Salt Spring Island Archives

Donate Now Through!


Joan Milner

Accession Number Interviewer Sue Mouat
Date Location SSA cassette tapes
Media Audio CD
ID Duration




Unknown Speaker 0:00
You know, I was wondering when the first time you came to the island? What?

Unknown Speaker 0:05
I was 20 Because Mother, you see, and Dr. Sullivan went to boarding school together when mother was Elizabeth Hardy, and she was either snowball. And then she Berry. She didn't know she was either. Remember her meeting? Snowball was or snowball, but she came out of the University of Denver, top of all the medical class. And she was not popular with demand. They do. So they had to they had to Liverpool practice. And he looked after the man she looked after the window he

Unknown Speaker 0:49
was he was a doctor too.

Unknown Speaker 0:53
So then, might be tough. Well, so then they had the Liverpool practice for some years. And he was a very highly strung man and took two drugs. So suddenly, one day you disappeared. And Dr. Stovall, as she was them had a very bad breakdown. And the Holy Spirit physician said, they took her down to London, and said that she had six months to live, she had a brain tumor. So she said, Well, if I've only got six months to live, then I'm going to go find my husband, with detectives. So between the detective and herself, they found them at Bella Bella in the last stages of drugs with a very tiny practice, sorry. Just enough device drugs. And she buried them up there to Goddess practice. And it flourished and persuaded him up there to build a hospital. And she ran that. Then there was a naval training ship of British ship came around and one of the officers was taken off the ship to her hospital with TV. And she nursed him back to health was a good many years younger than she was. But anyway, she married then after a little while, or perhaps a year, maybe 18 months. She thought now this is no private. So Philly must go somewhere where there's a climate that is more acceptable for TB patients. And she looked all through was the only information she can get was 15 miles on the Gulf Island, most even primate in the world. So she opened her practice here. It flourish she fought was the other one. The only other doctor they did not get along very well together and I remember his name. It'd be Dr. Beach. No, no. That was after Dr. Beaches.

Unknown Speaker 3:13
We were to see there were too dark

Unknown Speaker 3:14
to beaches. No, this man was in the village Dr. Watson couldn't be there was a doctor Houghton back in 1986. No, no, it was 20. And he was here then. What's happening? Mathematics our 60s 666 Well, that was just

Unknown Speaker 3:43
during the war.

Unknown Speaker 3:45
No, first first. Oh, that was 1920

Unknown Speaker 3:49
Oh, 20. Be Dr. Lawson was here. Oh, he came after her though considerably after her.

Unknown Speaker 3:58
While whoever it was they didn't get along at all. Anyway, even more because the king or the queen, or whatever? Well, she drove a little box in the car was one of the very first ones. And she grew up right down the middle of the road and Lord help anybody that was in her way. They scattered. She really was a character. She was I remember one case she had an eye you probably know who it was. They lived on St. Mary's late and they had two little girls and they lived where the mullet where the where the what was. What was that? You know where they did the killing. But the Avatar the avatar. Right here there's a big and tall second storey house. They're looking down over the lake but on the high side, but she had one daughter that she had a second daughter and her people bought the first daughter She said you must never have another child. Your heart is on your right. Oh that your left side. The first set I will not be responsible for delivering you for any orange children. Of course she had another child. And of course he did deliver. She was a very clever because she come from a very big practice Liverpool. Very little place on tops. Yeah. And they were very lucky to have

Unknown Speaker 5:27
that would be the Berkut family.

