Maureen “Reen” (Sullivan, Denholme) Turner (BSN ’59)

Maureen Sullivan was born in Port Alice, British Columbia in 1935. The family lived in Quatsino, a small remote village in Quatsino Sound at the northern end of Vancouver Island.

She attended a one-room school in Quatsino up to grade 8. Following that she attended Queen’s Hall, a private girl’s boarding school in Vancouver, for grades 9 to 12. When she graduated she was too young to enter nurse’s training and lived at home for a year at Jeune Landing, a logging camp in Quatsino Sound where her father worked. Thereafter she spent six months at Vancouver Vocational School and graduated from a secretarial course which included some basic bookkeeping. The plan was that this preparation would provide employment during the summer holidays while at school. She finished firstyear at the University of British Columbia but failed the chemistry course needed to apply to the nursing program. Thus she worked as a secretary at the Port Alice pulp mill office to make money for university, passed the chemistry course and enrolled in the School of Nursing at UBC. She continued to work at the mill office during the one-month holiday that the training course permitted.

After finishing the hospital residency and the Vancouver Hospital part of the course in 1958, she married Jim Denholme, a mechanical engineer with a certified general accountant’s degree. She then returned to UBC for the last year of the BSN degree. After graduation they lived in Maple Ridge for a year and Maureen worked part time at Maple Ridge Hospital. When they moved to New Westminster she worked part time for two years at St. Mary’s Hospital mainly on medical wards. In 1964 Maria was born, and in 1967 Kelly. In 1965 the family moved to Prince George and Maureen stayed home with the children. They returned to Vancouver in 1968.

In about 1975 she considered the refresher course to return to nursing. However, Jim decided to open a private accounting practice in their home and Maureen took on doing some of the typing and bookkeeping. A friend/client was starting a consulting engineering firm, Matec Consultants Limited and were in need of a part-time secretary/bookkeeper and she took on that position, leading to full timework for a couple of years. When a secretary was hired, she returned to bookkeeping at home. When Jim died in 1989 the firm retained her services as bookkeeper in their offices. She continues working there two or three days a week to this day.

Over the years Maureen and Jim travelled to the ten provinces and the Yukon, often to attend accounting conferences because of Jim’s volunteer positions with the accounting association of which he eventually became the national president. They also travelled to the International Accounting Conference in Adelaide, South Australia and spent a few days stopover in New Zealand on the way home.

Maureen met Graham Turner through a classmate, Sally Purvis and married him in 2001. He worked as a pipefitter in the construction industry retiring in 2002. Maureen and Graham have travelled to Cancun and the Baja in Mexico and have taken a cruise through the Panama Canal. They did an especially memorable tour in Ireland with Maureen’s two daughters. They also had a driving tour of Newfoundland with Maria to celebrate her 50th birthday. Current travel plans are for a European river cruise.

Maureen Turner and Elvi Whittaker
March 2017