For this week's Throwback, we give you a peak into a science class of yesteryear, in honour of a notable alumna whose name was in the news this week. Dr. Frances Kelsey (known as Frankie Oldham during her time at the school) averted a public health disaster in the United States. Resisting tremendous pressure, she refused to approve the drug thalidomide. Unfortunately other countries were not so lucky, including her own birthplace, Canada.
Dr. Kelsey's integrity and courage saved thousands of babies from being born with terrible defects in the United States. Her story is a tremendous example to our girls here at the school. We are proud to count her as an alumna and think that she deserves to be much more widely recognized in British Columbia and across Canada. Read more about Dr. Kelsey in the Globe and Mail's feature, republished here on the SMS blog with their permission. The Globe and Mail released a special report this week about the terrible legacy of thalidomide, and Canadian survivors still calling for justice. Click here.
Above is our chemistry lab in 1926, which would have looked much the same while Frankie Oldham attended the school. Below is Dr. Kelsey from the 1929-1930 Cardinal (at left), from her time at the FDA (centre), and receiving the President's Award for Distinguished Federal Civilian Service from President John F. Kennedy.