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Frances Kelsey's Early Education

from an article by Elizabeth Forbes – Times Colonist, October 16, 1962


Formal schooling for the young Frances started when Col. Oldham [her father] persuaded Canon Barrie, who had a small private school for boys at Shawnigan Lake, to take his daughter as well.


The boys were not too pleased at having to be “polite” to a girl and showed it.  When the headmaster was present they would politely open a door for young Frances and stand aside for her to enter, only to trip her or the kick her surreptitiously if they could.


However, “Frankie, the tom-boy” held her own, according to sister Monica who although much younger, remembers tales of retaliation she heard later in the home.


Finally, Frances Oldham was sent to St. George’s School for Girls on Rockland Avenue in Victoria and when this school was closed and the head mistress, Miss Suttie, moved to St. Margaret’s School for Girls, she was enrolled as a student there under Miss Margaret Barton.


During these school years Frances Oldham took part in many activities.  She belonged to a choir; she made the first eleven in hockey; she was a fine swimmer, winning a gold medal for life savings and she was a top-ranking tennis player.

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