by Daniel Cayer, posted on 2:39 PM, June 28, 2012
Beryl (Bennett) Albee, a founding member of our Association, passed away on June 4, 2012 at the age of 90. She was an amazing woman who exemplified what it means to be engaged in community and social development. The field of Volunteer Management, the Central Vancouver Island area and the Province of BC have many reasons to be thankful for Beryl's involvement. I was lucky enough to know Beryl personally, but even I was amazed at her achievements when I read about many of them in a history of the Nanaimo Hospital Auxiliary written by Nanaimo historian and Auxiliary member, Pamela Mar.
Beryl was trained as a nurse and in 1954, she joined the Nanaimo Hospital Auxiliary and by 1957 was President and the Auxiliary's representative on the Hospital Board and Building Committee for the present Hospital. She became Regional Representative for the Auxiliary Association and at that time, she was also President of the Nanaimo Chapter of the Registered Nurses Association of BC. In these capacities, she was asked to sit on the Advisory Committee to plan and implement the first Nursing Program at Nanaimo Vocational School. In 1961, she became President of the Local Council of Women and in 1963, President of the Auxiliaries Division of the BC Hospitals Association. She was studying Hospital Administration when she took over the then unsalaried position of Director of Volunteers at Nanaimo Hospital. During her 10 year tenure in the position, it became a salaried position. (Thank you Beryl from those of us who came after!)
From her position of DVS, she moved on to become the Administrator of Kiwanis Lodge in Nanaimo. Beryl was also a founding member of the Mid-Island Hospice and was a director of the Board of the Nanaimo Regional District. She was also a government appointee to the Board of Malaspina College (now Vancouver Island University) for 15 years and was one of the driving forces to turn the college into a University. She pressed for a training program for Long Term Care Attendants and later one for Continuing Care Attendants among other health care initiatives.
Of special interest to AVRBC members, in 1967, Beryl was one of the Founding members of the BC Association of Directors of Volunteers which later expanded under the name of the Western Association of Directors of Volunteers (WADV) to include Administrators of Volunteer Resources in fields outside of healthcare and of course is now AVRBC. Beryl is an outstanding role model for us all and will be greatly missed by all who knew this truly amazing women! (Note: Our Auxiliary is submitting her name for recognition with the Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal.)
Manager, Volunteer Resources - Nanaimo
VIHA at NRGH Site
1200 Dufferin Cres., Nanaimo, BC, V9S 2B7
Phone: (250) 755-7637
VIHA website: http://www.viha.ca/volunteer_resources/