Ella Baird enjoyed a remarkable life and career as a pioneer in industrial nursing. The eldest of ten, she was born in a log cabin built by her Scottish grandfather in Grey County, Ontario. Upon graduation in 1919 from the Hamilton City Hospital Training School, Miss Baird became the hospital’s operating room supervisor for two years and then engaged in private duty nursing. In 1931, she entered the employ of the Canadian Westinghouse Company Limited, resigning 20 years later as Director of Nurses and Welfare Services at its West Plant.
The President of Westinghouse, Paul J. Myler, and his wife, Maude Lottridge Myler, invited Miss Baird to live with them in their home at 61 Robinson Street, the present site of the Royal Hamilton Military Institute.
Ella Baird remained with the Mylers, who were childless, and on their deaths, received two inheritances. At her passing at the age of 92 in 1988, part of this legacy was left to her nephew, A.J. McQueen. To honour his aunt and in memory of his mother, Ella’s sister, Mr. McQueen established this Fund in 1992. In time, when the Fund has grown through annual gifts, the income is to be used for charitable purposes in the community, as Mr. McQueen wrote, “to shed a little light on what might have otherwise remained dark”.
Excerpt from 1993-1994 Annual Report