear E.C.F. :
I was so sorry to hear of the family bereavement. I am sure that you were a
tower of strength to them all and especially to your brother.
Plans for the eastern journey have undergone some unexpected changes but now seem to be
clearing up a bit. If all goes well, I leave Vancouver for Mew York on September 23
and rather to my consternation (and greatly to my  surprize) I am to give the Commence-      ^
ment address at the Cornell University - I ew York |Iospital School of ^ursing on September *3a\
these exercises marking the seventy-fifth anniversary of the original NHffSchool# The idea
apparently is that I should provide a footnote to history hy  describing the stirring days
from 1929 to 1931 when the transfer was being made to the new environment under the guidance of some of their most distinguished alumnae. JEJ acted as midwife at this birth and
now they think they are ready for a case history. Anyway, that is what they are gc&ing to g
get — slightly expurgated, of course, and mellowed,'5by time.
After that, I expect to go on to Baltimore for what I sincerely hope will not be more
than a week or so. However, conferences are already looming up and it may be longer.
Then back to lew York before heading for Montreal and Quebec if the Carringtons are
oing to be at home.  She Canadian dates will fall on or about October 17 to 24 but
will be affected one way or another "oj  what happens at Baltimore.
I am sorry to be so indefinte but will keep in touch with you as the situation clarifies itself.  I should be very grateful if you could help me to get hotel accommodation
at what may be rather short notice. More about this later.
U iv^-U X1 ULM
.. EBP1RJAL PRESIDENT, [_0<~t-   3 0 }    /fial^J
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Vancouver, 8
December 9, 1952
Bear ECF :
I hope the scarf will serve to adorn your neck in
a suitable manner and may all good luck go with it.
I sent off what I hope is to my  final streamlining of
my share of the History yesterday and now only the perils
of getting it through the press remain# When that will
be heaven only knows for the last news that I have of my
collaborator is that she has taken to a hospital bed and
is more or less out of circulation for a time at least.
However, it is an immense relief that niy  own responsibility^
has been fulfilled^ whatever happens. Believe it or not,
I am toying with the idea of starting something on my  own
and a publisher is nibbling.  The  old girl (and the publisher) ought to get their heads examined.
That mras a happy visit in Montreal and that adventure
at the Themis was a high light that still flares away
nicely. Blessings on you — and on that brother of yours
taro. Salute him for me. Merry Christmas.
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AND        AHAPPy        NEW       YEAR/
-~\> pro. fa &m Bear 1CF :
Just a word to wish you all good
things at Christmas and the lew Year
even if this poor bewildered planet is
still in a horrid muddle.
How do yyou  like the pictare of the
landed proprietor out in her own backyard? She is putting finishing touches
t| the JHH history 1867—1907, now finally approved by authorities but needing
'■jttle more work on bibliography, references etc. Collaborator still en-
5^ gaged on the later years but one of
gthose fine Spring days, we expect to .a
. | burst upon an astonished world.
t>Q  I2hdsr_influence of Alliance Francaise
have been^Ln heavily for Existentialists
such as Sartre, Mauriac etc. Would like
to talk these over with you. Bather like
Mauriac though hard to take in spots.
Has deep sense of compassion. So has
Sartre for that matter. Also read3 by
way of an antidote, Bachel Carson's
f,Ehe Sea around us.fl What a woman and
what a book* Hoble is the word for it.
Pull up your socks and write to me. *m
'  &jsL
[  Bear ECF :
I have just finished reading "What Price Unity11? and
that raucous sound you hear is not the shriek of a storm-
tossed Pacific Ocean gull but is EJ giving three rousing
cheers. Whether or not your commonsense approach will
start the members thinking remains, of course, a debatable
question but at least someone has had the courage to speak <
out. More power to you! Crand going.
Just lately, I have felt far removed from nursing affairs.
Partly because of a bereavement that pretty well bowled me
over for awhile. Isabel Stewart's youngest sister who, for
many years has been one of my dearest friends (though musrh
younger than I) died early in the summer. Isabel came out
to Vancouver and there was also the other sister from Victoria
and it was a melancholy sort of satisfaction to do what one
could. It was little enough. As you know only too well, it
is the !£>emesis of nursing to be able to accomplish so little
when a precious life hangs in the balance. Well, enough of
all this.
