Edith Were Fraser Family Memorial Endowment

The “Edith Were Fraser Family Memorial Endowment” has been established through the Aberdeen Health Foundation to provide continuing education opportunities for nursing staff in Pictou County.

Edith Fraser (nee Were), of Eureka, was a graduate of the Aberdeen Nursing School and she helped deliver the first set of triplets born at the Aberdeen Hospital in 1934.

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Edith Were Fraser when she graduated from the Aberdeen School of Nursing in 1934

Though Edith did not have any children of her own, she has been lovingly remembered and honoured by her 10 nieces and nephews with the establishment of this fund in her memory.

“Aunt Edith was very proud to be a nurse. She loved to tell stories of nursing through the years including one of her very first assignments, which involved braving a storm in the middle of the night to catch a freight train to Westville to care for a man who was dying. As a young woman and new graduate, she did that without hesitation and stayed 16 days at his side,” says Fred Were, speaking on behalf of his family. The year was 1935.

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Edith’s nieces and nephews who together established this fund in their aunt’s memory. Left to right: Harvey Jardine, Earl Were, Susan Slaunwhite, Evelyn Roy, Carol White, Albert Were, Phillip Were, Fred Were, Ronald Were, Bonnie Steeves.

“We’re very grateful to the Were Family for this remarkable gift,” says Hilary Amit, Chair of the Aberdeen Health Foundation. “Donations to the Foundation are held in trust to grow and provide annual funding for enhancements that improve the standard of care in our community. The ability to support nurse training in this way benefits all of us.”

“Edith loved to garden and to give flowers to those she loved. It seems fitting that the seeds she has sown through her life as a nurse, respected aunt, and friend, have been planted in such a meaningful way. A way that will continue to flower each year,” says Susan Malcolm, Executive Director.

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Fred Were presents the donation on behalf of his family to Hilary Amit, Chair and Susan Malcolm, Executive Director, Aberdeen Health Foundation.

Edith passed away earlier this year just shy of her 105th birthday. Though Edith and her husband Arthur lived in Sydney, Nova Scotia, the Were Family wanted to honour their family roots in Pictou County and chose to make this gift to the Aberdeen Health Foundation, in the community where Edith began the career she cherished.

The Foundation and the family encourages and invites others who knew their Aunt Edith or who have a special nurse in their lives, to honour that person with a gift to help build this fund for nurse education in Pictou County.

As the leading health care charity in Northern Nova Scotia, the Aberdeen Health Foundation is celebrating 30 years and funding more than $20 million in advanced equipment and care for the region. For more information visit: aberdeenhealthfoundation.com/Edith-Were-Fraser-Fund