Fonds PR4140 - Laura Attrux fonds

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Laura Attrux fonds

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    • Source of title proper: Title is based on the contents of the fonds.

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    • 1953-1987 (Creation)

    Physical description area

    Physical description

    1 audiotape cassette
    0.05 m of textual records

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    Name of creator

    ([19-] - 1972)

    Biographical history

    Laura Attrux graduated from St. Paul’s Hospital School of Nursing in Saskatoon in 1930. Her post-graduate education was taken at Vancouver General Hospital (obstetrics), the New York Maternity Centre, and the Kentucky Frontier Centre. The University of Alberta granted her a certificate in Advanced Obstetrics for Nurses, and the University of Toronto a diploma in Public Health Nursing. In 1993 she became Supervisor of Obstetrics at Holy Cross Hospital in Calgary, Alberta, and in 1939 began her career in Public Health Nursing serving in the northern Alberta communities of Valleyview, Slave Lake, Swan Hills, Whitecourt, Smith, High Level, Rainbow Lake and Wabasca/Desmarais.

    Attrux provided medical and obstetrical care; on occasion she acted as dentist and veterinarian. The district nurse was also looked on as the community’s doctor, counselor, social worker and community leader. She was particularly concerned for the Indigenous and Metis residents of these northern communities and extended her care to their social as well as their medical needs. At age 58 she became a licensed pilot, owing her own airplane. She received recognition for her work: the Queen Elizabeth Coronation Medal in 1953, the Pope John XXIII Bene Merenti Medal in 1960, and in 1970, an honorary Doctor of Laws degree from the University of Alberta. Much of her personal record of her work no longer exists. She was an accomplished photographer, but her prints and negatives were destroyed in a flood in High Level. Her diaries and notebooks of her field visits were destroyed on the orders of the Department of Health when the Public Health Nursing Service was disbanded. Miss Attrux retired to Edmonton in 1972, where she became an active volunteer with senior citizens and in church activities. She died in Edmonton in 1987 and was buried in Hafford, Saskatchewan, near her childhood home.

    Custodial history

    The fonds was donated to the Alberta Association of Registered Nurses Archives and Museum by Moira Bazin in 1994. The College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta (CARNA) donated the records to the Provincial Archives of Alberta in 2017.

    Scope and content

    Two of Laura Attrux’s best friends in Slave Lake, Alberta, Helen Getzinger and Stella Boisvert, were interviewed on November 6, 1993, by Moira Bazin. The interview was part of an assignment for the University of Alberta course Nursing 550, Dr. Shirley Stinson, instructor. The fonds consists of one audiotape cassette and 0.05 m of textual material, which includes Ms. Basin’s essay based on the interview, biographical material, tributes and eulogies for Laura Attrux, photocopies of photographs illustrating her work as a public health nurse, and a photocopy of the Minute book, 1950-1971, of the Slave Lake District Nursing Association. The Association was responsible for providing a building to serve as home, office, and clinic for the district nurse. When the nursing service was disbanded the residual funds were used to establish the Laura Attrux Scholarship for local students. The audiotaped interview records the memories of two women who assisted Miss Attrux in her nursing duties and became her closest friends during her years in northern Alberta. Their recollections cover the activities of the community and their families, in both of which Miss Attrux was closely involved.

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    Physical condition

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    The PAA has retained CARNA’s organization structure of these materials, including their numerical filing system. The files within this collection were assigned number 94.6 and are currently accessible by that number.

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        Restrictions on access

        Audiovisual materials must be digitized prior to access.

        Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication

        Permission for use required. Subject to the Copyright Act.

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        File list is not available.

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        Further accruals are not expected.

        General note

        Part of PR2017.0642: the College and Association of Registered Nurses of Alberta's donation to the Provincial Archives of Alberta.

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