This summer it was a pleasure to receive the graduation certificate, pin and photo of Barbara Joan Spence, graduate of the Hospital for Sick Children School for Nurses, Toronto, Class of June 1924. Although Barbara worked in Toronto after graduation her certificate somehow made its way to the USA, likely after she passed away and her estate was settled. Recently her great nephew, Harold Clark of Rochester New York, rediscovered it as he sorted through family memorabilia. He recognized that his Canadian cousin, Meredith Hill, has a close connection to the Hospital for Sick Children. Her spouse, Eleanor Low is also a Sick Children’s graduate, Class’67, and her granddaughter, Rissa Jopling, is currently a nurse there. While on an annual vacation in Ontario this year, Harold and his sister, Elizabeth Seaman from Oklahoma, gave Barbara’s certificate, pin and photo to Eleanor for safe-keeping and return to the SickKids archives.
Harold, Elizabeth and Meredith fondly remember their Aunt Barbie who took an active part in their young lives. Although they knew she was a nurse who worked for the Children’s Aid Society and as a private duty nurse, they were unaware of where she had received her training until her certificate came to light. It seems fitting that it has returned home almost 100 years after her graduation!
(Eleanor Low, Cl’67)