Joan McIver


An original organizer and the prime instigator and motivator of our Polio organization, Joan McIver was the proud recipient of our Polio Regina life membership award in 2005.

Joan worked hard and diligently in assembling our organization on the provincial level.

She contracted polio during an epidemic in Winnipeg when she was two years, 10 months old. “Treatment meant complete bed rest and tying my legs to the crib to prevent movement. This caused contractures of my unused muscles and I had many operations to cut the muscles to release the contractures, Joan recalls. By the age of four, I learned to walk using crutches and heavy steel braces to support my useless legs” she said.

After graduating from Business College at Caronport, Sask. her mother and Joan moved to Regina where she began a 38-year secretarial career, first in the provincial finance office for five years; then five years at the Wheat Pool. The remainder of her working time was with the provincial health department.

During our first week in Regina, I saw an advertisement in the paper announcing an organizational meeting for a local branch of the provincial Handicapped Civilians’ Association (HCA), Joan recalls. “This was in 1948 just after the war when many clubs had formed to help returned disabled servicemen. There were no clubs for the civilian population such as polio survivors” she recalls.

A Regina branch of SAPP was formed spearheaded by Joan McIvor and very quickly other Regina area people joined the movement.

Among them were Ruth Adelia, Javonne Miller, Deryl Quinn, Drs. Elisabeth and Lewis Brandt, Virginia and Maurice Denzin, Olga Robinson, Blenda Ramsay, Dorothy Slater, Georgina Heselton, Peggy and Don Gliddon, Irv Richards, Darlene Krause, Dorothy Sweet and Chris Davies. The group elected Joan McIver as president of the Regina branch and, in slow steps, the Regina group increased membership.

It was really amazing that at every meeting of handicapped people, I was always drawn to those who had polio,” Joan said. “There seemed to be a special bond among us. We met in each other’s rooms, ate our meals and attended all the social events together,” President Joan added.

This was when the beginning of my dream to start an organization of only polio survivors began. I mentioned it to others but no one seemed to catch my enthusiasm so my dream lay dormant for many years. This was in the early ‘50’s before the terrible polio epidemics began”, Joan said.

Joan McIver passed away in 2010.  Polio Regina Inc. members are proud of Joan’s work and will miss her.



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