The following article was created from Elizabeth Truant’s Memoir, “It All Began on a Farm.”
Beth writes: “My love of family, Christian faith and life of service to God and others are the pillars upon which my life is built and lived.
My maternal and paternal grandparents were born in England. With a pioneering and resilient spirit they immigrated to Canada where they worked and raised a family during very challenging times. I am indebted to my maternal grandparents and great grandparents — as well as my paternal grandfather —for their abiding Christian faith in the midst of family misfortune. Their faith was a comfort to them and bolstered their resolve to persevere and overcome adversity.
My Christian faith and attending the Anglican Church have been a big part of my life since birth. I am a “cradle Anglican,” having been born to a long line of Anglicans. Whether attending the small church on the Alberta Prairies or in British Columbia, St Mary’s Anglican, Oyama; All Saints, Vernon; Holy Family Chapel, Warfield or St Andrew’s Trail, the church has been a place where I have felt a sense of belonging to my faith community.
My nursing career was an extension of my love for serving people.
During the Great Depression, I was born to Winifred Mather Lowe and Harold Pope Walker. I entered the world without much struggle, being born at home with the help of a skilled midwife. My dad rode on horseback to Settler, Alberta, to register the birth.
I was baptized as a one-month old infant, at Cornwall Valley School House in Elnora, which doubled as a church. Christian baptism dedicates the child of God and welcomes the child into the community. We most likely travelled by horse and buggy for the occasion. The priest was Reverend T.J. Williams. The high mortality rate underscored the importance of performing the rite of baptism during infancy, and most babies were baptized very young.
Turning point: Around Easter 1949, my Mom, my siblings, and I moved from Lingerwood Ranch in Oyama to Vernon. My parents had separated, and Mom was returning to nursing at the Vernon Jubilee Hospital. For me, a new home, new schools, and new friends were on the horizon.
At age 13, I attended the Okanagan Anglican Camp with my friend Molly. We were campers at the girl’s camp in 1950, the very first year it opened. “
Like her mother before her, Beth studied to become a nurse and soon after married her husband Raz, at All Saints, Anglican Church, Vernon, in 1958. Reverend Charles Reeve officiated and her childhood friend, Molly, was the organist.
Raz and Beth were blessed with three daughters: Laurie, Valerie and Julie who also have a close connection to the Anglican Church.
In recent years, Beth Truant took EfM and was a Lay Minister at St Andrew’s, Trail. She practices Christian Contemplative meditation, and is a member of the Order of St Luke.
Her nurse’s service was guided by the Florence Nightingale Pledge which states:
“I solemnly pledge myself before God and in the presence of this assembly, to pass my life in purity and to practice my profession faithfully…”
Beth still corresponds with her long-time friend Molly Boyd who lives in Coldstream, near Vernon. Her memoir, “It All Began on a Farm,” has been a fundraiser for the foodbank in Trail and copies of it have been placed in the Diocesan Archives in Kelowna. The Trail, Vernon, and Lake Country Museums also have a copy which can be read, but not loaned out.