Salt Spring Island Archives

The Ruby Alton Collection

Archival materials for housing this collection generously sponsored by The Victoria Foundation - ALACS Fund

Ruby's Youth

The Nurse



More Photos

The Ruby Alton Collection

An entry in the Anglican Parish Registers for births, states that Hilda Ruby Margaret Lacy was born to Arthur Ord and Hilda Lacy, at Fulford Harbour on Salt Spring Island, British Columbia, Canada, on March 28, 1931 and baptized at St. Mary's Anglican Church by Anglican minister, J.W. Flinton, on April 26, 1931. Ruby was born in the original Lady Minto Hospital.

Ruby was the youngest of five children, her siblings being, Mary, 1919; Kathleen, 1922; Edward, 1925; and Howard, 1927. The girls were born in Falkland, B.C. before the family moved to Salt Spring about 1923 and the boys were born on Salt Spring Island, after the move.

The original Lacy home on Salt Spring, was a small log cabin, situated on Isabella Point Road, which was added to as the years went by and the family grew. In typical English fashion, the Lacy flower garden was the pride of the family, all of whom spent much time cultivating, tending and enjoying their beautiful flowers. The children carried on the tradition of colourful surrounding and Ruby was an avid gardener, belonging to and serving on the executive of the Salt Spring Island Garden Club.

As a child, Ruby attended Isabella Point School and later went on to high school in Ganges, graduating in 1949. She enrolled in the School of Nursing at the Royal Jubilee Hospital in Victoria, from which she graduated in the Class of 1952.

After graduation, Ruby nursed as an RN at the Jubilee Hospital in Victoria and later at the Hospital in Aklavik, in the North West Territories of Canada. After leaving hospital nursing, she was a private nurse for Mrs. Roy Alton, who died of her illness. Ruby married Roy Alton, in 1960.

Ruby and Roy Alton traveled a great deal, beginning with their honeymoon in Great Britain. They enjoyed freighter travel and saw much of the world that way. After Roy's death, Ruby continued to travel and left extensive documentation of her trips in diaries, slides and snapshots. She was an active member of the Salt Spring Island Trail and Nature Club, rarely missing an outing to local and off-island destinations.

Ruby was actively involved in environmental concerns and projects, working to prevent degradation of environmentally sensitive areas of land and water. She enjoyed the gifts of nature, preserving on her own property, a forested area that produces many wildflowers that are close to extinction, even on Salt Spring. She cared so deeply that her property is covenanted and left to posterity in its original condition.

Ruby died in 1998 after a long and determined battle with cancer. During her illness, she remained active and caring, surrounded by her many friends and family.

The following pictures show Ruby as a child, teenager and as a young woman.