The Heritage Corner, Springhill Record

February 14, 2007

February 14, 2007 - Annie & Isabel Murray

“Not failure, but low aim, is crime” was the motto of one of the most respected teachers in Springhill, Annie Grey Murray.

Annie attended school in Springhill first in the little red school house on Elgin and then at the Junction Road School . After finishing school she went into teaching.

Her first years of teaching was in Grade V11 in the Junction Road School, in Grade V11 in the YMCA, and in the Grade 1X in the Junction Road School. In Grade V11 she had a total of 72 pupils, 52 of which were girls in the YMCA class. Each Friday afternoon the girls had a half hour to read a book or poem not in the curriculum and since a lot of girls were interested in sewing Miss Murray allowed them to bring their work to school, without first getting permission of the School Board. But then the Board objected to sewing in school and they could no longer do it.

Annie Murray left teaching during WW1 and went to work with the Red Cross Society and was associated with the Red Cross for the rest of her life. She served as Branch Treasurer for the Springhill Red Cross and from 1944 until 1950 when she became Secretary of the Red Cross Blood Donor Clinic working with them until 1976. In 1977 she was presented with the Distinguished Service Award of the Red Cross Society. She was an instructor for the St. John Ambulance Brigade and Cancer Unit Dressing Chairman.

In 1916 Annie went back to teaching and taught at the new High School and taught her favorite subjects English, Geometry and Algebra to grades 1X, X and X1. She continued to teach for another 35 years.

Meanwhile she continued to be active in different organizations in Springhill. In 1916, through her efforts, the IODE Lodge was organized. She was a Charter and Lifetime member of the N.S. and Springhill IODE and served the Springhill Branch in all offices during her years with them including Regent and Honorary Regent. In 1983 she was honored by the provincial Chapter of the IODE as the only living charter member of the Provincial Chapter and received a provincial recognition.

Annie Murray has been honored by the Lion’s Club as Citizen of the Year. In 1977 received a citation from the Nova Scotia Mental Health Society for outstanding service and acting as secretary for 15 years. In 1980 she became Springhill’s first Volunteer Worker Award winner at the age of 93.

Annie was an adherent of Saint Andrews United Church and served as organist and Junior Choir Director for over 30 years. Was a member and secretary of the United Church Women’s Group which she gave up at the age of 97.

At the age of 99 she attended the IODE Appreciation Day and presented Mayor Bill Mont with a plaque.

Annie G. Murray never married and lived with her sister Isabel in the family home. She passed away Oct. 18, 1986 at the age of 99.

Isabel Simpson was born and raised in Springhill and after finishing school she took an interest in nursing and continued her education at Acadia University , Royal Victoria Hospital in Montreal and McGill University . She was a nursing instructor and assistant Administrator in New York and New Jersey . While in the United Stated she met and married Frederick Lormier Simpson and upon his death in 1958 Isabel returned to Springhill and resided with her sister Annie and brother John Murray.

Isabel had a deep interest in the All Saints Hospital Auxiliary and All Saints Hospital Foundation. She was the Treasurer of the Memorial Fund for ASH for many years.

She was a member of the Canadian Red Cross and Canadian Cancer foundation.

Among the awards this dedicated volunteer received were Award for Hospital and Community work from Trustees and Board of All Saints Hospital as well as members of hospital family; Canadian Life Style Award – Certificate of Merit Government of Canada and Town of Springhill; Life Style Award from Health and Welfare Canada; Certificate of Appreciation – outstanding support from Cobequid Chapter IODE Springhill; Centennial Citizen of the Year (1989); Canadian Cancer Society Nova Scotia Division – Volunteer of the Year and many other service organization awards.

Isabel was also deeply interested in preserving the history of Springhill and was a member of the Springhill Heritage Group.

Each year a volunteer award is to be given in her name to such organizations as All Saints Hospital Foundation, Springhill Heritage Group and Springhill Cancer Society.

Isabel ( Murray ) Simpson passed away on June 5, 2003 at the age of 102. With her passing, the immediate family of Col. Daniel Murray, has come to an end.