Hilda Shilliday Nursing Award

Hilda Catherine Shilliday (Pletsch) passed away at age 93 in Campbell River in 2023.  Hilda’s life was guided by her faith, her love of family and friends, her service to others, and a strong sense of humour and adventure!

Born in Culross Township, Ontario, Hilda was the 10th of her 12 siblings and grew up surrounded by her youngest four brothers. Her tom-boy start in life helps explain why she was always full of adventure! Her strong faith from childhood guided her life, and after graduating from Wingham High Hilda attended Stratford School of Nursing, graduating as valedictorian and making lifelong friendships with her classmates. After a few years nursing in Toronto and at a Red Cross Outpost in Beardmore, she received a scholarship to attend Western University to study Public Health. It was there she met the love of her life, Errol, who was attending the Seminary at Huron College.

In 1954 their life full of love, faith, service, and adventure began and they moved from Kerwood, to Windsor to St. Thomas, to Sarnia, then Calgary before finally settling in Victoria to finish their amazing careers and enjoy happy retirement years, peppered with some incredible trips across the globe. 

In every place they lived, Hilda not only worked as a nurse but helped care for congregants whenever needed and often started new and innovative programs at work and in the parish. When Hilda “retired” from public health nursing in 1994, she was awarded the BC Nurses Association “Nurse of the Year” honour, as well as being recognized by the BC Council for the Family with the “Distinguished Service to Families” Award, both examples of her incredible contributions to her profession and the wellbeing of patients young and old. 

In her retirement years, Hilda continued to nurse with the Capital Regional District for a few years, attended many lectures, museum and art installations, and always maintained a yearly membership at Butchart Gardens. She was active and spent many hours at the pool or walking with friends. She was honoured to volunteer at Saanich Peninsula Hospital in the palliative care program.

In 2007, Hilda first traveled to Kampala, Uganda, fulfilling her lifelong dream to nurse overseas, where she joined the medical team at the Mengo Hospital HIV Clinic to serve patients and improve outcomes. Over the next 10 years, she made numerous trips to Mengo Hospital and, with the generous help of many friends and parishioners, she was able to support patients, help build schools, and contribute to the successful education of many students and nurses. Her friendships and love of Uganda remained deep and her motto, “The World’s Children Belong to All of Us” was well-served for the remainder of her life. 

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