Unknown Speaker 5:31
Then even bought in herself was a character. She was Tubby, and she was very she wore three pairs of glasses and honored blouse. But Mother said you know she'd wear once you take them all off but she really wanted to see and mother and her husband, my father and Dr. Supplements husband died within four months of each other. There were people bought in while they were before them. So she came to Vancouver. I was in Vancouver, just started training. When my father died in 2006. I sister was still finished she was four years older than I that they sent her because she was going to live with her grandmother to take that wildcard Joan but ever be there so I was sent to St. Margaret's we lifted the Similkameen and then we came over and she said Elizabeth Jones and Trey are just coming back going in training. And she said I wish I wish I wish you would just put your things in storage and come over to the loop for three years at least I'm blown. And I really want you the girls don't really need you. She said so now they're consented. She put everything in storage. came over here and she lived here for three years. But she used to tell us afterwards you know when we were in nursing, she said you know people hot people that went up there she said nothing wrong with so she said she caught a bottle of water with a little bit of color in it such peppermint or something got along just fine. She was also she has a fetish spread to Katie and she all her goodies that she had at the entertainment were from the town of Victoria. They weren't going well mr. Bullock for was Mr. Bullock stuffed his pockets, everything good stuff. All he could eight feet of that department. And so one of the guard is his buttons. But he went well kept the best and I used to if I was on my holidays, over here believable had a party with the whistling to my father and I used to do Western us so we did this with us. That was fine until I lost my routine. Which is very sad. Anyhow, Yvonne has another thing. She had very, very tiny feet and I mean tiny feet. He took three or if she took she had at least I would say she had at least well over 100 pairs of shoes. And she changed them all the time and they were all beautiful to us Victoria for her shoes or she had brought out and of course it was very pleasant because it was so much Japanese health. So the really that mother was companion help and got interested in that she was so dead even on this terribly death but she would not wear hearing aids well such as they weren't you want them to have a trunk. trunk or mother said she suggested that she would go down and interview the patients and let her know because she said here box away. She was bellowing she didn't realize so my mother used to do and receive are very interested in she could understand why she wanted to go in trade we were interested in so they got along very well. Then the end of the end of the time when I just finished my system is just about finished about the set now I must go to the girls and evil everything under par to dissuade father she said I Leave you everything ahead. If you will stay with me the girls really don't have mother said yes, they do. One trip back to college five years I've been out here and she said, I would love to stay. And she said, I had my children by children here. I had to come. Yes, I must go back home. So she won't leave the meals. But anyway, they stayed very good friends and then she, Victoria. She died. She did.

Unknown Speaker 10:36
She's not very here

Unknown Speaker 10:37
show. No, not tonight. No, no, no, no, I'm sure.

Unknown Speaker 10:41
What about her husband?

Unknown Speaker 10:43
Oh, he died.

Unknown Speaker 10:46
Was he very? That Was he very he's very here. Oh, he is. We're in St. Mark's.

Unknown Speaker 10:52
Well, she was. He was a naval officer. And

Unknown Speaker 11:00
I'm surprised she didn't want to be buried with him.

Unknown Speaker 11:04
Well, no, by that time, you see. I don't know. I'm not telling you that. I don't really know.

Unknown Speaker 11:12
How much longer did she stay after your mother left?

Unknown Speaker 11:16
Oh, good number of years. Dr. Bryant and Dr. Kerry O'Brien as you remember. The goat farm when he would have to go somewhere either on conference or something. Dr. Brian would come up mothered, Dr. Broad just got along very well indeed and became close friends. And roosts was another one. Well that's the story. After she went to Victoria, of course, she lived remember where she lives but she lived in a very, very nice, cold. Cherry.

Unknown Speaker 11:59
Sherry van down there St. Joe's.

Unknown Speaker 12:01
So I can't really tell you anymore.

Unknown Speaker 12:07
Were her husband did he eventually die of TB? Was he fairly? Yeah,

Unknown Speaker 12:11
yes. She did her best to keep on going. He died. relatively young man. He was younger. My father was 54 but fairly young. I suppose even maybe eight or 10 years old.

Unknown Speaker 12:32
Well, she did the purchase on the other rounds too, didn't she?

Unknown Speaker 12:35
Yes that that wasn't something that happened when I happened to be over here on holidays. My sister she would rent a boat and we would go and she always dropped us off in the halls or main island that was out of speaking and then we would be there while she did the job in old school children Oh, and then of course he'd get back on the boat we go Galliano member ever going to Panther but she certainly didn't mean and she certainly did Valley but she may have done the others but I I wouldn't I wouldn't be here because my holidays weren't that that's real joy.

Unknown Speaker 13:20
Did he keep a little office anywhere on the other rounds? Are we just doing Oh no. Just working for the Department of Health Earth

Unknown Speaker 13:27
work for the department. That's why she used to bother me I would just be one at a time and we know that my sister would be over and holidays or I would come over at least I did for two or three years. The other holiday I had was otherwise no pull anything else out of my old brain.