By way of a footnote, however. Tell your brother that thp
xmly  comfort I had came from St James Church — the building
itself and its clergy. If he hears that they are expected to
j^aM at the Vatican almost any day now, ask him to use his '
yote^ ana influence. They belong in the Anglican Communion""*
and I don't mean maybe.
Fortunately there has been plenty to keep me busy one way
or another. The Johns Hopkins Press, after looking down its
aristocratic nose for years, suddenly decided to publish the
HISTQBY. It has meant delay but, of course, adds prestige
and you can guess ?/hat that means to the school of nursing.
I have been dabuling about with some other stuff, too, but
can't tell whether it will amount to anything or not. *ome
how or other, my  interests seems to be drifting away from
nurses and nursing. After all, the world is full of a number of other things.
'■^here is a good art gallery here although not in the
same class as Montreal. Travelling exhibits are excellent
and some really stimulating lectures. Last week, Eric Hew-
ton (you've probably noticed him in the Listener) gave a
perfectly corking talk on understanding modern art. All in the
nice detached English style, of course, but somehow he managed
to make sense of what has hitherto eluded me completely. By
good fortune, he came just after we had had a good sampling
of Graham Sutherland — especially a replica of the canvas
of "The Crucifixion" that I think was commissioned by  some
church in the north of England. I wonder if the sfe collection
came your way and whether you saw. it. I'd very much like
to know what you thought of it. British Columpja is going along the primsose path with
its Social Credit Government. One feels as though wewere
living in a sort of Alice in Wonderland atmosphere in which
"anytning mayhappen and probably will- It i?n*t altngathar a
laugning matter, either. I happened to fcune in on Press
Conference the other evening and heard Bajffckmore, the member
ror Letnoriage, getting nis come-uppgAc^from Blair Fraser,
Anne Francis and olheT select members of the Ottawa Press
(ialiery. m%  tne fact remains that SC rules Alberta and
S^jTitTsh Columbia in the name of an evangelical religious
/jgpoup that boagrggr tnat it represents the "grass roots" and
^trends Lo hang on to power By i>ivine right- What an outfit]
l^rwSo^Should Know better are exploiting it to their own
J^litical advantage — there is the crux of the whole business
Well, all this is to wish you a happy Christmas and a
good New Year.
Affectionately yours,
r,£ 4519 West Fifteenth Aye.,
Vancouver  8  B.C.
August 2, 1954
Bear EOF  :
Thank you for putting my Mr Jones (as you call him)
on the right track. He is a bit of a queer duck but has
genuine interest and enthusiasm and has done a good deal
to introduce new and good ideas to this horribly provincial and hidebound community. The social workers here
are at the stage that the nursing profession struggled
with nearly thirty years ago — that is, they are try-  '
ing to get public recognition as an honest to God profession. Curiously enough, they are not nearly so well
organized as we were even in those Arcadian days and I
had a lot of fun with a workshop tiut they held at the
UBC last spring. Nice souls, but not dry behind the
Yes, the BOOK is out and one of these fine days you
will receive a copy so don't buy one. * To my  immense
relief, the bally thing has sold far beyong expectations|
and a second printing is being talked of. I had horrid
visions of what in the trade are known as "publishers
remainders" piled up in a dusty unsold heap, -^ut not
sol It even went on television in Baltimore when the
chairman of the Alumnae committee (very chic and pretty)
was interviewed and an announcer with a good voice
read extracts in a really noble manner — or so I am
informed. As always happens with me, anything I have
written is completely externalized as soon as it appears
in print and I don't even want to read it. -"ore experienced authors tell me^t^t tnis is a common happening
and that a year or so"~you read the thing with interest
but complete detachment and wonder ho?/ (and why) you
sweat so much blood over it. Any^way it was a tremendous help with the mortgage and the other day I gave a
party at which the mortgage was burned with appropriate
) As you may have heard over press and radio, Vancouver
is host to the British Empire Games. The 700 contestants are housed on the University Campus and according
to all reports are dwelling together in peace and amity.
