Nellie Page - A Barnardo Girl
In 1901 , Nellie awoke to find her mother had died in her sleep, Nellie was 4 years old.
In the next 9 years , she would be begging on the streets of Norwich England, with her blind Uncle, who had taken her in . A Lt. Col. Hearside, saw the plight of this small frail girl, spoke to The Uncle , and with his permission , had Nellie admitted to Dr. Barnardo ‘s Home for Children.
Her new home was at Barkingside Village for girls. It is here that Nellie became the happy , positive loving young girl. In 1912 she was sent , with many other children , to Canada, arriving in Saint John , New Brunswick , on April 1st, 1912. After the quarantine period, she travelled to Peterborough Ontario to live at Hazelbrae, a Barnardo home for girls and boys. Here Nellie was taught to work as a domestic , she was then placed on a farm in the Toronto area. Year’s passed, Nellie married, moved to Massey , Ontario, had children , and in the early 1930’s she discovered she had a brother, John Page, also a Barnardo boy.
Nellie was a strong, loving woman, now with a very sick husband. The family moved to North Bay , Ontario, where during the depression years , young men would beg at the homes for food, my mother gave generously, a carrot, an onion, a potato, a slice of bread In 1939, the second world war broke out, and Nellie worked tirelessly for the Red Cross, the Royal Canadian Legion, woman’s auxiliary, as secretary, and then as president. From 1930 till 1941, Nellie took care of children, worked as a domestic and took care of her very ill husband. In 1941 she became a single working mother, as her husband , was sent to a hospital far away, until his death in 1945. Nellie came to the Niagara area, in 1947, to work , continue to raise the younger children . She continued working as a domestic till she was 70 years old.
Nellie Page was a devoted wife to a very ill husband, a loving , caring mother and a loving grandmother, the grandchildren were her joy ! We lost her in her early 80’s to a world of dementia.
She passed away on April the 13th 1983. Neighbors, friends, family , recalled all the kind deeds she had done for them over the years. Nellie never spoke of her life in England....embraced life to the fullest..
Many grandchildren remember with joy, Little Nanny......Nellie Page , a Barnardo Girl..
Written by Mary Arnold proud daughter of Nellie Page.