Photo by Fred Rosenberg

Jennifer Craig was born in Yorkshire five years before the war. No, not the Crimean war-- World War Two. She spent the war years carrying her gasmask around the countryside of Gloucestershire and learned to share, take her turn, and cut up newspaper for toilet paper. The family moved to Leeds where she attended high school and later, trained as a nurse at Leeds General Infirmary. After obtaining her SRN, she trained as a midwife in London. To take her midwifery exams, she had to stay in London for a month and managed to get a job in Pontings as a floating biller. This 9 to 5 job, with an hour for lunch, was the easiest she ever had and all the work entailed was ensuring disparate articles, that customers ordered from the newspaper, met up in the same parcel.

In 1961 she emigrated to Canada in the days when nurses were pushed through the immigration requirements and chose where they wanted to work. She spent a year as a nurse in Vancouver, a year in San Francisco, married a Scot and they returned to Canada. At one point she got fed up with nursing and tried for a job in a biscuit factory, but the employer said she was over-qualified.

Jennifer and her husband bought a lot in West Vancouver for $10,000, built a house and raised two children. During her mid-life crisis, she went to university and obtained a Bachelor’s degree in nursing, followed by a Masters degree in education and finally a Ph.D. in medical education from McGill University. Living in Montreal was a lesson in cold survival.

Jennifer returned to Vancouver and was on the Faculty of Medicine at the University of British Columbia for ten years as an educational consultant. Her major achievement was the creation of a teacher training program for the physicians who taught at UBC. This program became so successful, it was transported to other universities in Canada and in Jamaica, Scotland and New Mexico.

In 1994 she moved to Nelson, B.C. where she took a diploma in homeopathy and began her studies of creative writing.  In 2002, Breedon Press published Yes Sister, No Sister: a Leeds nurse in the 1950s.  In 2010, Ebury Press acquired the rights and published the book as Yes Sister, No Sister: My Life as a Trainee Nurse in 1950s Yorkshire for the mass paperback market. It immediately went into the London Times bestseller list where it remained for 17 weeks. It has sold over 160,000 copies.

Jabs, Jenner and Juggernauts: a Look at Vaccination was published by Impact Investigative Media Productions in 2009. Jennifer’s interest in vaccination is also reflected on the website of the International Medical Council on Vaccination (http://vaccinationcouncil.org/) where she taught a webinar and has published articles.

Jennifer’s first novel, Mary Lou’s Brew, was published by Friesen Press in 2014. It is a humorous satire on a university and is not to be taken seriously.

Jennifer lives contentedly in the mountains of British Columbia with a bichon frise and two of her five grandchildren nearby.

When asked what are five things people may not know about you, Jennifer replied:

1. I rode a Lambretta scooter in the fifties.

2. To celebrate a hip replacement in 2000, I walked El Camino de Santiago in 2002.

3. My first financial investment was in a French fry machine. Within three months I lost my investment.

4. My first (and only) blind date had no teeth.

5. I tried to play the bagpipes in my sixties but didn’t have enough puff to inflate the bag.


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