WEYBURN - In the early 1900’s a young girl, Roseanna Maude Dickinson, left her home in Carberry, Manitoba, for Winnipeg to attend nurse’s training.
For more than a decade, she travelled the prairies, caring for the sick and infirm.
In 1919, while nursing at the Weyburn Hospital, she met a handsome man two years her junior, by the name of William Hockley.
Bill (or Will as he was also known) was a farmer and had served in France during WW1, however he returned home to Saskatchewan after being injured in active duty.
It is unknown whether Bill had typhoid or scarlet fever, but he was very ill when he was brought to the hospital in Weyburn. The care Rose provided to her patient was exceptional and Bill was able to return to his farm near Bengough.
Bill was a thoughtful and kind man, and he was grateful for the care he had received, so he sent Rose a thank you note. Not wanting to seem eager or improper, she waited nearly a year before replying to him.
Over the next year or so, their relationship grew, and they were married in December of 1921.
They were both in their thirties by this time. Rose moved to the farm and they began their family. Their first-born, a boy, lived only a few short days. In 1923, they had a second child, a girl. Although Rose adapted to farm life, she often travelled wherever needed. And nurses were always needed. Bill and their daughter tended to the chores at home, including feeding the threshing crew and taking care of the animals.
My Grandma Rose passed away in 1968 when I was not quite three years old. I have no memories of her. I have stories passed down, letters and journals and facts. I didn’t know her… but this I do know. She answered the call.
To our nurses - we celebrate and honour you, not only this week, but every week. Thank you for answering the call.