Hamilton seniors’ activist Bernice Price turns 100

News May 16, 2017 by Mark Newman Hamilton Mountain News

Ask Bernice Price about her many years of pushing Hamilton city councillors to make life better for seniors and her eyes light up.

“I was on 54 committees, but never on the payroll,” said Price, who turns 100 on Friday.

The family is holding a special reception for her at 2 p.m. on Saturday at the Grace Villa nursing home where she has living since February.

A well-known face around city hall for decades, Price was one of the first members of the Sackville Hill seniors group and was named Hamilton’s Municipal Senior of the Year in 1999 and she never hesitated to fire off a letter to a councillor or the Mountain News when she saw something she didn’t like.

When councillors contemplated a hike in seniors’ bus fares they could be sure to hear from Price, often in person at a committee and she seldom backed down.

It was thanks to Price’s efforts that the city in 2009 adopted the Gold Age Pass which allows Hamilton resident 80 and older to ride for free on the HSR.

More than 2,400 seniors use the Golden Age Pass each month.

“The over 80 bus pass was quite an accomplishment,” Price said.

But there were other issues and many of them.

The 13th Street resident got fed up with pigeons pooping on her house and pushed city council to enact a bylaw forbidding the feeding of pigeons on private property.

The bylaw carries a $105 fine.

Price became so well known at city hall that in 2011 then central Mountain councillor Scott Duvall presented her with a certificate that designated her as Mayor of Thirteenth Street for her outstanding performance and dedication to the City of Hamilton.

Born in Lawrencetown, Nova Scotia, Price began what would become a life-long relationship with St. John Ambulance in 1939.

She would join the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1940 where, as a member of the Halifax Flying Squadron, she would attend to the first aid stations.

She achieved the rank of sergeant and became a military police officer (MP) in the air force.

“When I became a police officer they handed me handcuffs and I said ‘if I have to use those on a girl, I won’t be doing it’,” she said. “I never, ever used handcuffs on anyone.”

But as an MP Price didn’t take any guff from the airmen and women and carried that attitude throughout her life when it came to working with politicians or trying to help others.

She came to Hamilton after the Second World War and worked at the downtown Right House and later resumed her duties with St. John Ambulance in the nursing division.

Her many years with SJA, which included teaching numerous first aid and babysitting courses to parents, youths and children across the city, was officially recognized in 1997 when Price was inducted as Dame of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem (St. John Ambulance).

This is the female equivalent of a Knight and only a few Canadians have been honoured with the recognition.

It was as a first aider that Price was on hand at one of the most infamous times in Hamilton music history, the June 28, 1975 Pink Floyd concert that saw some 55,000 people crammed into Ivor Wynne Stadium.

“It was wild,” said Price, who recalled seeing people running round naked and pretty much stoned out of their minds.

There were also numerous hours serving on the Hamilton Safety Council (where she was the first woman president), the seniors’ advisory committee, the board of finance at the Sackville Hill Seniors Recreation Centre, the seniors’ police board, Branch 163 of the Royal Canadian Legion and the 447 Wing.

In 1999 she was a honourary marshal of the Hamilton Santa Claus Parade and has received the Queen’s diamond and gold jubilee medals.

“She’s still feisty,” said Price’s nephew Jack Branch, who visits her each day at Grace Villa. “She’s always been a champion for the underdog.”

Hamilton seniors’ activist Bernice Price turns 100

Mountain resident credited for getting free bus passes for 80 plus residents

News May 16, 2017 by Mark Newman Hamilton Mountain News

Ask Bernice Price about her many years of pushing Hamilton city councillors to make life better for seniors and her eyes light up.

“I was on 54 committees, but never on the payroll,” said Price, who turns 100 on Friday.

The family is holding a special reception for her at 2 p.m. on Saturday at the Grace Villa nursing home where she has living since February.

A well-known face around city hall for decades, Price was one of the first members of the Sackville Hill seniors group and was named Hamilton’s Municipal Senior of the Year in 1999 and she never hesitated to fire off a letter to a councillor or the Mountain News when she saw something she didn’t like.

When councillors contemplated a hike in seniors’ bus fares they could be sure to hear from Price, often in person at a committee and she seldom backed down.

It was thanks to Price’s efforts that the city in 2009 adopted the Gold Age Pass which allows Hamilton resident 80 and older to ride for free on the HSR.

More than 2,400 seniors use the Golden Age Pass each month.

“The over 80 bus pass was quite an accomplishment,” Price said.

But there were other issues and many of them.

The 13th Street resident got fed up with pigeons pooping on her house and pushed city council to enact a bylaw forbidding the feeding of pigeons on private property.

The bylaw carries a $105 fine.

Price became so well known at city hall that in 2011 then central Mountain councillor Scott Duvall presented her with a certificate that designated her as Mayor of Thirteenth Street for her outstanding performance and dedication to the City of Hamilton.

Born in Lawrencetown, Nova Scotia, Price began what would become a life-long relationship with St. John Ambulance in 1939.

She would join the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1940 where, as a member of the Halifax Flying Squadron, she would attend to the first aid stations.

