Cancer Society marks years in Oakville by mikeholy

                                                                                                                                           The Oakville Beaver, Wednesday February 7, 2007 - 15

Cancer Society marks 50 years in Oakville
■ By Angela Blackburn                                                                                                   Orma was being treated that            In the intervening years,            years later, Smith’s words still
OAKVILLE BEAVER STAFF                                                                                                   Smith founded the Oakville          the Unit moved to a new loca-           ring true, “Of all the things I’ve
                                                                                                                        Unit. She led the Unit as its       tion, expanded services,                canvassed for, I’ve never had
    Jean Malcolm Smith                                                                                                  president and in its initial year   recruited volunteers and influ-         anything as easy as the Cancer
wished kids didn’t take up                                                                                              it offered transportation to and    enced the lives of many                 Society. I guess it’s because
smoking so often — that was                                                                                             from hospital for patients and      Oakville people, those with             cancer has touched so many.
in the 1950s.                                                                                                           made dressings at St. John’s        cancer and those without —              Nearly everybody has had a
    In 1957, Smith founded the                                                                                          United Church.                      and the subject isn’t taboo.            friend or a relative who has
Canadian Cancer Society’s                                                                                                   It also gathered new volun-        However, sadly enough, 50            had cancer.”
(CCS) Oakville Unit in her living                                                                                       teers who learned of the unit
room — with five volunteers.                                                                                            through word-of-mouth. It
    Smith, who herself died of                                                                                          also, astoundingly, raised
cancer in 1981 at age 78, had                                                                                           $5,000 — far in excess of its
an enduring passion for both                                                                                            $2,500 goal.
fighting cancer and education.                                                                                              In 1960, the Lions Club
    She founded both the                                                                                                named Smith Citizen of the           Are you happy with your bank?
Oakville Unit of the CCS in                                                                                             Year. Smith stayed on as the
1957 — and then stuck with it                                                                                           Unit’s president for four years
volunteering for 42 years.                                                                                              and then continued as a board
    She also founded the                                                                                                member, driver and canvasser
University Women’s Club of                                                                                              for more than 40 years.
Oakville.                                                                                                                   As the Unit marks its 50th
    Fifty years later, both of      OAKVILLE UNIT FOUNDER: The late Jean Malcolm                                        year, Smith saw most of them.
Smith’s passions are going          Smith founded the Canadian Cancer Society’s Oakville Unit in 1957.                      The only other person who
strong.                             for treatment via streetcars.                   at the outset of World War II.      has been in the picture nearly
    The CCS’ Oakville Unit is           Back home, she put in a                         Actually the couple first       as long is Wyn Moore, who ran
marking its 50th year with an       call to the Toronto branch of                   lived on Allan Street and then      the office, first located in the
open house Feb. 24 from             the CCS to ask what could be                    moved to Rosemary Lane.             Toronto Dominion bank
noon-4:30 p.m. at its office        done.                                               “My mother missed her           downtown Oakville, and of
located at 635 Fourth Line,             It appeared the director had                friends in Toronto terribly and     whom Smith spoke fondly.
Unit 51. (Call 905-845-5231         been out this way on a few                      during the war she worked               Both Barbara and Cynthia
for details).                       occasions, but couldn’t find                    with the wartime Prices and         said they believe volunteer
    The anniversary is a dou-       anyone to run a unit.                           Trade Board,” said Smith’s          driving was Smith’s greatest
ble-edged sword — everyone              Smith, a mother of three,                   daughter Barbara Woods.             pleasure, though she was obvi-
involved in the Oakville Unit       put an end to that.                                 Both mother and daughter        ously adept at organization.
wishes their office didn’t have         “My grandmother volun-                      Woods, remember how much                It was people she really
to exist at all.                    teered because she saw a need.                  Smith valued education.             enjoyed and Cynthia said her
    However, as it does still       She was very social, knew lots                      The second youngest in a        grandmother definitely had
exist, those associated with it     of people and when she saw a                    Toronto family of seven, Smith      her own ideas, liked to keep in
are celebrating their successes     need, she got involved,” said                   was the first in her family to      tune with current events and
over the years.                     Cynthia Woods.                                  graduate university. She stud-      was always up for a discussion.
    None of which would have            Smith was a slight woman                    ied arts at the University of           What wasn’t discussed too
been possible if not for Smith.     with fragile features. She was                  Toronto, University College in      much in early days was cancer.
    In 1957, mastectomies           adept at putting people at ease                 the early 1920s.                        Even Smith’s daughter and
were common and a common            and quickly earned respect.                         Barbara said she remem-         granddaughter recall that
type of cancer, breast cancer,          Smith was a member of the                   bers her mom’s passion for          Smith had family members
caused great fear in women.         Oakville Red Cross, served as a                 education, noting even at age       touched or claimed by the dis-
    An increase in lung cancer      trustee on the Oakville School                  three she herself could recite      ease, but as Cynthia said, “You
also bothered Smith.                Board from 1949-1953, was a                     the Varsity Song.                   didn’t talk too much about it.”
    “We feel very unhappy           supply teacher in Oakville, co-                     Over the years, cancer took         Not long after Smith
about lung cancer being on          chaired the original board of                   its toll on Smith’s family. It      founded the Oakville Unit, it
the increase. So many young         the Good Neighbour Fund                         claimed her mother, Martha,         expanded and its volunteer
people are starting to smoke,”      (United Way), was a regent in                   and two of her sisters.             numbers grew from that origi-
said Smith at the time.             the White Oaks Chapter of the                       It was at the time her sister   nal five to thousands.
    Smith, “our Jeannie” as she     IODE, served on the Board of
is remembered by her grand-         Stewards and as president of
daughter, Toronto lawyer            the Women’s Association of St.                    We Know MORTGAGES
Cynthia Woods, is very much         John’s United Church, and was
in many people’s thoughts,          a life member of the Oakville-
especially as the Oakville Unit
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    It was while Smith was              In addition to all that,                                1st, 2nd, and 3rd Mortgages
driving her sister, Orma to a       Smith and five interested vol-                              Residential and Commercial                                                          Peace of Mind …
cancer treatment in Toronto         unteers founded the Oakville                                     Debt Consolidation                                                             … the most Valuable Service we Provide
— to the Hospital for Sick          Unit in the living room of her                                Power of Sale Refinancing
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was built — she was aghast
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