They range all the way from ebony to what E.M. Forster
justly calls our "pinko-grey" and the belle of the feminine contingent is a damsel from Fiji who is six feet
(tail and a wonderful dancer. Her hair-do is quite
something, too. To Mx®Th®&yxx  everyone's surprize,
the presence of this group has really done something to
this neck of the woods. The opening ceremonies were
extraordinarily impressive — thanks largely to a
visiting English gunboat and some quite spectacular
stunts by the BCAF. Also the counties did their stuff
beautifully. There are twenty-four white flagpoles
in-front of the Court House (near Hotel Vancouver)
and the flags of all the countries are displayed thereon.
Veterans contingents raise and lower them morning and
evening. I happened to be watching the other evening
in the company of a crowd of prosperous American tourists. There was complete silence until the ceremony
was ofrer and then the man next me turned to his neighbour and said: "I never knew until how what they meant
by their damned Commonwealth and Empire— I tell you,
they have something we never had and never will have."
The other man said: "There wasn't a Stars and Stripes
flown in Vancouver today." I hadn't noticed it before
but he was right. We have a nasty sycophantic habit
ofi doing that in order to cadge a little trade and they
don't respect us for it.
I was interested in your remarks regarding the CHA.
Thank heaven that idiotic structure study is out of the
way at last. For the last year or two my life seems to
have cut a new channel and the nursing aspects (in the
narrow sense) seem increasingly remote. But I can't
help being glad that I knew nursing in the heroic age.
Much of it I saw, and part of it I was — and this I say
in all humility.  One can only hope that the present
phase will give rise to something better. Signs are
not wanting that it will.  Incidentally, I spoke at the
BVH annual dinner here and am flatteringly informed that
"even the younger nurses enjoyed it."
I don't know what to think of the Ottawa move but
am inclined to be cagey about if,    Montreal was the
better place so far as race relations are concerned
and you certainly made a notable contribution in that
connection. I don't trust the political boys (or girls)
any farther than I can see them. "I fear the Greeks,
bearing gifts." But we shall see.
Bo you read anything by Freya Stark? ^he does
Arabian travel stuff (rather like GertrudeBell) and I
have developed quite a fen  for her. The latest one I
have got hold of is "The Coast of Incense." Autobiographical but not unduly reticent — or unduly frank.
I think she may be a PQBTENT* Perhaps the fore-runner
of a different sort of v/oman, footloose and free, in
mind^body and estate. The price would be high but
worth paying, in terms of human values.
tj-his IMsx Is a screed and no mistake*
Farewell and all that,
as ever,
i;(fL. 4519 West Fifteenth Ave.,
Vancouver, 8  B.C.
November 16, 1954
Bear ECF :
You must th nk that I am an ungrateful pig not even to have acknowledged your
intriguing and provocative gift.  Please believe that " The Boad to Mecca" has been much
enjpyed0   though not necessarily approved in spots. The gentleman's attitude toward women,
for instance. By the way, did you^ happen to read the review of it in a recent "Atlantic"?
The reviewer (like yours truly) was put off by the rather lush sensuousness and yet (again
like EJ) ended up by feeling that it was a great book.  The flash-backs are a bit confusing
but once one gets the thread not really so very difficult to follow. And the desert is there
— not even Gertrude Bell or Freya Stark managed to evoke it as he has done. I had read
Br P§nfieldfs book not long before so was more or less in the vein.  Evidently he too had
been deeply affected by that strange country.
To pass from the sublime to the ridiculous, EJ's magnum opus goes forward to you with
the fervent hope that you will deal with it gently. My  own ahare of the history deals, as you
will see, with the Victorian age and has been written by a totally unreconstructed mid-
Victorian. I tried very hard to preserve at least a degree of objectivity concerning the
part played by the Canadians — Osier, Hampton and Bobb — and was comforted to find tjtat
so high an authority as the Bean of the Hopkins Medical School thought that I had succeeded.
The book has had a modest success I'm glad to say and has sold unexpectedly well among
Baltimoreans in general, outside of the medical and nursing fraternities. I nearly burst
with pride when I heard that THE PBATT LIBBABY, than which there is no whicher, had actually
exhibited it in their display window as the book of the week* "The Old Lady Shows her
Medals", excuse it please*   ^o more, no more.