She achieved the rank of sergeant and became a military police officer (MP) in the air force.

“When I became a police officer they handed me handcuffs and I said ‘if I have to use those on a girl, I won’t be doing it’,” she said. “I never, ever used handcuffs on anyone.”

But as an MP Price didn’t take any guff from the airmen and women and carried that attitude throughout her life when it came to working with politicians or trying to help others.

She came to Hamilton after the Second World War and worked at the downtown Right House and later resumed her duties with St. John Ambulance in the nursing division.

Her many years with SJA, which included teaching numerous first aid and babysitting courses to parents, youths and children across the city, was officially recognized in 1997 when Price was inducted as Dame of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem (St. John Ambulance).

This is the female equivalent of a Knight and only a few Canadians have been honoured with the recognition.

It was as a first aider that Price was on hand at one of the most infamous times in Hamilton music history, the June 28, 1975 Pink Floyd concert that saw some 55,000 people crammed into Ivor Wynne Stadium.

“It was wild,” said Price, who recalled seeing people running round naked and pretty much stoned out of their minds.

There were also numerous hours serving on the Hamilton Safety Council (where she was the first woman president), the seniors’ advisory committee, the board of finance at the Sackville Hill Seniors Recreation Centre, the seniors’ police board, Branch 163 of the Royal Canadian Legion and the 447 Wing.

In 1999 she was a honourary marshal of the Hamilton Santa Claus Parade and has received the Queen’s diamond and gold jubilee medals.

“She’s still feisty,” said Price’s nephew Jack Branch, who visits her each day at Grace Villa. “She’s always been a champion for the underdog.”

Hamilton seniors’ activist Bernice Price turns 100

Mountain resident credited for getting free bus passes for 80 plus residents

News May 16, 2017 by Mark Newman Hamilton Mountain News

Ask Bernice Price about her many years of pushing Hamilton city councillors to make life better for seniors and her eyes light up.

“I was on 54 committees, but never on the payroll,” said Price, who turns 100 on Friday.

The family is holding a special reception for her at 2 p.m. on Saturday at the Grace Villa nursing home where she has living since February.

A well-known face around city hall for decades, Price was one of the first members of the Sackville Hill seniors group and was named Hamilton’s Municipal Senior of the Year in 1999 and she never hesitated to fire off a letter to a councillor or the Mountain News when she saw something she didn’t like.

When councillors contemplated a hike in seniors’ bus fares they could be sure to hear from Price, often in person at a committee and she seldom backed down.

It was thanks to Price’s efforts that the city in 2009 adopted the Gold Age Pass which allows Hamilton resident 80 and older to ride for free on the HSR.

More than 2,400 seniors use the Golden Age Pass each month.

“The over 80 bus pass was quite an accomplishment,” Price said.

But there were other issues and many of them.

The 13th Street resident got fed up with pigeons pooping on her house and pushed city council to enact a bylaw forbidding the feeding of pigeons on private property.

The bylaw carries a $105 fine.

Price became so well known at city hall that in 2011 then central Mountain councillor Scott Duvall presented her with a certificate that designated her as Mayor of Thirteenth Street for her outstanding performance and dedication to the City of Hamilton.

Born in Lawrencetown, Nova Scotia, Price began what would become a life-long relationship with St. John Ambulance in 1939.

She would join the Royal Canadian Air Force in 1940 where, as a member of the Halifax Flying Squadron, she would attend to the first aid stations.

She achieved the rank of sergeant and became a military police officer (MP) in the air force.

“When I became a police officer they handed me handcuffs and I said ‘if I have to use those on a girl, I won’t be doing it’,” she said. “I never, ever used handcuffs on anyone.”

But as an MP Price didn’t take any guff from the airmen and women and carried that attitude throughout her life when it came to working with politicians or trying to help others.

She came to Hamilton after the Second World War and worked at the downtown Right House and later resumed her duties with St. John Ambulance in the nursing division.

Her many years with SJA, which included teaching numerous first aid and babysitting courses to parents, youths and children across the city, was officially recognized in 1997 when Price was inducted as Dame of the Most Venerable Order of the Hospital of St. John of Jerusalem (St. John Ambulance).

This is the female equivalent of a Knight and only a few Canadians have been honoured with the recognition.

It was as a first aider that Price was on hand at one of the most infamous times in Hamilton music history, the June 28, 1975 Pink Floyd concert that saw some 55,000 people crammed into Ivor Wynne Stadium.

“It was wild,” said Price, who recalled seeing people running round naked and pretty much stoned out of their minds.

There were also numerous hours serving on the Hamilton Safety Council (where she was the first woman president), the seniors’ advisory committee, the board of finance at the Sackville Hill Seniors Recreation Centre, the seniors’ police board, Branch 163 of the Royal Canadian Legion and the 447 Wing.

In 1999 she was a honourary marshal of the Hamilton Santa Claus Parade and has received the Queen’s diamond and gold jubilee medals.

“She’s still feisty,” said Price’s nephew Jack Branch, who visits her each day at Grace Villa. “She’s always been a champion for the underdog.”