The Dr. Priscilla Wilson Memorial Award recognizes a woman from the Bow Valley who has demonstrated outstanding leadership and innovation to make a meaningful difference in our community.

Although their professional paths did not cross often, Priscilla Wilson and Carol Morrison became acquainted and appreciated one another’s company in retirement. These social occasions – dinners, drinks or evening cards (more on that later) provided them both with the enjoyment of a common pleasure – to be with friends and to share their pride in the latest stories of their children and grandchildren.

Neither Priscilla nor Carol set out with aspirations of legacy building, yet, by virtue of their values, tenacity and care, they established a strong foundation for women in our community to rise from.

Carol’s principled and collegial approach earned her the responsibility of leading the emergency department at the Banff Mineral Springs Hospital. In her almost 40 years in the nursing profession, she not only nurtured those of us fortunate (and sometimes unfortunate) enough to land in the Emergency, she nurtured and mentored countless prospective nursing and healthcare professionals.

Carol’s legacy was celebrated when she retired and was recognized for her contributions to the workplace and work relationships. The meaningfulness of her influence could not have been more evident than when she shifted from caregiver to care receiver after being admitted as a palliative patient herself at the Mineral Springs. It was a welcome opportunity for the team she led, to treat her with the same dignity, compassion and care she exemplified for them.

Her giving nature extended into the community. She was an active contributor from the early days of her children’s activities such as making costumes for the Banff Skating Club and volunteering for many organizations within the community. Among her favourites were the YWCA and St. George’s-in-the-Pines Anglican Church.

Carol and her husband David raised four unique and individual children – while both contributing to significant positions in their respective workplaces. Carol partnered and supported David as he led Brewster Transportation and Tours to become one of the most pioneering and successful tour companies bringing attention to this amazing location we get to call home.

Whether hosting at their home or accompanying him on business ventures, Carol blended her many roles effortlessly and with a talent for bringing people together in her trademark smiling, warm and welcoming fashion.

She raised a family of four kids and personally contributed to important social initiatives. She demonstrated that women can have it all – a family, a career, a wide range of friendships while contributing to their communities in important ways.

Carol was an advocate and promoter of the outdoor lifestyle Banff has to offer. She participated in and encouraged her children, friends and all that she met to get out into the outdoors, for its ability to heal and move the spirit.

Carol celebrated the outdoors herself by golfing, hiking, running and cross-country skiing and as much as it was a mantra to her kids, we can all live and learn from the benefits of her response ” You will never regret going outside”.

Like Priscilla, Carol Morrison moved to Banff at a young age. They were professional women in their respective fields, while raising young families and supporting their husbands’ careers. They both relished the company of others and were actively interested in the company of their friends who provided important outlets for their social and active lifestyles. They invested deeply in the community and events they were part of. Unlike Priscilla, however, Carol was adept at playing bridge!

Carol may not have actually been able to fit in Priscilla’s shoes (she was a size 7 to Priscilla’s size 12). When we remember Priscilla and Carol, we think about their indelible contributions to their professions, their community and their families (not necessarily in that order!) and whatever the shoe size – it fits Carol to a tee (yes, golf was another of her passions!):

By being oneself, by loving, caring and leaving an ever-growing legacy in one’s children, their children’s children and in the memories created, one can make a difference. These qualities tie these women together and make Carol deserving of recognition as a Change Maker.

– Many thanks to co-authors Barbara King and Marilyn Bell