Honoured by Ralph Currie
I was born on August 22, 1924 at the general hospital North Bay, Ontario. My parents were Thomas and Bessie Read. I grew up on Princess Street East with our back yard bordering on Chippewa Creek. One of my proudest moments was being made a lifetime member of the famous Fisher Street Gang. I attended Dr. MacDougall School (better known as Brooke Street School) grades 1 – 8 and North Bay Collegiate Institute and Vocational School, grades 9 – 13.
About 1935 we moved to 656 Fisher Street so dad would be closer to work at the Temiskaming and northern Ontario Railway (later renamed The Ontario Northland Railway). Dad started as a machinist on the railway and worked his way up togeneral foreman.
I decided to become a nurse when I graduated from high school and was accepted at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Barrie, Ontario. Nursing students worked 12 hour days plus studying, with virtually no pay, but we did receive free room and board. I graduated in May of 1945 but
could not become a registered nurse until I turned 21 in August. Another classmate and I decided to work our way west where we obtained work in Saskatchewan, Alberta and British Columbia. We only stayed four weeks at each place except for Calgary and Vancouver. I may have stayed in Vancouver except for a serious appendix operation. With no money coming in I had no choice but to return to North Bay and recuperate with my parents. Feeling better I obtained work at St.
Joseph’s Hospital in the Paediatric ward.
I met my future husband (Ralph) at a naval reserve party. We went out together several times and became engaged on Christmas Eve 1959. After receiving approval from my father we set a date to be married at Trinity United Church for May 14, 1960. After living in an apartment for 18 months we decided to buy a house. A contractor was advertising new homes for sale so with a down payment of $500.00 we purchased our home at 117 Granite Street for a total cost of $12.100.00 and have lived there ever since.
I continued to work until the arrival of our son Andrew on March 13, 1961, when I became a stay at home mom. A daughter Christen arrived on May 23, 1963. I returned to work in 1968 at the
Civic Hospital and finally retired in 1973 for good. I enjoyed retirement doing volunteer work
with handicapped children and also learning how to quilt from the ladies of St. Brice’s Anglican Church. I loved to sew, knit and other related needlework and as a result was able to display and sell my work at various craft shows. In later years I was able to enjoy my grandson Connor who was born on July 12, 1996 and who stayed with us on many occasions.
PS – It was not easy to have Doreen put something down on paper for posterity, however, the above is a short history of her life. Doreen died on September 30, 2007.