GribbenAnne Mar 28

GRIBBEN, ANNE S. – R.N., BA, Order of Ont. passed away peacefully on March 28, 2014.

Dearly beloved daughter of the late Dave and Hilda Gribben, Watford, Ontario. Predeceased by her brother John, sister Nora and very dear friend Edith.

At an early age Anne knew what she wanted as a career – Nursing. On Graduation from High School she enrolled in the School of Nursing at Toronto Western Hospital, graduating in 1945. She worked for the next 19 years in the Emergency Dept. as a Staff nurse, then was promoted to ER Supervisor, after obtaining her BA and attending a year at U of T in Nursing Administration.

During those 19 years Anne was very active in her professional Association, RNAO. She sat on the Board when the Nursing profession was attempting to get the Ontario government to create legislation to resolve their labour disputes and Anne was hired in 1964 to assist nurses across the province to organize. In 1969 Anne became the Director of the Labour Relations Dept. of RNAO and by 1973 more than 100 individual Nurses Unions had been organized. After a meeting was held at the Westbury Hotel in Toronto, the province wide Union for Nurses – ONA – was born, with Anne as CEO and her RNAO staff at her side.

Anne was a respected voice across the country, appointed by the Ontario Government to a 4 year term as a Panel Member of the Ontario Labour Relations Board representing “Unions” in Ontario.

ONA grew to over 42,000 members during Anne’s tenure and they owned their own building near the Prov. Legislature because she wanted to be close to where the “decisions are made”.

Along with RNAO and ONA Honorary Life Memberships for untiring commitment to improve the socio economic welfare of Nurses in Ontario, Anne deservedly accepted the Order of Ontario, presented to her by Lincoln Alexander in 1989 for her accomplishments on behalf of the nurses throughout Ontario.

She will be will be fondly remembered and sadly missed by her only nephew, Michael, and his wife Sandy, her great nephew Brad, her sister in law Gladys and many of her nursing colleagues, her dear friends especially Pauline and Dennis, Lillian, Cynthia and Pat. A special thank you to Dr. Moorsom and the Nurses on the Palliative Care Unit at the Northumberland Hills Hospital in Cobourg for keeping her comfortable during her last days.

A visitation celebrating Anne’s life will be held at the MacCoubrey Funeral Home Reception Hall, 30 King St. E in Cobourg on Wednesday, April 2nd, from 11 am until 12 noon.  Donations to CNIB would be appreciated.  Condolences received at

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Filed Under: Cobourg, Ontario