It has been a queer mixed-up sort of a summer* More illness than I like among friends
and contemporaries though at the moment situations are less acute in that respect* On the
cheerful side — literary earnings have encouraged me in horrid extravagance and I now rejoice
in a new electric stove ANB an oil heater that are superb.. Bidn't enjoy getting them put in and on one occasion when there were three stoves and five very large men all present together
in my little house I felt that the world was too much with me late and soon and that things
were getting a little too much for m$. Hov/ever, the soothing influence of the garden
helped to straighten me out although goodness knows there weren't many days when it was fit
to go out in it. Nevertheless, the flowers managed to bloom and as for the lawn it was really
emerald — and no watering either.
^ot as many intellectual sprees this year as last but a week or so ago we did have W.H .
Auden out at the University. He spent a whole hour reading his own poetry ~ most of it
recent and pretty abstract. Not food for babes, either. But the students gave him a whale of
a reception even though he did not really read very well. I had hoped he might touch upon
his own philosophy hy way of explanation. But no, he was austere and left us to struggle
alone. One of the poemrf he read ia in the last Atlantic —   "Plains"
" But I cannot see a plain without a shudder;-
Oh God, please, please, don't ever make me live there."
What price Alberta and Saskatchewan? ^hey can be beautiful but I think I know what
the man means. He"finished up with a poem called (I think) Compline. And that rather shook
me though I don't know why*
""id you get a look at M ^fcdes France? If so, I enry you. He has my warm heart and ought
to be appointed Bictator of France, preferably for life. Incidentally, the Alliance Francaise
had itself quite an evening the other night when a man from the department of French in the
University, himself a Frenchman and a Maqui, gave us his unexpurgated version of what France
looked like to him last summer. It was pretty grim. He had really got down to the grass
roots, out in the provinces and away from Paris. You couldn't help wondering what will happen if the Miendes government is overthrown and his guess is that it will be.
Oh, I wish we could have a good talk sometime. xhe world is pretty interesting
jus£ now, isn't it?
n;   , ~:       y-       ,      i(  GJJi*^    ^ -   r&XAu.
LKJ-J2AP- ^v- jfTJ\A^      ,
V 4519 West Fifteenth Ave.,
Vancouver, 8   B.C.
February 1, 1955
Bear ECF :
How am I ever to keep up with all your good deeds? "Lord M." was devoured as the
French say "d'un seul trait" and now Ionia is being savoured with the deliberation it deserves. My  special thanks for the review — quite a sensitive bit of writing by someone
who knows something of the tensions that seem to be developing in that part of the world.
It is interesting to note this new attitude and approach on the part of FS herself. It is
in marked contrast to her other books and yet in harmony with them. You are a noble benefactor but 0 far too generous a giver. Nevertheless, bless you.
Things pursue the even tenor of their way. Nothing more exciting than going to listen
to W. H . Auden read some of his own unpublished poems. He reads rather badly but managed
to hold the attention of the young barbarians at the University for a full hour.  One of
the poems he read -SXXEKX^IX (Sorry, the typewriter has the hiccups) was called "Plains"
and has since appeared in the Atlantic. T&ke a lock at it sometime. It explains rather
vividly why people go mad out on the prairie.
H-ew does the international situation strike you? Vancouver is quite a vantage point
from which to watch the emergence of Asia. We are not so far from China (or the United
States) as the crow flies — or the bomber. There must be some weird conversations going
on these days behind the closed doors of Chinatown, feiere are also some stormy debates
in the multi-racial student body out at the UBC. Incidentally, the dramatics group out there
recently put on quite a remarkable performance of Jean Cocteau's "The Infernal Machine" —
^sx&K strong meat for babes but they pulled it off.  The stage settings and lighting were
Today we have had six continuous hours of sunshine and my crocuses are coming up. During
the past year we also had about a six-foot rainfall and don't let the Junior Chamber of Commerce
tell you anything different.
