Named after Geertruida Helena Elizabeth, her maternal grandmother, Elizabeth (van der Lee) McBain was born in 1920 and raised on the family farm near Chipman, Alberta. She came to Edmonton to attend McDougall Commercial School and then Normal School (Teacher's College), graduating in 1940. During the Second World War she volunteered with the Canadian Red Cross and was promoted to the rank of 2nd Lieutenant. After raising her family in several locations including Vancouver, Montreal and San José in California, she upgraded her teaching qualifications by graduating from San José State College in 1965 with a Bachelor of Arts in Education, achieving Honours with Great Distinction. She returned to Edmonton, where she taught school for many years before retiring in 1978. Elizabeth has a keen interest in history and politics. Her travels have taken her, at different times, to Europe, Asia, New Zealand, U.S.A. and various parts of Canada. For instance, when the U.S. first landed a man on the moon in 1969, she recalls that she was vacationing in Spain. She enjoys gardening and visiting with her many relatives, including her four grandchildren and one great-granddaughter. She also has one very responsive pet fish that can swim upside down and turn somersaults.

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