Norma Currie

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Norma, bottom, circa 1928, with her siblings

Norma Irene Currie (22? February 1926 - 21 May 1930) was a young child who died at age four of diphtheria.

Early life

Norma Irene was born around 22 February 1926, to Alex and Anna Currie, likely in North Transcona, Manitoba, which as of 2019 is a suburb of Winnipeg. She lived there for her whole life.


On Friday 16 May 1930, Norma accompanied her mother Anna to Port Arthur so Anna could visit her father George Snook, who was "ill in a Port Arthur hospital." [Indeed, George would die just four months later, on 23 September 1930.]

Norma was infected by the bacterium C. diphtheriae (diptheria), likely while on the train from Transcona to Port Arthur. "Human-to-human transmission of diphtheria typically occurs through the air when an infected individual coughs or sneezes. Breathing in particles released from the infected individual leads to infection... The symptoms of diphtheria usually begin two to seven days after infection." [1]

Norma died five days after the train ride, at George's home at 230 South Algoma Street, at 08:00 on Wednesday 21 May 1930.

A funeral was held just 2.5 hours later, at 10:30, at the Chapel at 299 Arthur Street (now the parcade at 299 Red River Road) and then her body was buried at Riverside Cemetry at the family plot.

Sadly, it seems Norma died just weeks prior to the wide introduction of a vaccine for the disease that killed her. "The diphtheria vaccine was introduced in 1926. Routine immunization in infancy and childhood has been widely practiced in Canada since 1930." [2]



Norma Irene Currie, four years, two months and twenty-seven days old, youngest daughter of Mr. and Mrs. A. C. Currie, of North Transcona, Manitoba, died at 8 o'clock this morning, at the home of her grandfather, George Snook, senior, 230 S. Algoma Street, of diptheria. The funeral was held privately at 10.30 o'clock this morning from the chapel, 299 Arthur Street, to Riverside Cemetery. Services were conducted by Rev. D. R. Patterson, of Trinity United Church. The child is survived by her parents; three brothers and two sisters. Mrs. Currie arrived Friday in Port Arthur with her daughter, for the purpose of being with her father, Mr. Snook who has been ill in a Port Arthur hospital.


Port Arthur News-Chronicle, 21 May 1930, page 3. Obituaries.