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Maple Ridge Nursing

Mussallem Family

  • Family
  • 1881 - Present

The Mussallems were a large family settled in Haney, British Columbia since the early 1900s. Lebanese immigrants Solomon and Annie Mussallem moved to Haney ca. 1919 with their five children: George (1908-2007), Nicholas (1910-1979), Mary (1912-1979), Helen (1915-2012), and Peter (1916-2010). A sixth child, Lily, was born in 1922 (d. 2012).

Solomon started Haney Garage (later Mussallem Motors) in 1919 and ran it until the late 1940s, when George took over the business. Solomon was Reeve of Maple Ridge for 23 years and Mayor for a total of 18 years.

George was a member of the Odd Fellows Lodge, Masonic Lodge, Lions, and Shriners and entered politics himself as a member of the Social Credit Party. He was the party whip multiple times and held a seat as MLA for Dewdney from 1966 to 1972 and from 1975-1983.

Helen went on to become a nurse at VGH, serving in WWII as a battlefield hospital operating room nurse. She later became director of the VGH School of Nursing and Executive director of the Canadian Nurse's Association. The first Canadian nurse to receive a PhD (earned at Columbia University), she was a reformer of nursing training and triage, working around the world to develop new systems of health care.

The descendants of the Mussallem family have since left Maple Ridge and settled in various parts of Canada.