Awarded by the College of Nursing, University of Saskatchewan
A lifetime of caring and compassion would be one way to describe the life of Edith May Forrest. Perhaps it was the rural Saskatchewan upbringing, or the fact she was responsible for the raising of two younger siblings after her parents died, but throughout her life Edith was very appreciative of what life had to offer. She was very independent, was a “no frills” person and subscribed to the philosophy that “life is what it is”.
Edith’s parents were one of the first homesteaders in the Loreburn area south of Saskatoon. Her siblings included Margaret, Alma, Doris, Harold, John and Alvin. First her mother Sarah passed away when she was 16, and few years later, her father Charles passed away. The responsibility for raising two younger siblings fell to her. This took place at a time when Saskatchewan was suffering through the “dirty thirties”. This was one of the first examples of her lifelong calling to care for others.
When her responsibilities for her siblings lessened, Edith moved to Ontario to work in an ammunition factory to support the Canadian war efforts. It was during this time Edith realized what her life’s work should be in nursing. At 33, she graduated from the Sarnia Hospital School of Nursing in 1946 with two proficiency awards. She was extremely proud of her profession and wore her convocation ring every day for the rest of her life.
Her nursing career took her to the provinces of Ontario, Alberta, British Columbia and of course, Saskatchewan. She always enjoyed the challenge of providing the best care she could as she was dedicated to the well-being of her patients. She also enjoyed her association with colleagues. Often she would not come home to visit family on holidays, because the “other girls” should have the opportunity to visit their families during these special times. This is just one example of how she would put others before herself.
Edith’s life was far from all work and no play, as she lived life to the fullest. If there was an event or a dinner out, Edith took advantage of every opportunity she had to be in the company of others. Edith was always interested in learning about the world. She loved to travel to places throughout the United States, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. She also attended several Briers and World Curling Championships, and many local sporting events, especially if family was involved.
This Award is set up in her name to help others realize their Nursing careers.