Health/Social Services/Human Justice
Irvine W. Weekes
Life in Saskatchewan
Immigrated September 1956
Born March 29, 1933 at Bridgetown, Barbados
Irvine W. Weekes is a man of varied interests. He was looking for opportunities in Canada. When it was suggested that he consider Saskatchewan and work in the health service field he applied.
After graduating as a Psychiatric Nurse in North Battleford, his interests extended to mental retardation and occupational therapy. He got a position as a male attendant with an occupational therapist who encouraged him to pursue further study in this area. He attended Queen’s University and the Canadian School of Occupational Therapy returning to Saskatchewan where he knew his services would be most useful.
Irvine was the first Black person and West Indian to live and work in the North Battleford mental hospital but others followed shortly thereafter. He was an initiator of community activities and soon got involved in sporting and social events. He also wrote short stories for the hospital newsletter.
Following graduation Irvine applied and was accepted to the Valley View Centre in Moose Jaw and relocated there in 1960. As was his nature, he again got involved in community activities and served as a Board member for St. John’s Anglican Church and was the Vice-President and Secretary/Treasurer for a local service club. He also coordinated the city’s soccer league program for a time.
Irvine passed away on January 18, 2009.