Sylvia was born in Lamont, AB, in 1940 and lived in the village of Chipman where her father owned a Blacksmith shop. Her family then moved to Edmonton where she had to learn English, as she only spoke Ukrainian because Chipman was predominately Ukrainian at that time. She took a 5-year B.Sc. in nursing, worked in Vancouver as a VON (Victoria Order of Nurses), and then on a medical heart unit at the Royal Alexandria Hospital in Edmonton. From there she worked at Mount Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles in their Coronary Care and Intensive Care Nursing, both new fields at that time. Upon her return from Mt. Sinai, Sylvia was supervisor and clinical instructor of Cardiovascular Surgery at the University Hospital working with Dr. Callahan, a pioneer who did the first open heart surgery in Canada and was co-inventor of the pacemaker. When Sylvia married, they moved to Guelph, Ontario where she opened their first Coronary Care Unit and Intensive Coronary Care Unit at the Guelph General Hospital. She took a master’s degree in education (Administration) in Ottawa, and then taught Gynecological Nursing at the RHA Women’s Pavilion and was a lecturer at the University of Alberta Faculty of Nursing. She also took a BA (Special) in English and History, then did several years of law school, stopping because of ill health.
After Expo in Montreal, Sylvia decided to travel-she has now visited over 100 countries, many of them, such as Egypt and Turkey, six times each. She has traveled on six of the seven continents-all except Australia and was a member of the Travelers Century Club for those who have visited 100 or more countries of the world.
As Sylvia says: “The JDIC has been both a haven and a resource for me, supplying my need for continuing education and interesting companionship. The Jewish Senior Citizens Centre is in a class by itself as it attracts members with such hugely varied life experiences. All that and lovely meals! It has been my home away from home and has made me feel young again! I am looking forward to the Grand Re-opening!”