Ishbel Newstead (left) and Renee Sarojini Saklikar will perform the poem-play “Canadian Nurses In Wartime” after the Remembrance Day ceremony concludes in Veterans’ Square in Cloverdale. (Photo: Submitted)

Play about wartime nurses returns to Museum of Surrey

‘Canadian Nurses In Wartime’ showcases the lives of three women

A play about war-era nurses is returning to the Museum of Surrey.

Canadian Nurses in Wartime will run at approximately 11:45 a.m. in the museum’s theatre—right after Remembrance Day services end at the Cloverdale Cenotaph Nov. 11.

Written by Renee Sarojini Saklikar and researched by Ishbel Newstead, the poem-play will feature both women playing different roles.

“A poem-play is a seated reading that incorporates historical research into the narrative,” said Saklikar. “We take documentary work and we merge it with imagination.” She added she uses poetic license for dialogue, but not history.

Saklikar plays the role of an investigator while Newstead plays the roles of three different nurses.

Comprised of three vignette scenes, the poem-play reenact moments from the nurses’ wartime lives.

They chose Margaret Mainwaring, Joan Doree, and Kay Christie as the nurses they wanted to profile.

Saklikar and Newstead performed the poem-play last year at the Museum of Surrey on Nov. 11.

Saklikar, a creative writing instructor at SFU and VCC, was Surrey’s poet-laureate from 2015 to 2018. She said she was commissioned by the Museum of Surrey to write the piece as a companion to an exhibit they were running for Remembrance Day last year.

“The poem-play reveals how nurses of the time felt about the things they saw and it shows how they did a lot for the war effort,” said Newstead. ‘They were rarely recognized for their efforts, they agonized over their work, and they had strict rules to follow.”

A retired teacher, Newstead said nurses in the war were RNs and with that came an officer’s rank. She also discovered during her research process that only white women were allowed to be nurses. “They had a strict profile to fit and lots of people weren’t allowed.”

Saklikar hopes people observing Remembrance Day will head into the museum’s theater after events wrap up at the cenotaph in Veterans’ Square. She is also adding an interactive element to this year’s show where people who have stories about nurses, whether they be personal or familial, can share them.

“I’m hoping people will come out and share their stories.”

Canadian Nurses in Wartime runs approximately 20 minutes. The theatre inside the Museum of Surrey seats about 50 people and visitors will be seated on a first-come, first-served basis.

The Remembrance Day service starts at 10:25 a.m. The Museum of Surrey will open its foyer at 9:30 a.m. and will have free coffee and hot chocolate.



editor@cloverdalereporter.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

KPU’s Cloverdale campus to host open house Nov. 20

Registrants have a chance to win prizes, if they sign up early

Surrey RCMP doesn’t expect big hit in light of projected $10M cut in B.C. budget

Public safety minister says RCMP informed province about projected budget deficit

École Salish Secondary held its official opening Nov. 12

Cloverdale school unveils Coast Salish welcome post

Surrey’s Sourdif among A-list ‘Players to Watch’ for NHL Entry Draft in Monteal next June

The right-shot forward has eight goals and nine assists with Vancouver Giants this season

Surrey Save-On-Foods to support Cloverdale Community Kitchen’s Christmas Hamper program

Farquhar hopes locals will donate food, toys, gift cards, or warm clothing, such as mittens and toques, at the Clayton Heights store Nov. 23

VIDEO: B.C. to restrict nicotine content, bring in 20% tax on vaping products

Province will also restrict candy and fruit flavoured vaping products to adult-only stores

Seguin lifts surging Stars to 4-2 win over Canucks

Dallas is 6-0-1 in last seven outings

UPDATE: Metro Vancouver bus drivers to refuse overtime as transit strike escalates

Overtime ban could disrupt 10-15 per cent of bus service in Metro Vancouver

‘City that protects rapists’: Sexual assault survivor slams Kelowna mayor for defending RCMP

Heather Friesen spent the morning handing out flyers around city hall calling out the mayor

Batten down the hatches: Wet and windy weekend on the way for coastal B.C.

Environment Canada issues special weather warning for Lower Mainland, Vancouver Island

BC Liquor Stores to move fully to paper bags by March

Vancouver Island to be the first to convert to paper bags in November

B.C. RCMP investigating stolen boots, credit cards, booze, and beauty products

Langley RCMP investigating property crimes, including credit card fraud in Surrey

Tolko shuts B.C. divisions for two weeks over holidays

Head office to close from Dec. 23-27; two weeks’ downtime runs Dec. 21-Jan. 6

B.C. government working with RCMP to address $10 million in budget cuts

Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth issues statement following report of RCMP cost-cutting

Most Read