Remembering longtime native nurse Dorothy Bremner

Changing into a nurse had by no means crossed Dorothy Bremner’s thoughts. However life had different plans for the New Brunswick-born schoolteacher. A number of years into the Second World Warfare, Dorothy determined that nursing would finest enable her to contribute from dwelling – and alongside the best way, she discovered a ardour for the career.

“All the pieces at the moment was targeted on the conflict and he or she knew no matter she selected to do should profit the conflict effort,” says niece Carolyn Moore. “Dorothy knew she would have a lifetime of service, it doesn’t matter what profession she selected. She didn’t have a grand life plan however knew she would go the place she was wanted to serve others.”

Born on the kitchen desk of her household’s dwelling in Fredericton, Margaret Dorothy Bremner was the older daughter of James Philip Bremner, who labored in agriculture and helped McCain’s develop its potato in Prince Edward Island, and Helen Brown MacNaught Bremner, a homemaker. Alongside together with her sister Marjorie, the brilliant and inquisitive Dorothy loved biking. “Her mom cherished picnics and nature walks and Dorothy remembered these fondly,” says Carolyn.

The Bremner household was extra lucky than most through the Nice Melancholy. Being in agriculture, James remained employed, says niece Nancy Moore. “Dorothy remembered out-of-work males knocking on the door, asking for meals,” Carolyn says, “and regardless of not having a lot additional, her mom at all times offered a sizzling meal.”

The Second World Warfare started when Bremner was nonetheless in class. “She advised us about her highschool lessons in Fredericton the place boys have been, at one level, college students in school, then enlisted and by no means returned,” says Carolyn. “By the point she completed highschool, she stated she didn’t have any boys in her lessons.”

Dorothy didn’t have any specific profession ambitions on the time however needed to contribute to her group, Nancy says. After graduating highschool in 1940, she attended Regular College – a instructor’s school – as a result of it was free, graduating the next yr. She taught kids ages 5 to 16 at a one-room schoolhouse for a yr, relocating together with her household to Toronto in 1942 for her father’s job with the Canadian Jersey Cattle Membership (now Jersey Canada).

Her New Brunswick educating qualification was not acknowledged in Ontario, so Dorothy attended a three-year nursing coaching program at Ladies’s Faculty Hospital after reasoning that it could be one of the simplest ways to help the conflict effort at dwelling.

On June 6, 1944 – her twenty first birthday – Dorothy was engaged on a hospital ward when the Allies invaded Normandy on D-Day. Though she had been ready to go wherever she was wanted, she would joke that her timing was unhealthy as a result of the conflict ended as she graduated the nursing program in 1945.

After incomes a scholarship to check science on the College of Toronto for a yr, she returned to Ladies’s Faculty Hospital, the place she employed revolutionary and considerate educating strategies: to assist college students memorize an essential science idea, she as soon as wrote lyrics to the melody of a well-liked music. “The scholars laughed uproariously as Dorothy sang this music and inspired them to affix in,” Carolyn says. “An older teacher stopped by Dorothy’s classroom and admonished her, saying laughter had no place in studying within the classroom, however Dorothy knew higher. She was at all times attempting to make issues enjoyable.”

Within the early Nineteen Sixties, Ladies’s Faculty Hospital required instructors to have a college diploma, so at age 40, Dorothy grew to become a scholar as soon as once more and earned a B.A. in sociology from York College, whereas working as a nurse at Glendon Faculty.

“Dorothy had a holistic view of well being, consisting of bodily, social, emotional, psychological and religious facets,” says Carolyn. A superb listener, she “understood how essential psychological well being was to the well being of the person.” Figuring out they have been on their very own, Dorothy befriended international college students. She as soon as saved a person’s life after diagnosing malaria.

Though she was a prolific matchmaker – establishing a couple of half-dozen {couples}, says Carolyn – Dorothy by no means married. “She by no means met anybody who was value giving up the life she was dwelling for,” says Nancy. “She was comfy together with her life because it was.”

She was dedicated to her household, getting collectively each Sunday for what Nancy calls “some kind of roast beast.” When Marjorie, an obstetrician and gynecologist, misplaced her husband, inner drugs specialist Robert Moore just a few weeks earlier than Christmas in 1963, Dorothy moved in to assist take care of her widowed sister’s three younger daughters.

An “early thrifter who noticed the potential in every little thing,” Carolyn says, Dorothy was additionally a world traveller who launched her nieces to paella after a visit to Spain and borscht after touring to Russia. “We might go fowl watching on the agricultural roads that are actually Richmond Hill, by no means returning dwelling till we’d seen a meadowlark,” says niece Christine Moore.

Dorothy’s ardour for gardening led to the yard at her Willowdale bungalow, the place she’d lived because the home was inbuilt 1953, turning right into a floral showplace. It included pine timber she had introduced as saplings from New Brunswick. As we speak, they’re 35 toes tall.

Following her retirement from Glendon Faculty in 1988, Dorothy continued to journey and volunteered with Bloor Road United Church, the place she was a member for almost eight a long time, and the Salvation Military’s Homestead, which housed girls in dependancy restoration.

All the time impartial, Dorothy remained in her dwelling, requiring help solely in the previous couple of years earlier than her loss of life. Remembered “for her eager wit and mind, generosity, kindness, welcoming spirit, her caring and humble nature and her optimism,” says Carolyn, Dorothy “seemed ahead to what every day may convey. She selected happiness daily, or she really simply felt pleased. Both approach, she created an exquisite life for herself.”



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