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Topic: The Women of Aspenland
Article: Amy Conroy
Date Posted: September 15/2012
Main District: Wetaskiwin
Decades: 1870's to 1960's
From 1932 to 1946, when house calls were the rule rather than the exception, Amy Conroy was the District Nurse at Pendryl, a tiny hamlet fifty-five miles west of Wetaskiwin. She delivered babies, stitched wounds, and set broken bones at any hour of the day or night, winter or summer, rain, sun, or snow, travelling by buggy, cutter, or whatever means was available except horseback. For some reason which no one knew, she drew the line there.
Born in 1875 in Kirkhill, Ontario, Amy Conroy entered the profession which was to be the love of her life when she graduated from the Montreal General Hospital School of Nursing in 1910. During WWI, she served overseas as a Nursing Sister.
Finally, in 1921, she came to Alberta to become Supervisor of the Red Deer Children's Hospital for three years. She joined the Provincial Department of Health in 1924, later coming to occupy the nurse's cottage at Pendryl as the District Nurse in 1932. For over fourteen years, she dispensed her loving and expert care in every medical emergency.
In 1947, she was made a Life Member of the Canadian Legion Dominion Command. Retirement in 1951 took her to Edmonton where she resided until her death in 1965 at age eighty-nine.
Mrs. Kate S. (Brighty) Colley, Superintendent of Public Health Nurses, wrote: Miss Conroy was a much loved member of our Public Health Nursing Staff and my personal friendship with her . . . will always be much cherished by me. I think Miss Conroy was the most selfless woman I have ever met. Wherever she went a mark of goodness was left.
The Nurse's Auxiliary, begun in 1929, was renamed the Conroy Club in 1957. One of the roads in the Pendryl area also bears her name. Finally, in 1971, the local history book Trail Blazers was dedicated to her. In so many ways, one receives the impression that she was truly loved by everyone who experienced knowing her.
Information compiled in 1996
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