Pay­ing trib­ute to Sheila Pad­don

The Labradorian - - Front Page - BY EVAN CAREEN

Sheila Pad­don, 97, passed away on Aug. 9. While her last few years may have been spent in St. John’s, Pad­don spent the bulk of her life in Labrador and it was to Labrador she re­turned to be buried along­side her hus­band, Dr. Tony Pad­don, in North West River on Aug. 16.

Her son, Dave Pad­don, told The Labradorian his mother was a prod­uct of a dif­fer­ent time when peo­ple had a greater sense of pur­pose and so­cial re­spon­si­bil­ity.

“The idea of pub­lic ser­vice and build­ing a bet­ter world was very much a part of who she was,” he said.

Pad­don pro­vided The Labradorian with a copy of the eu­logy he read at her fu­neral in North West River. It reads that she was born in 1920 in Es­sex, Eng­land and spent her younger days as a farmer. All of that changed with the Sec­ond World War. She be­came a nurse and helped fight the Nazis.

“It was 9/11 ev­ery night for a long time and with the bombs com­ing down Nurse Pad­don ‘did her bit’,” the eu­logy reads. “One night her hos­pi­tal re­ceived a di­rect hit from a V1 fly­ing bomb and one wing of the build­ing was badly dam­aged with mul­ti­ple ca­su­al­ties. Mum fol­lowed pro­ce­dure and got un­der a bed. When the dust had lit­er­ally set­tled she emerged in a mi­nor state of shock and lay on the floor try­ing to col­lect her wits. Al­most im­me­di­ately a se­nior nurse was stand­ing over her telling to get to her feet and get to work. No sen­si­tiv­ity train­ing in those days. No for­mal com­plaints about bul­ly­ing. No ex­press­ing your feel­ings. There was work to be done. I won­der if sub­se­quent gen­er­a­tions, in­clud­ing my own, would be half as ca­pa­ble.”

He said once the war was over she was look­ing for a new chal­lenge and found it in Labrador. Her first day there the res­i­dent doc­tor (her fu­ture hus­band) was just head­ing off on a med­i­cal pa­trol and she was left to fig­ure things out for her­self.

“It didn’t take long for her first cus­tomer to show up,” Pad­don said. “A lo­cal trap­per had sev­ered the ten­dons in his hand with an axe and she had to re-at­tach them. She had to find them first as they had re­tracted up into his fore­arm. Took a bit of do­ing I sup­pose but she found them, hooked them back up and the man was back in busi­ness af­ter a bit of re­cu­per­a­tion.”

She dove into the work and, be­ing also a mid­wife, de­liv­er­ing count­less ba­bies in the area. She mar­ried that doc­tor who had left her on her own that first day and had four chil­dren with him.

Be­tween them the con­tri­bu­tion they made to health care in Labrador is in­valu­able and in recog­ni­tion of that Labrador Gren­fell Health (LGH) flew flags at half-mast at the Labrador Health Cen­tre and Charles S. Cur­tis Me­mo­rial Health Cen­tre on Tues­day, Aug. 14.

“Mrs. Pad­don and her hus­band Dr. Tony Pad­don, a for­mer Lieu­tenant Gov­er­nor, were prom­i­nent fig­ures in health­care in North West River, the Up­per Lake Melville re­gion and to the In­ter­na­tional Gren­fell As­so­ci­a­tion,” said Boyd Noel, chair­per­son of the Board of Trus­tees of LGH, in a re­lease. “Their con­tri­bu­tions and sup­port, dat­ing back to World War ll, are renowned in our re­gion. Labrador-Gren­fell Health would like to ex­tend our con­do­lences to Mrs. Pad­don’s fam­ily and loved ones and thank the Pad­dons for their im­pact on our com­mu­ni­ties.”


Flags at the hos­pi­tal in Happy Val­ley-Goose Bay were at half-mast on Tues­day, Aug. 14 in mem­ory of Sheila Pad­don.


Sheila Pad­don

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