JOYCE E. PERRIN
Joyce E. Perrin
Shaded areas indicate countries visited.
Joyce Perrin penned stories when young, but what held her interest throughout life was the blue bound set of books at home called Lands and People, which had pictures and explained about countries worldwide. She imagined visiting new. nations, talking to the people, tasting their foods, and learning about their culture. In high school, her interests included participating in executive positions on committees and in sports such as senior basketball and figure skating. She was head cheerleader for the senior boys’ basketball games. Ultimately, teaching swimming and synchronized swimming were her passions. As a teenager, Joyce achieved the highest award in Girl Guiding, the Gold Cord, and represented Canada with ten others at an International Girl Guide camp in Sweden. At the camp, she met Lady Olave Baden-Powell, the founder of the Girl Guide movement. Lady Baden-Powell was an inspiration to Joyce and during her lifetime was her role model. Her quote, “Happiness comes not from what we have but from what we give and what we share,” has been a guiding light for Joyce. After high school, she competed in the Canadian synchronized swimming championships, swam for the University of Alberta and the Edmonton Aquadettes swim teams in individual, pairs, and team competitions and won many prizes. Joyce held the vice-president position on the Student Council, and was the nursing representative. She served in many executive positions in her fraternity Pi Beta Phi, the Women’s Athletic Organization and other organizations.
Joyce married immediately after graduating from the University of Alberta with a BS in nursing. She worked in senior administration positions with the Visiting Nurse Association and hospitals in the USA and Canada. After her three children were in school, she attended graduate school and obtained her diploma in hospital administration and served as an Assistant Executive Director of the Canadian Council of Hospital Accreditation. Joyce was one of the first female hospital Chief Executive Officers in Canada. Life changed when Joyce and her husband went their separate ways, and after her three children were married. She was free from responsibilities for others and so she resigned from her Canadian senior healthcare job to travel the world.
Joyce worked in senior positions in healthcare in Saudi Arabia, as a consultant for the World Health Organization and the United Nations Development Program and volunteered for the United States Executive Service Corps in the Middle East, Africa. And South America. On her solo travels she had countless adventures - tracking gorillas in Uganda, deep sea diving, climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro and many more. After touring the seven continents, Joyce settled in the Republic of Panama, where she co-founded the voluntary Panama Hospice and Respite Foundation. This organization helped Panamanians and expatriates navigate the healthcare system at the end of life.
Returning to Canada at 80, Joyce battled breast cancer and then found herself giving support to other cancer survivors. She also volunteered as a patient, family, and care partner with the local, regional Durham Ontario Health Team from its inception in 2019 until 2022.
"The most memorable experiences about my travel years were touching people’s lives--the human connections. No matter where I was in the world, my encounters connected me with others, their countries, their cultures, their histories, their personal stories. That’s what I treasured most about traveling. The sheer diversity of it all. The complex, wonderful, beautiful, at times tragic, shocking, and messy stuff that is simply being human. Humanity in its never ceasing capacity to amaze."
Now eighty-seven, and despite several other health challenges, Joyce has written her book, hoping it inspires people to follow their passion no matter how long it takes. Joyce makes her home in the Greater Toronto Area and can be contacted through her website (or her Facebook page).