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Ivey, Beryl (Nurse)

1924 - 2007


SPORT | Track & Field


Action Athlete

Beryl is one of Chatham's most outstanding female track and field athletes ever, a multiple champion at Central Public School and Chatham Collegiate Institute. Beryl competed before provincial championship events (OFSAA) were held, however she was a multi-winner at the WOSSAA level, which stretched, at that time from Windsor to Guelph ON.


1935-1936 - Beryl won the Junior division of the Central Public School track meet as a Grade 6 student.

1936-1938 – Beryl won the Intermediate and Senior divisions at the Central School track and field meets in both Grade 7 and 8. Beryl's running broad jump distance was further than the boys' winner. Her winning record of 4-foot, 8-inch high jump, remains one of the best performances in the history of Chatham elementary school athletics.

1938-1939 – In her Grade 9 year at CCI, Beryl finished second in the Midget division at the Kent County track meet, held at Athletic Field (now Fergie Jenkins Field at Rotary Park), the only time she did not win her age division.

1939 - Marked the first year girls competed in WOSSAA track and field, which for the past 20 years was 'boys only'.

1939 - Beryl went on to win the long jump and placed third in the high jump in the Open division at WOSSAA. At that time there were no age divisions as she competed against girls in Grades 9 to 13.

1939 – Beryl was a national champion winning the long jump at 14 feet, 9.5 inches and placed third in the 60 metres in the Junior division (14-years and younger) at the Canadian Women’s Track and Field Championships in Hamilton Ontario.

1939-1940 – Beryl won the Intermediate division (now Junior) and set two records at the Kent County track meet in Blenheim Ontario. At WOSSAA, Beryl won the girls’ Open division overall championship and set a record in the 75-yard dash.

1940-1941 – In the first year of the new CCI, Beryl, now in Grade 11, set a Junior girls’ record of 16 feet 8.5 inches in the long jump, becoming the Junior division champion. Her record long jump of 16 feet 8.5 inches stood for 53 years until it was broken in 1993.

Beryl won the girls Open long jump at WOSSAA.
1941-1942 – Beryl continued to build her legacy in Grade 12 by winning the Senior division and set more records at the Kent County meet held at the Dresden Ontario Fairgrounds. Beryl still held four Kent records in 1956, 15 years after she last competed for CCI.

1942-1943 – Beryl did not get the chance to compete in her Grade 13 year, as high school athletics were cancelled for the next three years due to the Second World War.

Beryl received a privately endowed scholarship to attend Brescia University College, an affiliate of Western University. She graduated in 1947 with a BA and was named Brescia’s valedictorian.
While in London Ontario, Beryl met Richard M. Ivey and they were married in 1949 in Chatham. The Ivey’s have four children - Richard, Jennifer, Rosamond and Suzanne.
Beryl and Richard were iconic philanthropists who for decades supported education, health care and the arts across Ontario by donating an estimated $150-million through the Ivey Foundation, which was created in 1947 by her father-in-law Richard. G. Ivey.
Beryl received an Honorary Degree from Western in 1997 and was named to the Order of Canada in July of 2007.
Her legacy at Western is preserved by the Beryl Ivey Garden, a lasting tribute to her love of art and the natural world, while Brescia's Beryl Ivey Library was named in her honour.

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