Alice Bibeau Tester
On the morning of Tuesday, February 18, 2014, we lost a natural treasure with the passing of Alice Bibeau Tester at Lady Minto Hospital on Salt Spring Island. Last August, Alice celebrated her 100th birthday.
Alice was a remarkable person who enjoyed an even more remarkable life. She was rich with long-time friends who often referred to her as “little Alice” because of her diminutive stature. The dash (-) between 1913 and 2014 represented a life well lived. She loved Lyal, family, friends, children and especially babies, miniature horses, bantam chickens, dogs, cats, birds, her garden, learning to play the piano after becoming deaf, and playing two spoons on her knees. She found joy in writing poetry, riding horses and traveling. We remember Alice for her laughter and the ease in which she shared a colourful joke, embellished a story, or fabricated a tale or two. We remember her for her generousity and especially her annual Christmas gift of maple syrup from Quebec. She was a close life-long friend of Pierre Trudeau and Jean Chrétien and at one time, Alice was a guest of Mikhail and Raisa Gorbachev in Russia.
Born in Montreal, she was educated in a Roman Catholic convent before graduating as a Registered Nurse. While nursing in Hollywood, she met Lyal Tester, an electrician who was vacationing from Flin Flon. Everyone has a story or two about little Alice working as a nurse in medical/surgical areas and in the operating room including piercing the ears of many young Flin Flon girls, standing on a chair singing in her high-pitched French tone over a loud unruly patient, and preparing “French café” for the doctors and nurses at the Company Hospital.
Lyal and Alice left Flin Flon to manage a small motel in White Rock before retiring to Salt Spring Island in 1979. Lyal passed in 1986 and Alice remained in their home on Swanson Road until 1999 when she moved into Pioneer Village. In 2010, she moved into Residential Care.
A huge thank you to the compassionate and caring staff and volunteers in Residential Care at Lady Minto Hospital, Dr. David Beaver, Susan Astill and her friends and family. Special thanks to Donna Powell for her companion care and regular visits. Over the years, Alice appreciated keeping connected to her friends and family through cards and letters.
?If you care to make a donation in Alice’s name, please donate to the Lady Minto Hospital Foundation (135 Crofton Road Salt Spring Island B.C. V8K 1T1) for education for staff on dementia care to enhance their practice.
There was no service at her request. In August, there will be a celebration of Alice’s life and poetry. For more information, contact Ellen Mahoney at email@example.com.
Condolences, tributes or stories may be left on Alice’s Book of Memories at Hayward’s Funeral Service at http://www.haywardsfuneral.com.
Life’s Horizon – Alice Bibeau Tester
There always is a horizon beyond what we cannot see.
We wonder what the future holds. What is our destiny?
We do our best to shape the course of the days that lie ahead,
Hopefully days of happiness, and none that we will dread.
We all have those lofty dreams that spur our aspirations.
So we vow each new day to increase our dedication.
Life is full of obstacles that must be overcome.
Perseverance breeds success but our job is never done.
Each day there is a new horizon with a challenge we must meet
To realize our ambitions and gain the goal we seek.
We were all blessed to have little Alice bring joy to our lives.