BETTY CAMPBELL and Connie Porter celebrated their 90th birthdays with cake, friends, family and local dignitaries yesterday at the Happy Gang Centre.
Campbell said the secret to living to 90 was to eat chocolate.
Betty Campbell- nee Plowman, was born on November 30, 1921 in Sydney, Australia.
Betty grew up and went to school in Newcastle, New South Wales Australia. After four years of training to get her RN certificate. Betty, at the age of 18, began a career in nursing at Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Sydney.
Betty wanted to immigrate to Canada, and was one of the first civilians from Australia to cross the Pacific Ocean by ship after the war ended.
After working as a student in Ottawa Civic Hospital, she received her Canadian RN certificate. Betty then spent another five months in Ottawa before moving to St. Agathe, just outside of Montreal, to work in a tuberculosis sanitarium for three months.
Betty went to work in a TB Hospital in Miller Bay, just outside of Prince Rupert. While there, she met the man of her life, Jock Campbell. Betty was one to never waste any time, so after a three week courtship, Betty and Jock Campbell were married on July 9, 1949 in Vancouver.
Prior to Jock proposing and asking Betty to marry him, she already had booked time off for a vacation to attend the Calgary Stampede. And when Jock asked her if they shouldn’t get married, she said “Why not? I’ve already booked for time off.”
They settled in Prince Rupert. Jock was a logger, so during the summer months they moved into a logging camp on Khutzamateen Inlet.
Their first daughter, Susan, was born in Prince Rupert hospital.
In March 1953, the family made the move to Terrace. Betty worked at the old Red Cross Hospital on Little Ave. Their second daughter Leslie was born in that hospital.
For 32 years, Betty worked in many areas at the Red Cross Hospital and Mills Memorial. Betty has been very active in the community as an avid gardener, swimmer, golfer, was a founding member of the Terrace Beautification Society, and served as its president for several terms. Betty was the president of the local chapter of BC Heart and Stroke Foundation and its regional coordinator.
In 2004, Betty was the President of the Seniors Advisory Committee for several years, then Betty and Sam Lockerby were chosen as the 2008 Riverboat Queen and Captain.
Betty is still going strong, loves going out with her friends and especially loves her Purdy’s chocolates!
Connie was born October 29, 1921 at St. Boniface Hospital in St. Boniface Manitoba and grew up in Regina.
In February 1942, she enlisted in the armed forces.
A visit to the Calgary recruiting office was followed by a posting to Vegreville, Alberta for basic training. She went back to Calgary and worked as a secretary in District Depot #13 for two years before receiving an overseas posting in November, 1944.
First stop was London, England where she remained until V.E. Day. In July, 1945 she began a six month stint at Army HQ in Holland and eventually returned to Canada in January 1946. She received her discharge that year having served a total of four years and two days.
Connie is proud of her service and that of other Canadians. The basic reason for women’s service was to replace men in jobs they could perform; they didn’t serve on the front. She said that when she came back, she found everybody had changed: you grew up in a hurry.
Back in Canada, Connie was a chartered member of the first Women’s Legion in Canada in Edmonton, where she moved to be with some of the “girls she knew in the army.”
Connie enjoyed her time in the forces and wasn’t in any real danger – it was something they had to do.
While in Edmonton, Connie met her husband and moved to Terrace after 13 years in Whitehorse, Yukon. In Terrace, Connie worked for a number of years for lawyer Murdock Robertson, Willie Schneider and worked at the Terrace and District Chamber of Commerce office on Keith Avenue for four to five years, doing everything from secretary, treasurer, and the curator of the first museum.