Mrs. Ruth Fortune
Mrs. Ruth Fortune has played a huge role in the physiotherapy community in British Columbia (BC) and across Canada. She is fondly known as one of BC’s pioneering Physiotherapists and has been recognized as one of 25 of History’s Greatest Physios. She was an active member of the Association, then known as the BC Branch of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association. Mrs. Ruth Fortune was also one of the founders of Canadian Arthritis and Rheumatism Society (C.A.R.S.) and later changed to the Arthritis Society. C.A.R.S was largely responsible for bringing Physiotherapy and Occupational Therapy to patients throughout the province of BC.
Mrs. Ruth Fortune's name appears frequently in the Vancouver Division History 1927-1968, written by Hazel Southard. Brenda Tillotson wrote a wonderful tribute to Mrs. Ruth Fortune which she read out at the Remembering Ruth Memorial in 2012. It includes stories about her work for the Association. She was also made a Life Member of the Canadian Physiotherapy Association (CPA).
Read Remembering Ruth by Brenda Tillotson.
Click on photo gallery below.
Mary Pack was not a physiotherapist, but rather an entrepreneur and activist for people suffering from Arthritis. As a consequence of seeing both her mother and pupil suffer so badly, Mary went on to form the Canadian Arthritis and Rheumatism Society (C.A.R.S.) in British Columbia. Mary Pack was the Executive Director of C.A.R.S. from 1948 to 1969, expanding the treatment (nursing, physiotherapy, occupational therapy and social work) and designated facilities for patients with Arthritis across the province of BC. As was said, she moved a mountain with a very small spade.
Because of BC’s vast geographical regions, the C.A.R.S Physiotherapists worked in several small communities closer to a larger centre and were given a C.A.R.S. car to drive. The Bluebird was the C.A.R.S symbol and the cars with the logo on the side were easily recognized in the local communities. The fleet of C.A.R.S became known as Operation Bluebird. In addition, there were no "Handy Dart" cabs at the time so volunteers would drive patients to their physiotherapy appointments.
Mary Pack was recognized for her valuable contributions by the following awards:
- 1953 International Honorary Member of Beta Sigma Phi Sorority
- 1953 Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Medal
- 1956 Native Sons of British Columbia Good Citizen Award
- 1967 Canadian Centennial Medal
- 1967 Honorary President, Canadian Physiotherapy Association
- 1969 Honorary Life Member, British Columbia Hospitals Association
- 1973 Honorary Life Member of the Canadian Arthritis and Rheumatism Society
- 1974 Honorary Doctor of Laws, University of British Columbia
Mary Pack also authored a book titled Never Surrender and she was an important player in the establishment of the Vancouver Arthritis Centre (renamed the Mary Pack Arthritis Centre in 1994) Read more in the Arthritis Newsletter Spring 2012