Unknown Speaker 13:56
You remember what boat she used to come over on June those in the 20s I don't know are the Mary or the charmer

Unknown Speaker 14:08
but it was when she went over no no

Unknown Speaker 14:13
I'm saying when you came over from Vancouver Oh Princess Mary. It'd be the Mary

Unknown Speaker 14:19
dear Oh Very lovely. Napkins. Crystal crystal. Oh. Silver just sweet I think was 250 for bridal suite

Unknown Speaker 14:40
75 cents for a full dinner

Unknown Speaker 14:47
I didn't mind if it took eight hours to get there. This was after when we were farming. I ever got the Uber I was dead beat anyway. Oh, lovely cabin to myself in the magazine and time To read a turkey score.

Unknown Speaker 15:02
When did you take over the turkey farm?

Unknown Speaker 15:04

Unknown Speaker 15:07
What was that just after Archdeacon Holmes left that house or was this

Unknown Speaker 15:12
in fact, when we moved in, he was moving out to the new rhetoric all the things still they are Mrs. Combs was busy burning things in the kitchen stall so the kitchen stove and the sort of cold produce were jam crammed at the top with all the things he didn't want. He wanted us to take his chickens. We kept the chickens was turning. So Arthur was at the back of the delivering are getting the incubators into the building there. And I was in the front receiving furniture. Pianos arrived and it was an all men around healthy. So I was wanted and the piano was at the other. I wonder why my back pay well.

Unknown Speaker 16:09
That was 46

Unknown Speaker 16:10
that was she was still all hanging up on the front of the front veranda. and Mrs. Holmes quiet and just go into her recipes. Oh, last night. As you can imagine, really, really really Palmer Palmer was one of the wards. I forgot who the other one. Mr. Price has gone to the price. Well, they were running up and down the stairs and from he had a lot of books up there and they come up and down, up and down up and down those stairs and it was wet and muddy. And you can imagine what house was like by the time they finished Mrs. Holmes really no way housekeeper the best of times. So that night, the Wilsons bless their hearts who have been great friends, mothers, Mrs. Wilson, as you said, Now bring the children over and we will give you a nerdy some exhausted. So we're weak. It costs almost $15 to move everything from Galliano. I went to Galliano. Oh, you were on Galliano for 18 months for the end of the war city and you

Unknown Speaker 17:20
hated cities. Where were you Raising Turkeys on Galliano? No,

Unknown Speaker 17:23
oh, no, it was in the army from the very first day he was an officer and the reserve was called up the first day or he was in the collapse. And that of course ended up showing us the very ill with eventually lost all of his stomach. So I had to think of somewhere somewhere where he would come down happy or you want to go back to the turkeys which I didn't want to go back where he had been in Turkeys before the war. We went into desperation because stocks and bonds lost everything we had the crash at his job was nothing and I was nursing the head nurse and the general surgeon. I was going to live quite happily but you weren't loved what she married he just didn't have so we saw this as the first Sunday problem section. And here's all Jessie's grace, real or country surrounded by turkeys and say anybody with guts make a living. So I have little box of car that was made for either. But anyway, I drove Alright, they're out there and they just don't want to each other or they just stayed with them for 10 days and learned all about the turkey. So we started off with two times 25 hands a box of a house that didn't have a bathroom. Fortunately

Unknown Speaker 18:59
we had a cow. Where was that jump in new? A new

Unknown Speaker 19:04
stock Hill. Yeah, that's another story that might be there. When we gave over here, I thought I could have a resort and find a good race maybe 500 turkeys, and that was the retail and you never lost on retailers in the eye. And so but of course you know we are out west they don't know us. So they refuse to let the veterans out here that wants to do that business. They let him back veterans in the East douleur but not us till we put all our money into this turkey that it was too late we couldn't switch. So I really resent that. Because I think that I would never really gone downhill as much work himself to a fairly well yeah, it's moments and moments helped save our bacon because he worked for them for eight years as well as we ran them. And I had borders.

Unknown Speaker 20:13
Did you have outer island children boarding or

Unknown Speaker 20:15
Yes, I had a boy from Maine for three years of his high school. He was an awfully nice boy. He's a dentist now. remember his name, but he just mother's name was made.

Unknown Speaker 20:29
So you didn't have adults, you just had

Unknown Speaker 20:33
them I had paying guests and they were a payment. They wanted to tea or they have wanted to hang their washing note. They wanted this they wanted that or they weren't feeling that they have their breakfast in bed center center set time because I knew we're just start outside was inside. Then of course, what saved our bacon was the hydraway cross this cross is SoTell was for a tried everywhere to get for all these people that were building the idea. So he came and he said said gentlemen Arthur, you've got lots of people get five bed. He said Would you would you would you consider John would you consider taking make some money? Yeah, so I did. So for eight months I had 12 Ma'am.