Cvatefully, 4519 West Fifteenth Sve.,
Vancouver,  8   B.C.
larch 7, 1955
My dear ECF :
I am sorry to have delayed so long in answering
your letter — a friend of mine has been going through a
pretty severe domestic crisis and needed a friendly shoulder to weep on. Indeed, don't we all?  To ,say that I was
shocked to hear of the affair at the MGH is to put it
mildly.  I heartily agree with you that there was no need
o'f such harshness and that a dignified arrangement could
have been made that wotild have spared Norena this quite
uamerited and savage humiliation. What a blessing it is
that you and Bae Chittick are there for her to turn to in
this crisis.
I am sure that you are right in tirging her to finish up
the work for her dejgree and if this can be arranged at
lie Gill so much the better. Bo you think, however, that
if she could get away from Montreal for awhile she might
get over the shock more rapidly? I am venturing to throw
out a hint to that effect in the accompanying letter to
her.  xhe idea I have in mind may not appeal to her at all and if it doesn't I shan't mind a bit if she just ignores
it. At least it would have one advantage — she would be
kept busy in a reasonably congenial environment and need
not break any ties with ""ontreal and her friends there.
Furthermore, she would not be too far away to be in touch
with her doctor.  Please give her the letter with my love
and I hope she will want to talk it over with you but if
she would rather not do so we shall both understand and
sympathize.    My own instinct in a somewhat similar
situation was to go off by myself and fight it out alone
and perhaps that may be best for her, too.
Freya Stark and I are pursuing our Q^iest in Ionia,
tiianks to your good offices^and now you offer me "Seven
Years in Tibet." «ould I like it — of course I would, you
generous soul but don't you think it ought to be on a
"lease - lend" basis? Except EMrd m", with whom  I am
hopelessly infatuated.
Apropos of Feya and the terrain she covers in her quest
—. this is the Bawrence of Arabia country — in his
twenties you will remember that he worked on the excavations at Carchemish and visited the various Crusaders'
castles. The Aldington attack on him is a pretty grisly
business and I was glad to see that in a recent Third
Programme BBC broadcast, ^ir Bonald Storrs took Richard to
the cleaners. It was a subtle and scarifying job and even
Aldington's thick hide must have been removedtin spots at
least. Sir ?/inston also had a word or two to say. "The
Listener" carried Storrs verbatim and you have probably seen
the text.  I'm wondering whether the publication of Lawrence
"The Mint" may have had something'to do with the timing of
Aldington's vicious attack. There must be some red faces in
the EAF upper echelons these dgcges judging from the excerpts
that I have happened to see.
Well, I must stop havering and write to N.  ^ot an easy
thing to do.
Sincerely and gratefully,
1 4519 West Fifteenth Ave.,
Vane ouver, 8   B.C.
July 18, 1955
Bear ECF  s
Please believe that I did send you a brainwave at
least two weeks ago — even before your recent letter caused
me to experience what our BC friends describe as "remorse of
conscience." This was the way of it : during the whole month
of June I was toiling at the oar in my own School of Nursing
collecting source material for (yes, you nave guessed it)
the history c& that nolle institution that graduated Isabel
Stewart and hasn't done anything much except have trouble^
ever since. We have changed superintendents of nurses far
too often and the joint is oeginning  to be known as the
grave of good reputations. However, Miss Pullen did a swell
job with us and now that she has left us and taken an easier
and better paid job in the States, we have a young one of our
own, Margaret Cameron, i¥ho I hope will do well. She bad been
on the staff at St Luke's in NY for some time and does not
know the Canadian scene as well as she should. She may go
East before long and if she does I know she will be pulling
at your latchstring. She needs the sort of briefing you
could give her. Perhaps she is a bit on the academic side
but there is real ability there if she can take the sort of
punishment anyone is likely to get in a western hospital that hasn't had the competition that it needs to keep it on
its toes*
Now about all those delightful books that you have sent me.
The HjE Freya Stark one has only just had the sort of reading
tha£ it deserves. When  I got back from the f/pg. stunt, I took
a ^ek off and pretty well camped out in my  backyard, coming
in] |ply for meals and to sleep. Bidn't even answer the phone.
