Voices: Jessie

This post is part of a new series featuring testimonies from the people of this community:

Jessie: “I came from England in the year of the Queen’s coronation, and she’s had her 60th anniversary, but I didn’t stay here. I came in that year, which was ’53, for my brother’s wedding. I was only in my 20s then, and I was standing on the ship and the only place I’d been out of the country at that time was to go to Ireland and Guernsey. Now I was coming to Canada, and it was a huge thing. I was standing there on the deck and just about almost in tears. I was looking at the cliffs and I thought “will I ever see England again? Will I ever see my country again?” Because I loved my country very much.

Here I am at 87 and I never got married and never had any children. I know it’s not essential, but at the same time, I grew up at the time when it was. When I was younger I wasn’t madly keen on getting married. I was a nurse for 45 years and I was a round peg in a round hole; I loved what I was doing. I travelled to many different countries and I just loved it. There was the odd time I thought I might [get married], and I thought “I think 30 is a nice time to get married because by that time you should know your own mind,” but then again, maybe as you get older you get a bit choosier.

We had a nice home and I had an idyllic childhood. My mother, for all the things she got to be very smart about [cooking, sewing], she never taught us to do those things. What she did teach us…well, I remember kneeling at the corner of the bed saying my prayers. I feel so grateful to the good Lord because I feel as though I’ve had a wonderful life.”

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