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Topic: The Women of Aspenland
Article: Beatrice (Cooke) Christian
Date Posted: August 26/2012
Main District: Wetaskiwin
Decades: 1900's to 1980's
Beatrice was born April 27, 1901 in Toronto, Ontario. Her parents were Annie and Isaac Cooke. Her siblings were Annie Evelyn, Wilfred, Argyle and baby Ross, all of whom have passed away.
Her parents separated, leaving her mother to raise three small children on her own. This taught Beatrice that hard work was necessary if she was to succeed in life. Her father was a protestant and her mother was a Catholic. Perhaps, because of this, Beatrice did not attend any church. However she had a strong belief in the Christian principals.
Beatrice attended school in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. After school Beatrice worked in the Woolworths store and attended teachers college. Upon graduating from college, she taught school in Saskatoon.
On December 5, 1923, she married Dr. O. A. Christian, a veterinarian. They lived in Milden, Saskatchewan during the 1930 draught. Dr. Christian operated his business from their home and Beatrice was kept busy answering the phone, scheduling appointments, cleaning and sterilizing instruments and looking after the books.
Along with this, Beatrice managed to keep a spotless home and cooked excellent meals. She enjoyed fresh vegetables and fruit so she maintained her own garden. She was always ready to lend a hand to those in the community when needed. She had a vacuum cleaner that was lent out often to others in the community.
Beatrice and Dr. Christian had no children of their own but were very close to their nieces, Shirley McKay and Louise Lewis, as well as Dr. Ralph Christian.
Beatrice joined the Eastern Star in 1935 and took her dismissal in good standing in 1974. She enjoyed swimming while on vacation in Ma Me O Beach. In addition she played the piano and loved to ride horses. She began taking flying lessons in October 1953. On July 13, 1955, she received her private pilot's license.
She said, "The first time I went solo the door flew open and I had to reach over which upset the balance of the plane…since I was getting the feel of one passenger in the first place. Doc would never fly with me. I really wanted to set an example for the other women in the area."
Information compiled in 2001.
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Wetaskiwin, Alberta T9A 0S3
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