Just (ravelled through Iona with Freya. But ought I not to
send them all back to you now so that they can be shared with
other friends. YESf  ~- I should like the Glasgow one and
would be sure to do my  duty by  it promptly, l^he reviews got
me wondering about it. Bid you happen to read Virginia V/oolf's
^-Writer^s- Biary*J*£-Jlfeaderful-but-Oe£t_you--anting-more-.—Mast-
stop npw and send a word to Norena ANB to Caroline B. — I
had not heard that she had taken the plunge .  Affectionately, 4519 West Fifteenth Ave.,
Vancouver,  8   B#C#
August 26
Bear ECF  :
"The Woman Within" is being returned after far too long an interval and with sincere gratitude,  ^hey say it is a good deed to bring a worthy book to a mind capable of profiting by it so you see you are right up the Boy Scout alley. To say that I was fascinated is to
put it mildly.  I could not put it down when I first read it and have returned more than once
for a more analytic study.  The closing paragraphs I have copied out and kept. They reflect
my own life experience to such an extraordinary degree that I might nave written them myself
if I'd had the capacity to do it, which I haven't. All through the book there are the most
astonishing flashes of insight and above all the courage to face disillusioment.
As you will remember, this characteristic comes out strongly in the chapter called
Fata Morgana. As I read it I suddenly realised that Harold, the Bed Cross Colonel, had once
been pointed out to me in the Dunapalota, in Budapest. His palmy days in Boumania were over
by  that time but he was still a striking figure. Ellen Glasgow's merciless dissection of the
man was almost as remarkable as her relentless analysis of the influence they exercised over
one another and from which neither ever completely escaped.
This booc is by far the best portrait that I have yet seen of the women of my  own generation — that is to say, the intellectuals among them.  It seems strange that she should have
wanted to delay the publication of the book at all for its reticence is just as char^^ter-
istic of the epoch as the frankness. And yet most of us would have done likewise.  I must t^sub
to her books now  that I have the key. At the time, I was probably not ready for them.
To come down to personal affairs — Gertrude Hall spent a day with me this week and we had
a grand palaver over the Winnipeg General soiirce material.  She took quite an active part in
some of the doings that shook the School to its foundations in the early forties, ^he looked
well and is happy in the Calgary job,  /hey all seem to think the world of her in that roaring
cattle town.
Well, once more, bless you
2u, „ September 3rd
Bear ECF j
I am distressed to hear about the latest trouble that has come to Norena. It came as
a surprize to hear about it since not long ago I had had a letter from her written while she
was enjoying a holiday in the Maritimes. I am sending her a word in your care for I suppose
that under the present "ambulatory" system (pretty brutal at times) she has been discharged
and is expected to get along as best she can. However, I'm sure that you and other loyal
friends will rally round.  It would be a relief to hear that the scission disclosed nothing
to be alarmed about.
No, I have not read the Gertrude La?/rence and should very much like to do so. I shall
always remember seeing her And Beatrice Li Hie And Jack Buchanan, all at one and the same
time, in Chariot's Bevue. What a castlj  I didn't much like the treatment Noel Coward
gave GL in his Present Indicative although his affection for her shone through all the
Interesting to hear about the developments at Edinborough University. That would have been
about the last place that I should have predicted might blossom out in such a manner. But it
may flourish better in a Scottish environment than in England. Here's hoping, anyway.
'^he Christmas party sounds as though it might be pretty lively and very good fun*
We have had five weeks of lovely summer weather without any rain to speak of. My  goodness,
how we needed a touch of sun.  I look like a speckled toad and find it hard work to get any
solid work done on the WGH job. Oh well, it won't last much longer, alas J
s  4519 West Fifteenth Ave.,
Vancouver, 8 B.C.
February 3rd., 1956
Bear ECF ;
This letter will acknowledge the arrival of "Mrs A."
The timing could not have ueen better. Yours truly is just
emerging from a sharp attack of influenza which left the
usual aftermath of weakness and depression and Mrs A was
just the sort of tonic needed in the circumstances.  I went
through the book rapidly first — carried away by the impact
of the woman herself — out am now reading it a second time
with even greater enjoyment. What really did Mr A make of it
all? Is there an inner meaning in the title "Gertrude Lawrenc
as Mrs A.?" Was the character no more t an the greatest of
her roles?  By the way, did you happen to read Noel Coward's
"Present Indicative?" It gives a very different slant on GL.
