Honouring Women of Lethbridge 2

Legacy Ridge in north Lethbridge is one of few communities in Canada featuring only names of women on streets and parks. When the housing development was proposed, many in the city – led by the Centennial Committee for Recognition of Women – championed the idea. Priority was given to women who were ‘first’ in an achievement and had not been recognized previously. The exhibit Honouring Women of Lethbridge currently at the Galt Museum & Archives highlights fifteen such women, including Lillian Margaret Parry and Mildred Dobbs, who were involved in healthcare.

Lillian Margaret Parry was born in Wales in 1900 and came to Lethbridge in 1902. She took her formal nurse training at Vancouver General from 1922-1926 and returned to Lethbridge to join the Nursing Mission. Parry served as an army nurse during World War II, becoming a member of the Royal Canadian Army Medical Corps (RCAMC). Her passion for healthcare reached beyond her 33-year commitment to the Campbell Clinic and the Galt and Magrath Hospitals. Parry advocated for establishment of the Lethbridge Health Unit during her time as the first female Alderman in Lethbridge. She was also a member of the Quota Club of Lethbridge and the Board of Health.

Mildred Dobbs was Matron and sole nurse of the Isolation Hospital on 7 Avenue and 20th Street South in Lethbridge for 39 years, from 1911 to 1950. When patients were recuperating in the hospital she was always on duty, and quarantined with them. Initially, she and a housekeeper cared for the patients, did the laundry and cleaning, and made all the meals. Later, students from the Galt School of Nursing were sent to work in the Isolation Hospital, providing much needed help and gaining useful training from Miss Dobbs about communicable diseases. Until her retirement at the age of 74, she never took a sick day.

Honouring Women of Lethbridge is on display at the Galt Museum & Archives in the main level hallway through February 16. For details visit www.galtmuseum.com.