Woman of the Week, Miss Pauline White, Evening Telegram, 1948, March 28, p. 10
One so rarely finds a native of the Labrador who has had the opportunity of “making good” as it were, that it was with more than usual pleasure that we interviewed Miss Pauline White.
Miss White was born in Nain, a settlement of some two hundred souls, on the Labrador. Her mother is a native of the Labrador, but her father belongs to St. John’s. We use the word “belongs”, however, in the sense of having been born here, because Mr. White actually belongs to his beloved Labrador, where he has spent the past thirty years, and where he is engaged in the fur trading business.
Miss White received her “cap” at the ceremony recently held at the General Hospital. She is putting the usual six months in training there and is now continuing with the work she has chosen. She finds it very interesting, and although away from home, the time passes quickly.
Education facilities at Nain not being sufficient to further her ambitions, Miss White received her education at the Grenfell School, St. Anthony, subsequently obtaining admittance to the General Hospital as a trainee. Miss White feels she owes a great deal to the personal interest taken in her by Mr. Ken Carter, of the Department of Natural Resources.
Completely on her own here in St. John’s, Miss White has little communication with her home, except by wire. Mails are hopelessly slow, even in summer time, and it is by no means unusual to receive a letter in June which had been written in January.
“There is no regular nurse in Nain,” said Miss White. “Some married women, who were nurses, continued their work in their spare time. The inhabitants are attended by the Moravian Mission. At one time the Hudson Bay Company had a hospital there, but it was later turned into a school.”
“I hope to work with the Grenfell Mission when I graduate,” she continued. “Maybe by that time there will be a hospital in Nain. I want more than anything to work among our people, who are mainly native. There is a great need for nurses on the Labrador.”
“I hope some day, too, to see better schools there, and the people given a better chance in life. I appreciate the opportunity I have had, and wish others could be so fortunate.”
There are three Grenfell Hospitals on the Labrador Coast, of the Cottage Hospital type. These are situated at Northwest River, St. Mary’s River, and Cartwright.
“The Grenfell Mission is doing splendid work down there,” Miss White said. “They help everybody, and provide many services. I don’t know how we would ever get along without them, I am sure. They had done so much for us.
Miss White hopes to return home for a brief summer vacation, but she is keeping her fingers crossed. “It all depends on the boats,” she said. “I may have a chance to make the connection, or I may not.”
We hope she does, and feel that her proud parents will be vastly pleased to have her with them for short time. Maybe if we keep our fingers crossed too, she will be lucky enough to make the connection. Or does anybody have any pull with these coastal boats, anyway?