Macleans has just come in with the article on Penfield, O.M.
It gives some good picture shots bot of him and various parts
of the MNI. Among others, that of the gallery with the mural
as a background. xhere the nurses are the dominant factors.
fhe men more or less shadowy. The article catches one aspect
of WP which always appealed to me greatly — his concern with
"the ultimate riddle: what is bsktsA    the bridge between
nerve impulse and thought? And what about a man's soul." Perhaps the expected conversation between him and Hippocrates
may tell us something but somehow I would like it in essay
rather than novel form.
The article in the CN is outstanding and I hope you will soon
expand this and other unique material into a formal textbook.
So far, no one seems to have got as far as you have. Of course
it is difficult to pin down anything in a field that is extendij
ing its borders so fast as yours. But ... well, think about i1
I had the surprize of my  life the other day when I heard of
the appointment of Anna Wolf's successor at Hopkins. As you
probably saw, she is JHH, and was the head of their Unit in
the South Pacific. Shere she married the Chplaia — and now
she and the reverend gentleman are both at JHHt - he in the
capacity of "co-ordinator of clerical services." Shades of
Adelaide Nutting! I had taken for granted that Virginia
Betzold would succeed A?/. But perhaps she may have been too
academic for the Trustees. Also, she is an ardent B.C.
Well, dear ECF, thank yon very much for the latest benefit.
The book will be duly returned and meantime is both a solace
and a stimulus.
 ' * • yy  ^Uj^^	 September 1st., 1956
Dear E.C.F. :
You elusive creature! At last I can put my finger
on you for a moment at least. For the past months, all I
Jaave heard was that you were, as usual, on the wing.
All summer long, I have been toiling at the oar (tapping
the typewriter) and at least had the satisfaction of earning
enough to pay for the gardener once every two ?/eeks. ^he
garden has heen my  pride and joy all summer long and during
July and August I had at least one meal outside where I
could see the birds playing around in the bird bath — my
latest extravagince. After a grisly June, we have had a
glorious two months. Never have I seen such a summer. Had
a brief holiday over on Vancouver Island as the guest of
Isabel Stewart's sister.  *ou ought to see her place —
a herbaceous border like those you see in England and a
stand of Bouglas firs. She bought the property when it
was acreage, years ago, and now it is building vlv  a bit too
fast to please her.
'i'he Winnipeg General job is not far from completion so far as the manuscript is concerned but there is still the
problem of getting it through the press. However, it has
been a labour of love and, since 1 am not being paid anything, I have a much freer hand than with the Hopkins job.
If all goes well, it ought to come in handy later on as an
authentic story of the beginning of professional nursing in
the Canadian West.
Last week, I had the pleasure of having Margariet Street
drop in for a cup of tea. She is a fine woman and is a
great comfort to Gertrude Hall.  Some of the University
people here have seen the Calgary School and think well of
Isn't this Egyptian - Cprus crisis a grisly business?
An English Labour Party member of Parliament —ICrossman —
has been making some good sensible speeches out here in
Vancouver — he also spoke at the Couchiching conference
and you may have heard him — somehow I should feel better
if Gaitskell were in Eden's place just now. fhere seems to
have been an awful lot of bungling and now this sabre-
To come down to more mundane affadrs. Trenna Hunter is
now installed in office and is determined to do a good job.
She is not a very strong person but she is sincere and
has the interests of the Assod&ation at heart.  I never
did like the idea of the Ottawa move and I never shall.
However, the CNA did stay long enough in Montreal to
improve French-English relations enormously and in that
respect you, dear ECF, played a part of which you have
every reason to be proud., ^ot everyone was close enough
to the situation to know how valuable your contribution
really was but as time goes on, it will become more and more
Interested to hear of Norena's new appointment and wish
her every success.
Books — yes,of course, but only those which you have
already read and enjoyed yourself. Apropos — did you read
the "Nun and the Dramatist" correspondence in the last two
Atlantics? Wonderful « GBS with an antagonist worthy of
his steel. How I wish the Creative Minority could meet
and discuss them.
As ever, Al.
*   4
:j        .£%
"'» 4519 West Fifteenth Ave.,
Vancouver, 8  B.C.
