Friday, May 19, 2017

Order of St. John of Jerusalem Folks Do More than Wear Fancy Clothes

Canon Andrew Rank, SSP, CSJ, writes,

Members of the Venerable Hospital Order of St. John of Jerusalem do more than just wear colorful dressup outfits at an annual evensong! Take the story of 101 year old Bernice Price of Hamilton, Ontario Canada :
Ask Bernice Price about her many years of pushing Hamilton city councillors to make life better for seniors and her eyes light up. 
“I was on 54 committees, but never on the payroll,” said Price, who turns 100 on Friday.... 
It was thanks to Price’s efforts that the city in 2009 adopted the Gold Age Pass which allows Hamilton resident 80 and older to ride for free on the HSR. 
Price became so well known at city hall that in 2011 then central Mountain councillor Scott Duvall presented her with a certificate that designated her as Mayor of Thirteenth Street for her outstanding performance and dedication to the City of Hamilton. 
Born in Lawrencetown, Nova Scotia, Price began what would become a life-long relationship with St. John Ambulance in 1939. 
She would join the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1940 where, as a member of the Halifax Flying Squadron, she would attend to the first aid stations. 
She achieved the rank of sergeant and became a military police officer (MP) in the air force. 
“When I became a police officer they handed me handcuffs and I said ‘if I have to use those on a girl, I won’t be doing it’,” she said. “I never, ever used handcuffs on anyone.”
But as an MP Price didn’t take any guff from the airmen and women and carried that attitude throughout her life when it came to working with politicians or trying to help others. 
She came to Hamilton after the Second World War and worked at the downtown Right House and later resumed her duties with St. John Ambulance in the nursing division.
Her many years with SJA, which included teaching numerous first aid and babysitting courses to parents, youths and children across the city, was officially recognized in 1997 when Price was inducted as Dame of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem (St. John Ambulance).

This is the female equivalent of a Knight and only a few Canadians have been honoured with the recognition.... 
“She’s still feisty,” said Price’s nephew Jack Branch, who visits her each day at Grace Villa. “She’s always been a champion for the underdog.”
Click here to read the whole story!

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