CENTRAL BEDEQUE, P.E.I. – As part of the Bedeque Area Historical Society’s summer lecture series, retired nurse educator and historian Katherine Dewar will speak about the life of Georgina Pope, one of Canada’s most famous military nurses. The illustrated talk will be presented on Monday, Aug. 20, at 7 p.m. in the William Callbeck Centre in Central Bedeque.
Admission is free, but donations are welcome.
Based on her latest book, “Called to Serve: Georgina Pope, Canadian Military Nursing Heroine,” Dewar will bring Pope’s story to life, following her career through the second half of the 19th century and into the 20th. The story takes us from Pope’s rather sheltered life in Victorian Prince Edward Island, to the “Boston States,” to the dangerous and primitive conditions she experienced as superintendent of nurses in two South African Wars. Dewar will also cover Pope’s work in the formation of the Canadian Army Nursing Corps and in the battlefields of Europe during the First World War.
Georgina’s father was William Henry Pope (a Father of Confederation) who had been born in Lower Bedeque where her grandfather Joseph Pope had begun the family’s shipbuilding business. She lived in St. Eleanors and Summerside during her younger years.
Concerned about the lack of women’s stories in the historiography of P.E.I., Dewar has thrown her energy into bringing those long forgotten stories to light. As well as the book on Georgina Pope, she recently authored the award-winning “Those Splendid Girls: The Heroic Service of Prince Edward Island Nurses in the Great War.”
For her outstanding contribution to the heritage of P.E.I. she has received several awards including the P.E.I. Museum and Heritage Foundation Award of Honour.