Gertrude's Story

17
Aug
2008

About Gertrude Dyck

Categories // Gertrude's Story

gert_palm_cropped.jpgIn 1962, nine years before the UAE was born, Canadian nurse Gertrude Dyck went to work in Al Ain’s first hospital. She lived in the UAE and Oman for more than 43 years, and is the author of “The Oasis, Al Ain Memoirs of ‘Doctora Latifa,’” first published in 1995 and available from Motivate Publishing in Dubai.

In 2002, Gertrude was recognised with two of Canada’s highest honours: the Order of Canada, and a Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal.

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18
Aug
2008

The Depression Years

Categories // Gertrude's Story

I grew up in rural Saskatchewan – that’s in Western Canada – with my Mom and Dad, and my brothers and sisters. Before I was born, my elder brother and sister and my Mom and Dad lived on a farm where they had next to nothing.  They had a few chickens and they sold the eggs from the chickens, and that was about the only income they had.

I was born in 1934 during the Depression years...

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25
Aug
2008

Grounded in Faith

Categories // Gertrude's Story

My Mom was a committed Christian who prayed and taught us to pray. My dad wasn't as committed as her, he was brought up in a different church, the old Mennonite church, and he didn't go to church except for weddings and funerals.  But I know my mother prayed for all of us.

As small children, I don’t remember religion playing such a big role in our lives, because my Dad wasn’t so keen on it...

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01
Sep
2008

Ramadan Memories

Categories // Gertrude's Story

Susan notes: In 1962, nine years before the UAE was born, Canadian nurse the late Gertrude Dyck went to work in Al Ain’s first hospital. She lived in the UAE and Oman for more than 43 years, and is the author of “The Oasis, Al Ain Memoirs of ‘Doctora Latifa. This is what she told me about her memories of the Holy Month of Ramadan in the 1960s. Read more about Gertrude at these links: About Gertrude Dyck and Gertrude Dyck (Nurse/Missionary/Author).

majlis141-x.jpgFrom the time I knew that this was where I was coming, there was a lot of planning and preparation. And the first trip to get here was a REAL adventure.

But before I tell you about all that, since it’s Ramadan now, maybe I should tell you a little bit about how this time of the year was for me in those early days... (Left: unidentified hospital staff person on a camel with local people)

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27
Sep
2008

Eid Celebrations

Categories // Gertrude's Story

gert_first_arab_dress.jpgSusan notes: In 1962, nine years before the UAE was born, Canadian nurse the late Gertrude Dyck went to work in Al Ain’s first hospital. She lived in the UAE and Oman for more than 43 years, and is the author of “The Oasis, Al Ain Memoirs of ‘Doctora Latifa. This is what she told me about her memories of the Holy Month of Ramadan in the 1960s. Read more about Gertrude at these links: About Gertrude Dyck and Gertrude Dyck (Nurse/Missionary/Author).

At the end of Ramadan, everyone celebrated Eid Al Fitr.

It was a time of great celebration, spending time with family and friends, and feasting, just as it is now. (Gertrude, at right, in her first Arabic dress and shayla)

I loved the Eid because of all the visiting we did. In the sixties and early seventies, there were only about 2,000 people in the whole Al Ain area, but hundreds would come from all over to visit during the Eid.

The hospital staff, including myself, followed the local customs for visiting and we were quite strict on protocol, which was that you visited the highest of the royalty first.

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28
Nov
2008

Childhood Commitment

Categories // Gertrude's Story


So let’s get back to Canada again – I got a bit ahead of myself talking about being a missionary and about Ramadan in the “old” days!

As I told you before, my Mom was a committed Christian who prayed and taught us to pray. My dad wasn't as committed as her, he was brought up in a different church, the old Mennonite church, and he didn't go to church except for weddings and funerals.  But my mother prayed for all of us...
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28
Nov
2008

Endings & Beginnings

Categories // Gertrude's Story

My Dad closed his store in about 1940, and after that he just ran the Western Grain elevator, the father of the other family in the village ran the Wheat Pool elevator.

I started school the same year my Dad stopped running the store.  He had the elevator for awhile, and then he started buying a bit of land.  Eventually he acquired quite a lot of land and started growing mostly wheat, along with some barley and oats.
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