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History

For over 75 years, the CSMLS has served the Canadian medical laboratory community.

It was in 1937 that four visionaries changed the future of the medical laboratory industry with the initiation of an association dedicated to recognizing and supporting medical laboratory professionals across Canada. The association was originally named the Canadian Society of Laboratory Technologists, (C.S.L.T), but now referred to as the Canadian Society for Medical Laboratory Science (CSMLS). 

One of the first founding group members, Ms. Helen Smith, was working at the Hamilton General Hospital (HGH) when she began talking about a professional association for laboratory workers. “I don’t think it is generally remembered that our first attempts to contact technicians (the usual term at the time) were in order to start a publication.” said Smith. “We found it much more difficult to reach and interest people than we expected, so we decided to form a society and go for a charter.”

Mr. Frank Elliott, senior HGH biochemist, and Dr. William Deadman, supervising pathologist, along with Mr. Denys Lock, supported Smith in her efforts. Frank, Helen and Denys set out to recruit nine additional supporters and applied for a Dominion Charter in 1936. The process was much more difficult and drawn out than they had expected, requiring changes to several by-laws and even the proposed name of the Society.

At the time, the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) protested the use of the term “Medical Technologists”, in the Society name, feeling that it implied that the members were doctors. After unsuccessful negotiation, the charter applicants changed the title to “laboratory technologists”.  Despite the setbacks, the original twelve were so successful in recruiting that by the time of incorporation in May 1937, sixty-five Society members had already joined across Canada.

As a result of their initiatives, Mr. Frank Elliot became the first president of C.S.L.T while Mr. Denys Lock and Ms. Helen Smith were the first treasurer and secretary, respectively.

Their efforts, determination and passion forged the path in gaining representation of the medical laboratory profession in Canada. 

 

Since 1937, medical laboratory technologists (MLTs) and medical laboratory assistants (MLAs) have relied on our organization to provide the most up-to-date news, events, and information to remain informed of what matters most to their professions. As the national certifying body and the national professional society, CSMLS has been proudly representing medical laboratory professionals within Canada.

The goals and objectives of the Society at the time of incorporation in 1937 still reflect what the organization is trying to achieve in today’s day and age. It still remains The Voice of Medical Laboratory Science in Canada.

The goals of the Society in 1937 were:

  • To improve the qualifications and standing of medical technicians (now called technologists) in Canada
  • To promote research endeavors in all branches of laboratory work
  • To ensure, by examination in practical and theoretical knowledge, fully qualified technicians and to grant to them a Certificate as an Associate of the Society
  • To promote closer co-operation between the medical profession and the technician
  • To more efficiently aid the doctor in diagnosing and treating disease

In Spring 2011, the CSMLS began a project to capture the stories and memories of many of the Past Presidents of the CSMLS. After crossing the country, several times, a compilation of the 27 interviews were created. The video series debuted at LABCON2012 during the 75th Anniversary Gala.

The Lab

Past Presidents of CSMLS discuss the conditions of medical laboratories when they began their career as a Medical Laboratory Professional.

Different Roads

Past Presidents of CSMLS reflect on what events lead them to become a Medical Laboratory Professional.

 

Humble Beginnings

Past Presidents of CSMLS explain the origins of the organization.

The Highs and Lows

Past Presidents of CSMLS remember the highs and lows of the organization over the course of 75 years.

 

Final Thoughts

Past Presidents of CSMLS share their best wishes and hopes for the organization.

 

We are grateful to the Past Presidents that agreed to be interviewed for this very special project. It is a small reminder of the hard work and dedication that helped shape this organization to what it is today and into the future.

 

Past Presidents

Chris Hirtle

2016

Tania Toffner

2015

Natalie Campbell

2014

Heather Autio

2013

Tricia VanDenakker

2012

Goldie Fagan

2011

Carol Green

2010

Shelby Giesbrecht

2009

Susan Atkinson

2008

Robin Power

2007

Reuben Noseworthy

2006

Shelley Sanders

2005

Geraldine Webb

2004

Tom Stowe

2003

Margaret Flynn

2001, 2002

David Ball

2001

Joan Lailey

2000

Ruth Peirce

1999

Linda Banks

1998

Terry Gulliver

1997

Jeanne Irwin

1996

Margaret Smith

1995

Maureen Webb

1994

Barbara Hall

1993

Ursula Easterbrook

1991

Bill Younger

1990

Jeanne Grimard

1989

Nancy McBride

1987

Shirley Beckman

1984

Edna Blum

1982, 1988

Ilse Holler

1981, 1992

T.R. (Ron) Robinson

1980, 1986

Heather Macdonald

1979

Melba Maxwell

1978

Norman J. Senn

1977,1985

A.B. (Chris) Atkinson

1976

Helmut Friesen

1975

John Woodward

1974

W.W. (Bob) Hughes

1973

Ron McClorry

1972

John Sharples

1971

Denys R. Lock

1970

Peter Hills

1969

Noel Geffros

1968

Raymond Simard

1967

Robert G. Armstrong

1966

Leslie D. Mellor

1965

David Epp

1964

Guy Colpron

1963

Jacob Berger

1962

Olga Lange

1961

Roy Uttley

1960

Jessie Hudson

1959

Harold E. Amy

1958

Ronald G. Phythian

1957

Isobel Willis

1956

Theresa Laurendeau

1955

Archie R. Shearer

1954

Gordon Traill

1953

Joseph M. Scott

1951-1952

Ileen Kemp

1948-1950

George Darling

1945-1947

George S. Medhurst

1941

Edward D. Carpenter

1940, 1944

Frank J. Elliot

1937-1939, 1942-1943

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