May 5, 1999: Anne Petrie visits College to discuss history of Canadian maternity homes

      May 5, 1999
      Contact: Sandra Moe, Women’s Studies coordinator
      Tel: (604) 255-1640

      (NORTH VANCOUVER)--CBC-TV host, Anne Petrie, will speak as part of the Hon. Thomas A. Dohm lecture series June 1 at Capilano College, 10:30 a.m. in the Cedar building, room 148. She will talk on her new book, Gone to an Aunts: Remembering Canada’s Homes for Unwed Mothers.

      Anne’s own stay at a Vancouver maternity home in the late 1960s is the publication’s powerful narrative thread. "The book was published last spring and was a national best seller," says Anne, a former host of CBC radio’s Afternoon Show. "The overwhelmingly positive response to it has made me think that it might have a place in women’s studies courses in Canada.

      "Through personal stories and primary research," she continues, "Gone to an Aunt’s documents a time in the lives of young girls and women that most Canadians have forgotten or never knew about. Students in British Columbia might be particularly interested in the story set in the Maywood Home in Vancouver, one of several homes for ‘fallen women’ in the province."

      Anne was the coordinator of the first women’s studies program in Canada; a continuing education style evening program cosponsored by the University of British Columbia Alma Mater Society and the federal Opportunities for Youth program. From that beginning, negotiations began with the university on the development of women’s studies. Since then Anne’s career in radio and television broadcasting has taken her in many different directions. "But it seems as if this particular book project has brought me full circle," she says.

      From an academic point of view, this look at the way unmarried pregnant girls and women were institutionalized in the late 1950s and 1960s might apply to a number of disciplines, such as history, sociology, psychology and public policy.

      Admission to the lecture is free. Call Sandra Moe at 255-1640 for more information.