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Olive Devaud

Olive Devaud 1887-1969 Borrowed from the Powell River Historical Museum and Archives

Olive Wood was born in Sheldon Hall, Warwickshire, England in June of 1887.   She began her nursing training in 1911 in the Royal Infirmary in Huddersfield and graduated as gold medalist-a single award given in Spartan days. After graduating she acquired her Certificate of the Central Midwives Board. During WW I she joined the Queen Alexander Imperial Military Nursing Service Reserve and was posted to duty in the King George hospital in London. In 1920 Nurse Wood followed her family to Ewing’s Landing in the Okanagan. In 1922 she won a model T Ford in a raffle. On Halloween night in 1926, she arrived in Powell River, ostensibly for a month’s relief work and never left. For a period of time around 1928, she was a nurse in Powell River’s Isolation Hospital located in the vicinity of Cranberry Street and Dieppe Avenue on the road to Cranberry. In 1932 Olive Wood married Alphonse Devaud. During the 20 years of their marriage they gave nearly all they possessed to Powell River. They gave a 10 acre section of land in Westview for a hospital. However, the hospital was built on land overlooking the mill. After the death of her husband; Mrs. Devaud was persuaded to sub-divide the land, with the proceeds going to the hospital. Six acres of this land went to the Sunset Homes for senior citizens for $1.00 and Olive contributed $6000.00 in cash towards the building. During the building of Sunset Homes, the society bookkeeper often found his accounts thrown out of kilter by anonymous (read Olive Devaud) $500 credits suddenly showing in the bank account. Similarly, many local people have found themselves saved from financial embarrassment through Mrs. Devaud’s generosity. Olive Devaud also donated $1000 toward the building of the Moose Lodge after her husband donated the land and some money to start building.   So it went with the Boy Scout building in the same area. As a nurse in the Powell River General Hospital in the Townsite, it is highly likely most of Powell River’s locally born seniors received their first “slap on the rump” by this no nonsense nurse. Olive Devaud At a Glance:

  • Founder Member of the Royal College of Nursing and National College of Nurses in the U.K.

  • Charter member of Women of The Moose

  • President of the St. David Society

  • Powell River’s Good Citizen of 1952.

In 1965 she published a small volume of her verse “Odes by O.D.” Perhaps she wrote her own epitaph when she wrote:   “Since she came to Powell River, the outlook clears, The place and the people are dearer yet, Most other years she will soon forget.”

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