Myrtle was born in Vancouver General Hospital and only when it was deemed no further medical attention would be needed she left the city in the arms of her mother aboard a Union Steamship vessel. It was a two day trip home to Port Neville, which was basically a Postal Office address at the mouth of Port Neville Inlet. The dock there was the ship's last stop before returning south to the Union Dock in Vancouver Harbour.
With scheduled regularity the Union ships served the coastal people, arriving every two weeks and offloading passengers, mail, parcels, food supplies and equipment that supported residents of a far flung and sparsely populated, water restricted area.
Myrtle's home was a floathouse attached by heavy cable to various locations along Port Neville inlet until her family moved the house on to land in a large truck-logging camp. Now on dry land with a road, and a one room school, she began to experience the freedom and independence of movement unavailable to her when travel was by boat. Beyond the Floathouse, Gunhild's Granddaughter and its sequel, Lifelong Learning with friends and family tells the story.
Teaching and Writing
A lucky break at the end of high school sent her off to the University of British Columbia. After receiving her Bachelor of Home Economics, and gaining a teacher's certificate, Myrtle found she enjoyed high school teaching very much. With experience in three different school districts, she was selected to do the revision of a well-used Government of British Columbia foods text, Management and Foods.
Having delayed raising a family to save for a home, when baby two arrived Myrtle found there was more than enough to do at home, and she applied any extra time to work on that first textbook, which was followed by an offer to do a second foods text, Food for Life. The concept of “working moms” was relatively new then, with serious discussions being held over “quality time vs. quantity time,” and Myrtle became a leader in balancing both.
Myrtle Siebert has been fortunate to experience a wide range of careers, including owner-operator of a small fast food outlet. She enjoyed several experiences in house building and renovation and after retiring as a Registered Professional Home Economist, Myrtle continued her special interest in management of time, energy and resources. With five major works to her name and several smaller contributions, she currently thinks of herself as a writer. Other more personal interests change with the current season or need: researcher, investor, bookkeeper, kitchen designer, decorator, gardener, mother and grandmother.
Through many years of volunteer activities Myrtle has gained a valuable understanding of leadership. Her particular passion is advocating for higher education and equal opportunities. Through Canadian Federation of University Women (CFUW) she works to raise funds for scholarships and bursaries so that other people can have an opportunity for post- secondary education as she did.
Organizing concessions for student sports groups taught that by serving healthy food options there might be a business opportunity. Thus was Soup and Surprises born, serving "wholesome homemade lunches and snacks," for five years as a successful business. You may find some of the best recipes in her blog.
In 1991 when she moved to North Saanich Myrtle fulfilled a long held desire to perfect her public speaking skills. By joining what was at the time International Training and Communication (ITC) she has been able to hone that ability. A member of Victoria #90 POWERtalk International she has spoken to large groups and led beginner's workshops in writing, family history research and life planning.
Updated: August 19, 2016