Dr. Angelita Rivera Allen was born on the 2nd of September, 1937 in San Isidro, Nueva Ecija, Philippines. She was the 5th of 8 children born to Bernardo Rivera and his wife Barbara Gonzales Rivera.
Dr. Allen went to the University of Santo Tomas, The Royal and Pontifical University of the Philippines in Manila in 1954. The University was founded in 1611 making it older than Harvard University. Her beloved father was killed in a car accident in 1956. Her mother was also injured in the collision. Her father was a pharmacist who encouraged his children to pursue post secondary education and it was a trying time for the family. Dr. Allen continued to pursue her ambition to become a doctor. She graduated in 1962 with her Doctor of Medicine degree.
Dr. Allen passed the exams for the Educational Council for Foreign Medical Graduates in 1963, which allowed her to train and work in the United States. She went to Patterson General Hospital, New Jersey from July 1964 until June of 1965 on a rotating internship. She moved on to do her residency in anesthesia in Hackensack Hospital , New Jersey from 1965 until 1967. She then did her Senior Residency in anesthesia at Baltimore City Hospital from 1967 to 1969. This hospital is affiliated with Johns Hopkins University and the University of Maryland. In her fourth year of residency she did 6 months of Obstetric Anesthesia and 6 months of Respiratory Intensive Care.
Dr. Allen immigrated to Canada in June of 1969 after being accepted at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Toronto. After meeting the qualification standards of Canada, The Royal College of Physicians & Surgeons, and Licentiate of the Medical Council of Canada, she continued to work as a fully trained anesthesiologist at St. Joseph’s Hospital. She received her Medical License (LMCC) in 1975 and also the same year became a Canadian Citizen.
While working at St. Joseph’s Hospital she met her future husband, David Allen, who was the Business Manager at St. Joseph’s Hospital. David was born and raised in Nova Scotia, the 2nd of 6 children born to Wallace and Alice (Bradley) Allen. David and Angelita Allen were married on the 17th of November, 1973 in the chapel at St. Joseph’s Hospital.
Dr. Allen and David moved to Chatham in May of 1977. Dr. Allen worked tirelessly at both the Public General Hospital and St. Joseph’s Hospital in Chatham as a full-time Anesthesiologist and served as Chief of Anesthesia for a period of 2 years. The two Chatham hospitals amalgamated in 1998 and Dr. Allen continued to work at the newly formed Chatham Kent Health Alliance. She retired from anesthesia in 2005, but continued to work as a Surgical Assistant until completely retiring in 2008.
David and Dr. Angelita Allen did not have any children of their own, but financially supported many nieces and nephews in the Philippines to pursue higher education.
David Allen was a true helpmate and looked after all the business aspects of the medical practice. He also got involved in community and church volunteer work and was a member of a community choral group for many years. He was the treasurer at St. Paul’s United Church for 11 years and was also the organist there for 25 years, the last 2 1/2 of which included the duties of choir director.
Dr. Allen enjoyed many crafts which include needlepoint, crocheting, knitting, sewing and beading. She also made neckties and sold these and her other crafts to raise money for various charities. After her retirement she added gardening to her list of activities. David and Angelita became RV’ers in 1999 and traveled widely in Canada and the U.S. They considered their motorhome a “cottage on wheels”.