Elizabeth Truant, known to friends as “Beth,” took on the suddenly solitary days of the pandemic the same way she has always approached life — by seizing every moment and making the most of it. In fact, she took advantage of the downtime by literally keeping her hands busy.
Beth took the two years of social stopgap caused by COVID-19 to write her life story.
“I was always telling stories to my kids, then Laurie (daughter) said ‘Mom, no more stories we are going to write everything down,’” Beth recounted with a smile. “And that’s how we got going on it.”
During the quiet pandemic months, Beth met virtually with Laurie via Zoom, as her eldest daughter lives in Victoria. Beth’s other two daughters, who live locally, read over and weighed in on the manuscript as it rolled out, before Laurie typed up the final version.
Now Beth has published her insightful musings in a book titled, It All Began on The Farm. And she’s sharing her history, photographs, and family-favourite recipes, all documented in 400 easy-to-read pages, with the Trail community.
Beth had 40 copies published at Hall Printing, though the books have all been spoken for and are presently being passed between friends.
She also donated a copy of It All Began on The Farm, to the Trail Museum and Archives. Anyone interested in reading Beth’s book is encouraged to call the archives at 250.364.0829 to inquire about its availability.
In Beth’s words
“My autobiography weaves my life history within four family lineages: Lowe, Walker, Cooper, Truant. My English pioneering grandparents immigrated to Canada in the late 1800s and early 1900s.
“I was born on a farm in Elnora, Alberta in the later years of the Great Depression of the 1930s. When I was five years old, my family moved to Oyama B.C. in the Okanagan Valley to be closer to my maternal grandparents who had settled there in 1921, over 100 years ago. The two-room schoolhouse for elementary education was followed by a much bigger high school in Vernon B.C. where I completed grades 8-13. Homesteading, fruit ranching, good friends, church choir, McIntosh Girls’ Pipe Band, highland dancing, and summer camp are a few of the highlights.
“The next section of my book details my experiences in a three-year Nursing School program followed by work in diverse nursing positions. The book chronicles the dramatic changes in nursing education and practice from the mid-1950s until the early 1990s. The challenges of balancing child rearing and work are also explored.
“Some readers may find chapter eleven of interest as the content describes the family history of my husband, Erasmo Truant, and their emigration from San Martino al Tagliamento, Italy to their new life in the Trail area.
“Historical photos obtained from various museums as well as a few family gems including family photos, favourite recipes and original poems are also included.”