Betty Bridgman was born in 1924 in the hills above Fujo, a small town near Chungking,China. Her father, Charles Bridgman, went to Chengdu in 1912 as an evangelical missionary for the Methodist Church of Canada. Her Mother Margaret Jean, went to China as a single nurse missionary in 1916. They were married in Fujo. Their first child, a daughter, was born in Fujo n 1918. Their son Donald was born in 1922 during their holidays in the mountains over Fujo. Betty was born in 1924.
All the children attended the Canadian School. Donald her elder brother finished high school on one of their furloughs at Vaughan Roan Collegiate Institute in Toronto. Then he joined the Canadian Air Force. Sadly, Donald Bridgman was killed when his plane was shot down during the Second World War.
Betty also went to VRCI. She then attended Medical School at U of T. Following graduation as a Medical Dictor, Betty travelled west to British Columbia for two years of internship and then to England to specialize in Tropical Medicine. Her goal was to work in Angola, treating the sick She had to go to Portugal first for a visa and then on to Angola providing heath care and helping those in need. She received the Medal of Honor from the Prime Minister or Governor General for her work.
Margaret Jean, Betty’s mother, trained as a nurse in the US as there was no good nurse training in Canada at that time. She then went to China with the Methodist Church and worked in Penshan and Jenshan. She cared for women in villages. Betty remembers watching her mother kneel and wash the bound feet of he women. It was a dreadful sight and Betty never forgot it. Rev Charlie Bridgman felt that he was more of a farmer at heart. He planted trees in the front yard of their compound and it became a Peach Orchard. Charlie Bridgmen also participated in Canadian School events, assisting the Boy Scout Program.
The Bridgmans played an important in the Chengdu Legacy. Betty is 92 and lives in Grimsby Ontario.