Nova Scotia Archives

Halifax and Its People / 1749-1999

"Halifax: Chauffeurs and Boy Scouts" and "Citadel Hill, Halifax: Pageant given in honor of return of Caravans", 1920

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Surplus money from the Halifax [Harbour Explosion] Relief Fund was used by the Red Cross to send two public health caravans around Nova Scotia in 1920. Each caravan had three ambulances, a truck with moving-picture equipment and a touring car for doctors and nurses who provided professional services. Dr F.W. Woodbury asked Helen Creighton to drive an ambulance. In the pouring rain on 12 July, the Very Rev. John P.D. Llwyd, Dean of All Saints Cathedral, pronounced a blessing, and photographs and moving pictures were taken. In her autobiography, A Life in Folklore (1975), Creighton summarized the work. The group gave 221 public health talks, held 41 public meetings with moving pictures, hosted 20 clinics, treated 927 dental patients, examined 615 tuberculosis patients, operated on 172 individuals and provided advice on throat ailments and general illnesses to 652 patients. In late August, the two caravans returned to a public reception which lasted for two hours. On that occasion, 27 choirs sang as the vehicles took their positions. Lieutenant-Governor McCallum Grant and others spoke, the band played and the Rev. Dr. J.A. Clark pronounced the invocation. Creighton continued, "It seemed somewhat superficial, perhaps because we were too tired, had seen too many people in need, and did not feel one bit heroic, although perhaps we were. Few of us got paid more than food and lodging, and we worked our heads off. Yet we had been a happy group...."

Date: 1920

Reference no.: Helen Creighton Nova Scotia Archives accession no. 1987-178 album 12 no. 19 & 25