Unknown Speaker 21:29
Do you have to feed them

Unknown Speaker 21:31
feed them and lunch. It was a bit

Unknown Speaker 21:37
of cost plus the turkeys. Plus the turkeys.

Unknown Speaker 21:40
Well on the strike. We set the children out and was 13 and there were some very undesirable boys getting much much too. She's afraid. She said they never left her alone. So if school was not what it is today by a longshot is how the hasbeens or monster should retire they had one or two good teachers but this old during the war just choose anyhow we did our boy nine the children hated going Of course, we hated them going but we're very grateful afterwards. Folks have done well. And I think they would not have done perhaps as well to get here so that was so great almost at the tail end the last six months at Mark Paul who's followed her husband with the Marpole family owned bar well whatever your daughter's married bellerby Katie anyways to come when the Wilsons had borders, they're all baggy or played golf. When the two two seasons when the free lease used to take over the Wilson house they used to go to well and Katie always used to come to us we became very close friends for okay well Monica died. Monica Bella Ricci died of cancer quite early at Katie had she mourned that she had a heart attack and dark the one that never has married that was in the Tourist Bureau had phoned and said John she's okay he wants to do is to come to you and possibly 12 hours at night, strep out in the sun out of the porch, we have too many. So I'm putting another bed up in the playroom. I put seven beds. Six. Katie has the walk was Archdeacon home study. Little fireplace and of course

Unknown Speaker 24:19
she loved all these. Oh, that she would get into her brocaded all the lovely, lovely clothes and just be the queen bee. Man. They just kicked out. He didn't

Unknown Speaker 24:38
even realize that. Norman Wilson's took borders to

Unknown Speaker 24:43
Oh, yes. Oh, yes, they have. Especially

Unknown Speaker 24:48
with this in the 30s when farming just wouldn't pay at all. was some of their land was rented out to the James Seed Company?

Unknown Speaker 24:57
Yes, it was. Yes. Long story too. Oh, this is Wilson treasure. Oh that is us very, very well. Oh, she

Unknown Speaker 25:13
was a delight. Oh, she

Unknown Speaker 25:15
was a very very well educated, delightful person. Their library was gorgeous. So many gorgeous

Unknown Speaker 25:24
I wonder what would have happened to those books?

Unknown Speaker 25:27
I don't know what happened well, I guess I just have to see it was a golf club. Yeah. And I was on like you he went on I just caught up when our call to RT he was downstairs who was on a very dark day and I think it must have been in November. And one of the Wilson girls well she and

Unknown Speaker 25:55
I loess bride surely.

Unknown Speaker 26:05
Fried was bright, bright. Oh, Allah was had a son to

Unknown Speaker 26:12
know I think was last year. Her son had been in the garden, they'd love to fire or not protected. The whole place went out, rushed over and saved a lot of the golf clubs. But not all. You couldn't get a golf club had a room in the house. Did they? Oh, yes. That was a golf club. That I can always see that house was a lovely old house. That really was Yeah.

Unknown Speaker 26:50
Do you remember the year that the Wilsons moved out? Because it became a golf club and 28 but I think they stayed on. It was Yeah. I think there was still there when we came.

Unknown Speaker 27:05
They were still still. No once they put in a bar. Then they didn't have as a golf club. They didn't have board

Unknown Speaker 27:20
think of anything else? Except with quite a family.

Unknown Speaker 27:26
Yes, but I have never seen such wonderful hostesses as those girls.

Unknown Speaker 27:32
Flowers, decorations or house and flowers were gorgeous. Her house was as love just

Unknown Speaker 27:44
wait, the ambiance was so friendly. To everyone? Yes, right. Even if you hadn't I remember the first party I went to Barnes we the girls were so good to me.

Unknown Speaker 27:56
I couldn't remember one thing about the island started just a few more. Very few. When Nora has to suck. We have built a Sunday and we're sitting there which looked onto the road which were high up north today just she said I don't think we will go Sunday afternoon driving again. There are too many foreigners that lovely. Loved orange. Live last year was one of our borders. Was he when he was engaged?

Unknown Speaker 28:39
Oh Was he I would have thought he lived down at Frankfurt while he was but that didn't work out. I can turn it on.