December 11, 1856
Dear E, C. F. :
Greetings wherever you are — Britain? New ^ork?
Slopes of Mount Boyal? No keeping track of you.
There have been many times during the past weeks when I
should dearly have liked to have a good talk with you and to
get a lot of dangerous stuff off my oppressed bosom. Somehow, here in our rain forest we seem strangely remote from
v/orld events, safely wrapped up In a cocoon of our complacency.
The letters that c^une from friends in England are saddening. The storm broke over them so suddenly that they
do not seem to know where to look for shelter. A few are
bitter about Canada's attitude but others seem to accept it
as logical and inevitable. As for %ngary, I try not to
think about it. Bebrecen is near the frontier and is quite
a railway centre and it is from here that they are carting
away people in box cars to concentration camps. It used to
be a peaceful university town and it was there that I grapple
with the setting up of a school of nursing — a good one, too
even if I say it as shouldn't. If^ glad that Canada is VCDVNV3 Ml 30VIM
"ONI '3miANVW    O  ±S3N«3
cutting through the worst of the red tape but am pretty
sure that some of the refugees will be a handful. Especially the "creative minority" if you know what I mean. %st
of these would be happier in the Province of Quebec and I
was interested to read that Laval and the U. of Montreal
are holding out a helping hand, ^he Catholic response I
suppose and none the worse for that.
One doesn't want to talk much about merriment but I do
wish you a happy and peaceful Christmas among friends. All
success in the New Year!
As ever,   (J October 16, 1957
Bear ECF :
Has it struck you that you are beginning to
resemble the restless spirit in the Scriptures who
"wandered to and fro u-on the earth."? This catty remark is, of course, inspired by sheer envy.    It must
have been fun to be the only Canadian at Lisbon. Why
on earth did all the others miss that particular bus ?
So far, I haven't had a ehance to talk at any length
with the Vancouver nurses who  went to Borne but the
general impression seems to be similar to your owa
— a three-ringed circus. Everything seems to be
too big these days, including hospitals. The VGH is
a grisly example of this Gargantuan craze for size.
It gave me a nostalgic pang to hear that you and iAV
Suzanne were setting up housekeeping in my  old
stamping ground — the Marlborough of happy memory.
Quite a lot happened to me in that little bachelor
suite where, incidentally, I was almost suffocated
one night by ammonia fumes coming from the refrigerator.
Bon't be surprized if you encounter my astral shade
still hovering around the little pool in the courtyard where an ancient turtle used to live*
It was good news to learn from Lippincott that you
were  casting a benevolent eye over their Canadian
activities. ffhey are grand people to work with and
I've enjoyed my  long assoication with them thoroughly. I$$K Apropos of literary labours, I'm sending
you a copy of my WGH history and hope you will be
amused, if not edified. There has been quite a lot
of grief in dealing with contemporary figures but the
\?riting of the earlier chapters was sheer joy* It was
such a satisfaction to get the story of the early Bed
Biver days down before the original documents crumbled
into dust. The sale has gone very well — they have an
excellent young committe ?/orking on this end of it.
Whatever else it has or has not done, the history has
given the Alumnae a terrific shot in the arm. The
Assoication had heen  in the doldrums for some years.
H ow I should like to meet the Creative Minority,
preferably at the Marlborotigh, and have an old-time
talk on the present state of the nation in particular
and the state of the world in general. What with
Sputniks and the Boyal visit these are lively times.
For some reason I can't explain, I wish the USA visit
was safely over. Maggeridge is rather a rotter isn't
heE What do the English really think of him? I was grieved to hear of your sister's bereavement.
Why, oh why, are such valuable lives burning themselves
out just when they are at the height of their powers?
It will be hard for her to adjust to a solitary way of
life — that is where we single women have a certain
advantage. However, being a Flanagan, I am sure she
will stand up to it bravely and there will the younger
gen ration to keep an eye on.
This year, I sank so low as to cast a Conservative
vote.' But if I had been in Montreal, there would
have been someone worth voting for in NBG. How I
wish that man was in the House or the Senate or
somewhere where he could deal a few hefty blows
v/here they are most needed*
1   KXXX '    J   ^K>l^


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