Janice Melenchuk Bell

Janice Melenchuk Bell

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My family: Married to Curtis Bell (CUC High School Class of 1968); 3 children. I was born into two large extended families of Ukrainian heritage who immigrated to the prairies of Western Canada in the early 1900’s. They were resilient farming families who strongly believed in the value of education.

My work: Registered nurse and psychologist involved in teaching, research, and community service. Associate Professor Emeritus, University of Calgary. Editor, Journal of Family Nursing (SAGE Publishing). Founding member: International Family Nursing Association. (Website: www.janicembell.com)

Change I wish to see in the world: I believe health and illness is a family affair. I wish to see family nursing/family focused care offered to every family in all health care contexts around the world.

Where I turn to for inspiration: Nature, books, travel. (After living and working in Calgary for 35 years, I’m grateful to be making my summer lakehome my permanent home in the Okanagan Valley. Living near water in the midst of orchards and vineyards is paradise!)

Traits I admire most in a person: Kindness and generosity

Favorite flower: Casablanca lilies

I can never have too many: Books and gardening gloves!

Favorite CUC memory: Our Class of 69 had a feisty rivalry with the Junior Class which was headed by two mischievous young men—Monty Reid and Marik Dombsky. Everyone in our class received the grad invitations they ordered except me.  My invitations were nowhere to be found, even though the staff in the Admin office confirmed they had been received. Rumor had it that Monty and Marik had been sighted in the area where the invitations were stored.

President P. G. Miller always appeared to be a serious and stern man. He surprisingly offered to get involved in solving the mystery of my missing grad invitations.  And he also invited me to hide under his desk before he summoned Monty and Marik to his office. For several minutes he sternly cross-examined the scoundrels and threatened they would be required to write 10,000 word essay on “The Value of Invitations to Modern Society” if my grad invitations were not found. Monty and Marik finally confessed they had hidden them. I got my invitations, two written apologies from Monty and Marik, and a stomach ache trying to silence my laughter from under the President’s desk!

CUC classmate I wish to honor: While Dawn (Kennedy) Clark was certainly known to me at CUC, she was a “village student” and I did not get to know her well. Some years after graduation, our paths crossed again and she became a very dear friend–someone who has consistently been there for me over many years, carried me through heartache and heartbreak, and celebrated with me and my family in times of joy.  Thank you, Dawn, for your amazing and steadfast friendship.

My reflections about being a member of the Class of 69: We were all mostly strangers brought together in a very closed and some might argue, insular experience, at CUC and we shaped and were shaped by being there in the late ’60’s—perhaps in a good way for some, perhaps not so good for others. I thrived in this environment–15 years old and my first year away from a loving home and parents and siblings and a small rural community! New experiences, new responsibilities, new friends, new community. My two years at CUC (Grades 11 and 12) provided me with experiences that profoundly shaped my world and my relationships—for good. I am grateful that our paths have crossed in this life.

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Janice Melenchuk Bell served as President of our CUC High School Class of 69.