Elizabeth (Betty) Valentine Prangnell Scholarship

It would be excruciating to first lose your mother and then be separated from your father during the most impressionable years of one’s life, childhood, but that’s exactly how it was for Elizabeth (Betty) Valentine Prangnell.

Betty’s father, Harry Prangnell, was an electrician on the Pacific Cable Ship “Restorer” based in Victoria. The ship was one of several that was used to lay a telegraph cable across the Pacific Ocean from the west coast of North America to several Pacific Islands and in the Philippines, China and Japan.

In 1923, when Betty was 9-years-old, her mother passed away. Because her father was away at sea for long periods, Betty’s aunt and uncle in Vancouver, Annie Hicks and Sebastian Astell, came to Victoria and moved Betty to Vancouver to raise her. Betty grew up in Vancouver with her first cousins, Mary, Clara, Ada, Joseph and Ruth Astell.

It wasn’t until after high school graduation that Betty returned to Victoria to live with her father at their home on Michigan Street. Betty worked many years for the Provincial Government (Department of Highways). She also spent much of her spare time working with First Nations groups on Vancouver Island.

Betty passed away on March 4, 2006, but her support of the First Nations Peoples continues in the form of the Elizabeth (Betty) Valentine Prangnell Scholarship, to be awarded to a male and a female Native student majoring in Visual Arts with a Native Indian theme.

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