Lillian Parkinson was raised on a farm near Arundel in Quebec’s Laurentian Mountains, during the lean years of the Great Depression. From the day she started her first lessons at the village school she knew she wanted to be a teacher.
Growing up in Port Daniel West on the Baie des Chaleurs, Joan Bisson dreamed of becoming a doctor. Within a few months of graduating high school it looked as though her dream might even come true. In September 1947 she was working as a schoolteacher in the nearby village of Hopetown when a telegram came from McGill University. She’d won a scholarship to study there.